Secondary Source

book-1As the age of information is kicking into high gear, I’m finding more and more people relying on their cell phones and computers to archive important information. Not long ago I read a rather disturbing article about what is likely going to happen with much of the data that is being stored for an assumed posterity. What the author was keen to point out is that as computers evolve and hacking taking place in very big ways, the possibilities become all the greater for valuable family information to be polluted or possibly lost. Most people take photos with their cell phones and then download them into their computers. What will happen with that information on their computers should something happen to the hard drive and the owner of that computer doesn’t do a back-up on an auxiliary local back-up? It gets lost, and certainly the owner of the computer is distraught over precious photos and contact information un-retrievable. Now let’s take it a step farther. Some people have flash drives with information stored on them which is well and good, but more of the new computers coming out now don’t even offer a port to plug it in. So if one wants to download some information from an old flash drive, they’ll have to find someone who still has an older computer to which they can download.

I noticed even in the medical field much of the information concerning patients is not archived long enough to where if someone hasn’t been to their doctor on a regular basis, their information is likely gone due to the length of time the information was saved. Many of the government agencies don’t require a great deal information to be stored for any longer than ten years. State of the art libraries are likely some of the few who continue to stay up to speed in the safeguarding of information that has been digitalized.

Going on the internet looking for something that was either in a local newspaper or publication is oft times a shot in the dark when attempting to find pages that were written before the arrival of the age of information. As I’ve mentioned before, not all information that is found on the internet is true and accurate. Much may be true but its accuracy is questionable.

I’ve heard many times over the sad story of people’s e-mail account being compromised for some reason or other and having to open a new account. Too often they forget they have information stored in their e-mail account that’s found no where else. Someone called me a bit frantic several days ago in saying her cell phone fell in a pool and all of her contact phone numbers were lost, and to make matters worse, she was out of town when it happened. Too many of our younger generation rely far more on their computers and cell phones and completely forget about the, “what if?” scenario. I’m pretty much up to speed in driving down the information highway, but I do keep nearly all important information journaled via pen and paper. I do encourage everyone to slow down a bit and take time to keep information that they consider important to them archived by using a secondary source. It just makes sense to be more careful with critical data. I was given the opportunity today to take a photo of a daily business journal showing entries that were made back in 1848. I love looking at the old cursive handwriting. The photo above is of a page from it that is 167 years old. Great archiving!

Joe Chodur

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