Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Digital Decay

  Digital Decay.  Ever heard of it?  Regardless, you probably have (or will have) to deal with it in some form or another.  It’s easiest to understand with a simple example:
Remember the floppy disk?  What if you realized you had an old file saved on a floppy disk that you needed to access.  Could you do it?  Chances are, your computer doesn’t even have a floppy drive.  Even if it did, it probably doesn’t have the software installed to view it.
So, how do you combat digital decay?  Since technology is changing at an ever-increasing rate, digital decay is too.  As a result, it is something that requires continuous attention.  If you had saved that floppy file to a CD when you had a floppy disk drive, you may not have the same problem.  Plus, you could resave the file in a new, current format.    
Begin the process now of consistently backing up your data (preferably not on a floppy disk).  Options today include portable hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, or even in the cloud.  It is often a good idea to have backups in more than one format (i.e. portable hard drive and the cloud).  Vigilance is the best defense against data loss and digital decay.  Have any of you had similar experiences?