I hang out on the photo.net Leica forums pretty regularly. Lots of film vs digital bickering going on, but at least it’s civil and well-written. The thing that keeps coming up is the fragility of digital files – drive crashes, CF card malfunctions and whatnot. There have been numerous first-hand stories of folks losing thousands of their valuable photos due to simple computer glitches. Now, there seems to be a growing body of evidence showing that many CD-ROMs might only last a few years.
I’m pretty good at backing things up, so I’ve got a few thousand digital images archived nicely on duplicate CD-ROMs. Now I’m a little worried that it may not be enough.
On the other hand, it’s comforting to know that, barring a fire or other natural disaster, my silver B&W film negatives will be around for a hundred years or more.
Oh, and if you have a bunch of digital images on your PC with no backups, stop reading right now and back them up – to anything – even CD-ROM. That will give you at least a couple more years to figure out what to do with them for the long term.