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148 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 23

  Reply # 507177 16-Aug-2011 10:43
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freitasm: What about the Milenniata (

Store forever? I doubt that they have actually been able to test that claim!

wreck90: There is nothing you could do today to be absolutely certain it will be around in even 30 years times. 

Storage device electrics change, operating systems and file systems become obsolete ,  physical components and media degrade, online storage providers go broke and lose data. 

You need an continuous backup plan which can be passed on to the next generation of family members. 

Store copies in dropbox cloud storage, two hard drives (one on your pc, and , an offline backup drive), and , perhaps an archival CD/DVD . 

Then, every so often, you need to verify the integrity of different copies. As time goes on, you can discard obsolete backup technologies as you move on to newer methods.   


This guy has got it right - there is no 1 solution for this because, as we all know, media and software are evolving rapidly. You will need to undertake a continuous process of shifting the data to the latest media every few years.

1092 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 84



5 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 508680 18-Aug-2011 18:11
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There was a piece in the New York Times about this a while ago. The dude was rescuing his home video, which was on lots of mini DV tapes. Most of the tapes had never been watched before. Write-only media? ;-)

Expanding a bit on what wreck90 says above:-

If you want long term data storage, you must commit *time* and *money* to data curation. *Every year.*

Store multiple copies on multiple media types in multiple sites, yes. Well protected, yes. Atmosphere and temperature controlled, yes. But *check them every year*, and if the media are obsolescent, *copy the data to a current format*. If the storage owners are looking shaky, or the storage vault isn't controlled, find a new storage site. Have a succession plan for yourself, and brainwash - er, persuade - your successor about the sacredness of the mission. Every year.

Long term data storage requires ongoing effort and expense.

At least, it does until Charlie Stross's "memory diamond" arrives on the scene. (Discussed a short way into this:, under "Putting It All Together") ;-)

393 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 49


  Reply # 508911 19-Aug-2011 11:25
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Pardon, late in on this conversation but I dont think the media is a really a issue here.

My wife is heavily into geneology and local history - see

Anyway while she has favourite programs - Rootsmagic, PAF etc... they keep changing versions and programs come and go.  While you can export to GEDCOM format to swap info between programs - and interested other people, it has its issues esp with associated records , pictures, etc.. 

I believe you need to deal with this issue in two formats.

The decendents come in two types
- those that are actively interested and could keep using the geneology software and doing updates over time (which - keeps software and media up to date), and  
- those that only want to be informed

For the latter, creating a book in e.g. PDF for keeping with the rest of their electronic records is the best answer as this will get migrated with their computer hardware updates.

Then again  a professionally printed book that can be distributed to as many family members as possible is good as it is small to store, unlikely to be thrown out and at least one family member might retain a copy. There seems to be local and singapore companies that can do this cheaply.  

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