Preserving Data

In Block 3 Part 4 Session 1 and 2, I have learnt the importance of preserving data. By preserving data I don't just mean backing up my own personal files, I mean the bigger picture for preserving our digital world for many generations to see and appreciate.

Imagine if we never preserved and protected our many material historical documents and works, we never kept records of important events, such as the World Wars or kept hold of now, world famous painting such as the Mona Lisa which is in The Louvre, France which has been hanging there since 1757. The same goes with our digital data, everything is on some kind of digital medium in the 21st century, this is why it is so important to look after it.

Digital storage medium all have life spans, ZDnet made up a lifespan of such medium devices which is very interesting to see.

  • Hard Disks - 3 - 6 years (computer hard disk)
  • Magnetic tape - 10 -20 years (computer data backup)
  • Magnetic disks - 1 -5 years (floppy disks)
  • Optical Disks - 10 - 100 years (DVD)
  • Static memory - 50 - 100  years (digital camera memory card)

These results are very intriguing, of course there are other factors that need to be considered such as how the medium is stored, used and how it is looked after. I have had hard drives that are still going strong after 10 years, they are not used everyday which also keeps the hard disk in better shape which in turn will last longer.

It goes to show that static memory is the way forward and we now have solid state drives which run and access data at ridiculously fast speeds, and of course they don't have moving parts so less wear and tear and a lot less heat.