Migrate data on time!

Do you remember it? Wordperfect? It is an example of a program that we used to work with widely, but has since disappeared. And thus at the same time an example of the problem of migration: how to keep information from the past understandable and above all accessible?

CD-DVD drive. How much longer?

Anyone who stores anything for a long time will have to deal with the effect that media becomes unreadable at some point. See the cassette tapes, which we wrote about earlier. But also consider the floppy disc. Conversely, computers are becoming less and less equipped with the necessary hardware. Most modern laptops no longer have a CD/DVD drive. Still inconvenient when you have files on CD or DVD. The software to read files is sometimes still there, but no computer with the operating system to run the software on. When it comes to large amounts and important data, that is a factor to consider. Opening old files involves much more than just the necessary software. The operating system and necessary hardware must also be at your disposal.

Migrate on time

What can you do? Consider which file formats will still exist in 50 years, too. Like pdf, which we will most likely always be able to open. It is seen as eternally readable, like the books we have been reading for thousands of years. But just as we can read a book from the 14th century, that doesn’t mean we understand what it says. So: it is important to keep the stored information as well as the file format up-to-date. You have to keep the information understood and accessible. Sure, you can keep an old computer alive somewhere. Or emulate. What is and remains crucial is the hardware: a file on a floppy disk does need a floppy disk drive to read it. Therefore, it is important for archivists to be aware of migration options. Migrate from one storage to another in a timely manner and ensure that data remains understandable and accessible.

In our next blog, we are happy to discuss migration in more detail!

Subscribe for tips and info

We regularly write blogs on current topics from the world of digital storage technology. Sign up here to be notified about new blogs.