Will You Be Able to Read this Article in 1,000 Years? – Facts So Romantic

If you ask Anthony Weiner, digital records—especially those on the Internet—can seem impossibly hard to get rid of. When a picture or document is reduced to a series of 1s and 0s, it becomes transmissible, reproducible, downloadable, and storable. You can’t burn digital books, and ideas like cloud computing make it possible to back up data in multiple places, ensuring even an accidental fire won’t incinerate your thesis or wedding photos.

The digitization of data gives it protection from physical catastrophes, but, as it stands now, it’s far from eternal. The problem isn’t so much that the data itself might be lost, but that there will be no way to read it.

Try opening a WordPerfect document in Windows Vista, 7, or 8, for example, and you’ll quickly find that Microsoft has stopped supporting the software. Likewise, Apple hasn’t supported ClarisWorks since 2004, ditching its old office suite after 13 years, and the PlayStation 4, which came out in late 2015, can’t read the original Crash Bandicoot CD-ROM from 1996 (which is really depressing in all honesty because it was a great game). And heaven forbid you need to recover data from a floppy disk.…

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