In an editorial post a few years ago, I bemoaned the state of backing up. The post, entitled “Why don’t people back up?” discussed the many varied (and somewhat reasonable) reasons individuals might not be backing up their precious data.
I also discussed many scenarios in which people lose that precious data completely and forever… scenarios in which a backup solution would have protected them in some way. In fact, almost any backup solution would have helped. As I say in What backup program should I use?, “Asking what backup program to use is very much like asking, ‘What’s the best exercise program?’ The best program for exercise or backup is whichever one you’ll actually do.”
Anything is better than nothing.
The good news is that more people are backing up – or at least attempting to.
The bad news is that we still have a long way to go to get more people to back up. I know this by the number of panic-stricken emails I receive.
Today, lots of information is being stored electronically. Years ago, it was on books that lasted 100’s of years, if you wanted. Try reading a 1984 3.1/2 floppy disk or worst, a 5.1/2. The 8 inchers are before my computing time (I saw them on Wargames). The ones with the reels that stopped and started are really unreadable. I also used a tape drive on a commodore Vic 20. If I did not hoard this stuff, it would be all unreadable, as I have not used this stuff in 34 years. So are humans in danger of losing knowledge on this? Magnetic media degrades faster than paper books or doesn’t it?
I think you raise a very good point.
While I still feel that digital information is vastly superior to analog counterparts like paper in most respects, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t drawbacks – often serious drawbacks – with storing information digitally.