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Showing posts from January, 2011

Archives Aren’t Backups: Storing Data for the Future

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
January 24, 2011 Deadline
March 2011 Issue

Archives Aren’t Backups: Storing Data for the Future

Do you remember WordStar? Lotus 1-2-3? Harvard Graphics? If you’ve been using computers as long as I have, you created documents, spreadsheets and graphics in too many applications to remember.

Yes, I have 25-year-old data. I have copied those files from floppies to Iomega Zip disks, from Zip disks to CDs, and most recently from CDs to a trio of external hard drives. Each time I upgrade computers, I migrate data to whatever happens to be the leading archival format.

I migrate data every two to four years. That is important, because media do fail. However, what has enabled me to use old documents is a habit of storing data in two or three formats. In my “Documents” directory, I have created folders named “Archives of…” to store data in neutral formats.

Recently, I wanted to use an old image created in a DOS-based application. I tried several applications, but n…