Where do you keep your master files?
"Master files of what?" you ask.
the things that have preserved information, preserved stories, music,
and images that chronicled who we were and from where we've come, the
fiction that has delighted us, the videos we watched years later, and
the music we've listened to--sometimes a generation or two later.
I sit looking at my bookcase, I'm a bit worried. And I know I have
photos in albums and some even in shoe boxes--along with their
negatives beneath my bed. In the family-room, there are a couple
shelves of music CDs; they are my archive. I no longer have any vinyl
records because, well, you know, media changes so...devices change... Eventually I had nothing left to play them on.
don't dust as often as I should, so some are collecting dust. Even so,
when I want them, they are there. Tangible things they are. Most of
what I've kept is because they are special, and hold a big slice of
sentimentality for me. Some simply because they're classics.
debate about ebooks versus paper books appears to be settled, with
ebooks taking the lead for many reasons. I like ebooks, and have lots.
They're convenient, they're reasonable, my Kindle changes font size so I
don't have to wear my reading glasses. What's not to like?
with the exponential increase in ebook sales, I have begun to
wonder... How are we keeping the master copies? For the copy that
in 60 or 70 years will be pulled out of a file folder and read while
the reader awes at their antique ebook.
temporary nature of ebook files concerns me too. Drawing on my experience
with digital cameras and digital photos, and seeing the similarities in
the change from a print form of media to a digital form in both books and
photos, I think the average person is not going to archive their files
in a way that will allow access in 20 or 30 years, like we've always
been able to do. And I admit to pulling out my dogeared copies of The Thorn Birds, and Andersonville, and reading them when they were over 30 years old and 55 years old respectively. And that was in the last couple of months.
I'm trying to visualize keeping track of digital files and updating
them, converting them when necessary to new file types...and in 55
years, reading my digital copies of Girl Under Glass, Dancing With Eternity, or Bountiful Creek (I love these stories, all new, and I originally read them in digital form).
to my vinyl records experience: formats change, file-types change, and
the devices to read them change as well. I have photo cards that are
unreadable using my current computer hardware.
it's just me. I have a difficult time reconciling a bookcase with a file
folder on my computer. Maybe it's my age, my generation? But for me,
something to be said for searching on a bookcase for an old book, or
digging through a shoebox of photos under the bed. They exist for
years, no updating required...
What's your plan for saving e-files of books, photos, movies, etc?