Comment on “There’s a hungry digital tiger waiting for us all . . .”

Interesting read. Being in technology, I see this problem too. I call it “code rot”. If a program we’ve written sits on the shelf unused, it slowly becomes incompatible with the inevitable upgrades to our systems.

Open source software seems to be an exception to this. As Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux operating system once said, “Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)”

Unfortunately, solutions to the problem are hard to find. Popular things are saved, because they are useful, entertaining or valuable to people. Copyright and DRM (digital rights management) also get in the way of successful archiving as well. If someone is willing to save something digitally, or convert it into another format, many times it is actually illegal for them to do so.