Why do technologies become obsolete? Because something easier, cheaper, better (or sometimes just better marketed) comes along. Is email becoming obsolete? There’s a new generation of internet users who don’t use email and probably never will, unless they are forced to use it at work. Below are excerpts from an eye-opening article by Chad Lorenz. […]

I worry a lot about the fate of old sound recordings. Although recorded sound has only been around for a little over 100 years, our archives, basements and attics are bursting with a legacy of multiple obsolete formats. To add insult to injury, each time you play an original recording you destroy some of the […]

Yesterday — August 17, 2007 — was the CD’s 25th birthday. Who could have predicted that this little piece of plastic would become a common storage medium for digital documents and photographs? (Extra credit question: When was the last time you saw a floppy disk?) Who imagined back in the 80s that we’d be able […]

Just days after I wrote about how Microsoft is making a concerted effort to render JPEG obsolete, I learned that folks in the library/archives world have been discussing the possibility of JPEG 2000 as an acceptable format for long term digital preservation. Instead of, or in addition to, TIFF. I learned about this from Jill […]

Have you heard of the NHPRC? That’s the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It is the only national U.S. agency dedicated solely to the preservation of historical records. No buildings. No farm implements. Just documents. NHPRC. (Pssst…they give grants.) Back in the late 90s I worked for the Wisconsin affiliate, the Wisconsin Historical Records […]

Motherboard Gifts and More sells beautiful things made out of dead technology. I’m partial to the coasters myself. The business card cases are pretty cool, too..

I have a big goofy sentimental attachment to cassette tapes. My personal archive has at least a half dozen mixtapes and original recordings that I can’t bear to part with. Our house also has a drawer full of random cassettes that no one ever plays. Evah. Now that we can hook up the ipod to […]

SaveMyMemories.org has a handy-dandy crash course on preserving digital photos. The “quickstart” overview promises: “Protect your photos with these 4 easy steps!” My quick review: Marvelous tips, worth a read. Here’s a sample from the hardware overview: If you get a new computer, check all of your previous storage media to make sure the new […]

Did someone declare this digital preservation month? Because if they did, I sure didn’t get the meemo. Here’s a roundup of the news from digital preservation land. File Under “Oops” So you accidentally wipe out the database. Oh, and the backup drive, too. There was still hope, until the department discovered its third line of […]

.Has it ever occurred to you that JPEG could disappear? Seems impossible, I know. But digital preservation isn’t only about the recording media. Let’s suspend reality for a moment and pretend that DVDs really will last forever. You still need to have software that can convert 1’s and 0’s into a photo of a chubby […]