Is your vital digital information at risk of being the next “eX-Files”?
As 90s hit television series The X‑Files returns to our screens after a 13 year hiatus, we have launched an awareness campaign to highlight the danger of file format and software obsolescence, and an impending ‘Digital Dark Age’ – warned against by Google’s Vint Cerf last year.
Many file formats and software applications popular in 1993 have already disappeared or become obsolete. With technology refresh rates and application de-commissioning programmes beginning to accelerate, critical long-term information and files are now more at risk than ever.
WordStar, Lotus 1 2 3, and Pagemaker are some of the most notable ‘ex-files’ no longer readable, whilst even software that is still used today can no longer support files from older versions – MS Excel Versions 2 – 5, Photoshop 2 & 3 and even Word (v1, v2, v6). It is not just files, but also media that has rapidly become obsolete: Betamax, floppy disks, smart drives and even now CD-ROMs have all but disappeared or become obsolete.
This has a particular impact on long-term business records that need to be retained for 10 years (or are already 10 years old) for compliance, legal and knowledge reuse.
You can read our Essential Guide: “Safeguarding your Vital Long-term Electronic Records” that discusses the issues and how to combat them.