In my career I have seen 8-, 5.25-, and 3.5-inch floppies, and I did a lot of my work on an old Finnigan INCOS data system that used 15-inch removable platters that held a whopping 5 megabytes each. After switching from one format to another, we did keep one old nine-track tape machine so we could read our old data. I retired before I could find out what would happen when that one tape reader finally died. Furthermore, there is the advantage of partially deciphering written/printed media. Again using the example of the Dead Sea Scrolls, after two millennia there was much damage, especially at the edges, but they could still be deciphered.
June 09, 2008