I don’t trust digital files

Call me paranoid, but I just don’t trust them. I’ll tell you why…

Hard drives can burn out, destroying hundreds of thousands of files in a split second. Furthermore, CD’s and DVD’s all have a limited life span. I’m not sure how long exactly, but it’s not impressively long. That means you’ll have to re-burn all your discs at a certain point. Hmm, I think I’ll just make a reminder in iCal to do just that in 2015. What else… Oh yeah, data corruption due to faulty discs (if your CD’s/DVD’s get a little too many scratches). Finally we have the issue of outdated file formats. I’ve had a LOT of issues with .FLA files (Adobe Flash) or Macromedia Flash as it was called back in the days. I found some of the first Flash projects that I made and was curious to see what they looked like today, now that I’m a more experienced designer, but I couldn’t open them because they weren’t compatible with newest Flash version. Nice huh?! Fortunately some Spanish dude made a batch for Windows (“Abrir FLA” I think it’s called) that could add a little piece of code to the old Flash files, making it possible for me to open them. Also, I have some old text documents from high school containing various assignments like essays etc. They’re all written in Corel WordPerfect, which I can’t open up now. There might be a converter out there somewhere, but I just mentioned it to prove my point: Certain file formats don’t last forever, so chose them wisely! Files like JPEG and PDF will probably be around for ever though… Or will they?

So, there’re numerous reasons as to why I don’t trust digital files. Backup? Yeah, but how many of you are actually backing up data regularly? I do that like once every third month or so, which is far from enough I think…

The files that I’m most sensitive about are all my photo albums and projects. Obviously they’re absolutely irreplaceable, and I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost them – or even just some of them.

I feel that I have to finish off with some good news to this rather gloomy post. The good news is the release of the SSD external hard drives. They’re MUCH more reliable than the magnetic disc hard drives that most of us still have. When the price level on these bad boys drop even more, I’ll get myself one and backup my photo albums and projects (which are currently sitting on various DVD’s) on that.

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