Why is printing the de facto standard?

Started Aug 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
mr moonlight Senior Member • Posts: 1,789
Re: Why is printing the de facto standard?

olliess wrote:

Mike CH wrote:

olliess wrote:

Dave Luttmann wrote:

Really? Think your family have their passwords written down for all these online accounts? I doubt it.

Was that a serious question?

Perhaps not.

But it is a very important question.

All right, then I'll answer with a "Yes." I expect that most people have their important passwords written down somewhere or (less likely) stored in a keychain of some sort.

But the question is kind of moot anyway. Why would I store my photo "archive" spread across a multitude of accounts that my family would have to track down?

Will your heirs be able to access the contents on your digital media?


Viewing a jpg-file in 50 years time on old media has a lot more hurdles than viewing a print.

People seem to be fixated on an argument that old, forgotten prints will be perfectly viewable when discovered in a basement or attic somewhere in 50 years' time, whereas jpgs on an old floppy disk will likely be unrecoverable.

The assumption is that nothing happens, physically, to said prints for 50 years. No flooding, no fire, no pests, no getting tossed out when someone moves. No significant deterioration because, of course, the prints were properly stored and were made on appropriate media And then, at the end of 50 years, somebody has to discover the prints, be willing to go through them, discover the hidden genius, etc.

Yet for some reason the information which was on the floppy is assumed not to have been preserved in some appropriate electronic archive, using appropriate methods, and continued to be protected against deletion, storage failure, obsolescence, etc.

I've worked in IT for more than a quarter century and I see NO TREND AT ALL that the above questions are becoming easier to answer. Rather the opposite, actually. Cloud and online storage is not better...

I remember backing up 40 MB hard disks onto 1.4 MB floppies a quarter century ago. Cloud and online storage isn't better than that?

We have to remember that storing digital photos for future generations has not been an issue as of yet. Passwords and accounts haven't really come up as an issue since the vast majority of people who started using these technologies are still alive today. Give it 30 years and preserving the data and accounts of the deceased will become a major issue and you can bet there will be countless solutions. Formats and media has also pretty much stayed the same so we haven't run into any issues there either, but you can't bet that in 100 years, pretty much every photo viewing software and hardware device will have the capability of converting and viewing jpegs for the simple reason of viewing old family photos. Are your photos safe? What about hardware compatibility? Sure, give it 20 years and you probably won't have any place to plug your old HD into and DVD/CD/BluRay players will likely be relics of the past. Cloud storage on the other hand will continue to evolve as formats do and our data will remain intact and accessible.

We have to remember that the way we think about storing our old photos and files is going to change. We are no longer going to think about our basements and attics as places to store our old files and photos, it's going to be online and on drives. Instead of moving a box of Grandpa's old photos into your attic, you will be migrating folders full of photos from his system to yours. Yes, sometimes that chain will be broken and photos lost, just as the chain of collecting and storing Grandpa's old box of photos can be broken through damage or simply being discarded. I agree it's harder to lose a single physical item than it is a file on a HD, but on the other hand you can have multiple copies of files. People often say that if their house was burning down and there was only one possession they could grab, it would be the family photos. For something of this much importance I have to believe that as time goes on, people will begin to find better ways to preserve their family histories than on a single HD in an aging computer. My prediction is that this method will be online. As it stands now, Grandpa's box of photos has a shelf life unless meticulously stored under proper conditions. Digital on the other hand has no shelf life. I imagine that a thousand years from now people will be able to trace their family histories in photos and vid clips.

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