Storing critical maintenance data

July 7, 2011

A few centuries ago, the residents of the area we now call Egypt were, by all accounts, pretty advanced on the cultural front. They built some fine structures and did their share in advancing the arts and sciences of the day. Part of the foundation for their ability to do so was language, a written language, probably understood by those who mattered, perhaps by all the citizens. That group made progress.

A few centuries ago, the residents of the area we now call Egypt were, by all accounts, pretty advanced on the cultural front. They built some fine structures and did their share in advancing the arts and sciences of the day. Part of the foundation for their ability to do so was language, a written language, probably understood by those who mattered, perhaps by all the citizens. That group made progress.

Now, however, only the academic cognoscenti are able to understand the meaning behind the hieroglyphics that adorn the walls of the remaining Egyptian edifices.

Fast forward. There was a time when the so-called floppy disk was indeed floppy. The 4.5-in. diameter flexible circle of dark plastic encased in some sort of paper sleeve was the only way to move data from one computer to another. That technology was replaced by the smaller more rigid disks encased in a rigid plastic shell. Alas, those, too, have been summarily tossed on the junk pile of once-useful technological advances.

The current state of the art is the thumb drive, but even that is giving way to the concept of cloud computing, an environment in which everything known by mankind will reside on servers somewhere in the great beyond.

The point I’m trying to make is that the method by which you’re storing important, critical plant maintenance data simply won’t be available to you in the near future as technology evolves. I don’t know what form future digital storage will take, but I think you should think about it, too.

Consider the wisdom brought to you by the good folks at Scientific American magazine, the world’s best publication, second only to Plant Services. David Pogue lays it out for you in “Seeing Forever: Storing Bits Isn't the Same as Preserving Them.”

Be sure to read the comments that people posted below the article. Then come back here and give the rest of us a piece of your mind.

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