Preserve Data for Future Generations

After a discussion I had with a friend of mine, I decided to write this article. The discussion was about storing data on environmental bad NAS-storages or just let it be lost. The questions is do we need all our digital pictures, documents, books etc. for later generations? Why not delete them so we do not need those hard drives? How much do we know of ancient civilizations nowadays anyways? Is it not something normal that we have some kind of collective memory loss?

In this article I will try to explain why we need to preserve digital data for future generations. If I look up information on the web I do not get much useful results. It maybe because of the fact that I did not use the right keywords or that it is not a popular topic, not known by most common people. What I know is that if it were up to me, I would give the preservation of digital data the attention that it needs.

Why I think it is so important? Whether it is valuable to you or not, lost data cannot be recovered. It is very tough to recover what's lost, even for the special branch detectives. The point is, what is useless right now, might be dear to you in future, maybe when you grow old. Remember we live by reminiscing our childhood. Also people can learn from your experiences, so why not help your grand grandchildren by not making the same mistakes you did?! All of it was only to teach them about how to preserve the stories of the planet we live on.

Technologies change and so do the storage mediums. Data stored on floppy disks can not easily be read, just because floppy disk drives are not used anymore. What happens to USB-drives in about 20 years? A hard copy of your document and photos, is maybe still the best option. Paper is a long lasting data storage that can survive for centuries.

To store data other than documents and photos on paper is a bit difficult. Software, videos and games is something needs to be stored digitally. It would be nice if we could send a digital code like a QR-code or a barcode like system to a printer. That could be read with a flatbed scanner and 'barcode' reader software or so, but other problems might arise. However it would be nice or even essential if there was a way to store information for the future generations.

Related links:

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Preserve Data for Future Generations

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