Data Rot

From a David Pogue interview:

Data rot refers mainly to problems with the medium on which information is stored. Over time, things like temperature, humidity, exposure to light, being stored not-very-good locations like moldy basements, make this information very difficult to read.

The second aspect of data rot is actually finding the machines to read them. And that is a real problem. If you think of the 8-track tape player, for example, basically the only way you can find 8-track cartridges is in a flea market or a garage sale.

I have certainly run into both, the first was with a set of 5 1/4″ floppy discs which were so old you could run your fingers across the surface the metal oxide coating would just wipe off the discs because the glue had degraded. More recently it happened to my father where family movies on video tapes were no longer readable, again the glue had degraded.

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One Response to Data Rot

  1. Pingback: Data Rot II « François Schiettecatte’s Blog

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