A couple weeks ago we talked about the importance of printing your images in our Wireless memories? post, so that later on in life when you wonder what happened in 2007 you have more than just a memory card to look at. Here is another excellent reason to print out your images; vanishing media and file formats. Right now jpegs, tiffs, CD’s, DVD’s, and the various media cards are the standard in saving your files. Can you be sure that it will be the same 20 years from now? Or even 5 years from now? Remember floppy disks and zip drives? Whereas the printed image will look just as good 20 (or even 100) years from now. This article talks about the problem as it relates to libraries and their constant struggle to keep up, but the photography industry is also learning the same painful lesson.

Warning of data ticking time bomb: BBC Technology News

The growing problem of accessing old digital file formats is a “ticking time bomb”, the chief executive of the UK National Archives has warned.

Natalie Ceeney said society faced the possibility of “losing years of critical knowledge” because modern PCs could not always open old file formats.

…Ms Ceeney said: “If you put paper on shelves, it’s pretty certain it is going to be there in a hundred years.

“If you stored something on a floppy disc just three or four years ago, you’d have a hard time finding a modern computer capable of opening it.

“Digital information is in fact inherently far more ephemeral than paper,” warned Ms Ceeney.