Move to digital media, prevent data rot

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Published on May 26, 2016 with No Comments

You. Seeking recommendations from a newspaper advice columnist on a replacement cassette deck at a good price. You’ve got tapes. An extensive collection. Your old cassette player is on its last leg. What to do? What to do? We have to ask – what rock? Didn’t anybody tell you, the cassette format is on its death bed? We recently heard about some folks with Aldus Persuasion slides that they never did convert fast enough to Power Point. What were they thinking?

Time marches on. Progress happens. Obsolescence happens after progress. Every step of the way, the old formats become endangered species with no format preservation act in sight – save for a few forward thinkers who make conversion gadgets. So the advice columnist recommends getting an extra device or two because you never know how long they’ll be around.

But it’s not just you. Inquiring minds everywhere want to know – what’s the best format for their music, photographs, home movies, slide shows. Into each life a little data rot must fall. And it would be nice to find the perfect solution to avoid the battle between the tons of stuff that we want to keep while the formats keep changing. Today’s data storage devices include CDs, DVDs, flash media and more. And while we could currently recommend moving everything to the newest format – migrating as it’s known in geek speak, we know it’s not a permanent solution.

Every format has a shelf life. In some cases it’s ten or more years. But every once in a while, one of our large software companies could buy out a smaller one and before you know it – a well loved program is obsolete. So ultimately, our advice would be – keep moving your files with the pace of progress – “even when your hope is gone, move along, move along…” Yeah, you’re singing it.

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