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We all want things to last. People always got photo albums handed down to them. With everything being digital and possibly cloud-based, what is there to actually "hand down?" Just ones and zeroes. The data itself needs to be archived.   Archiving is permanent storage for safety and posterity, as opposed to backups which are for safety and short-term storage. When I say short-term, I mean a single person's lifetime. What then? The data gets bequeathed and downloaded to the next person, while storage formats and devices constantly change? Do we just think the "cloud" is everlasting? Where's the real permanence? Data would last much longer stored on paper than on any kind of tape, hard disk or flash based devices we have today.   Only optical discs offer that kind of potential timescale for storing digital data. While it's true CD-Rs don't hold a lot of data (less than 700MB), the formulations that use gold are as permanent a storage... read more

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