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Comment There is no guaranteed way to keep data long term (Score 2, Interesting) 633

This question gets asked a lot. The answer is that there is no guaranteed way -- interfaces change so that your device may not even plug into anything in the future; motors in drives seize up and stop turning; file formats evolve so that there may not be software to read your data; bitrot erodes the data right out from under your nose... The best solution that anyone has come up with is to keep it spinning on a live computer, and migrate your data with you when you upgrade said computer hardware/software. If you want to put something in the capsule that's great, but make it a symbolic effort. If you /really/ want to make sure the data is readable in 16 years, then keep a copy on your computer and don't delete it. Storage capacities blossom larger and larger every year, so chances are you won't miss the drive space.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard