Rhapsidiomite wrote:It's an interesting argument, and I'm still not convinced that one format is necessarily better than another...just different and serving different purposes.
I think that is what RussellHltn and I were saying, was that we have both medias but both have different pros and cons. As you pointed out, standards are getting more and more established. (PDF for example can read a 1.0 doc or a 7.0 doc and render is the same every time, XML possibly will become a universal standard in storing information in a database type form.) Of course there are always going to be the propiertary formats, but then you just need the program to convert it into a standard.
As for the media problem, most information on the old magnetic floppies will be too far degenerated by the earth magnetic field in 10 years so now is the time to get that information off them, or find something that will refresh them (ie copy the information off the disk and copy it back onto the disk).
Of course you could just print out the documents and then you'll have them for the rest of your life and probabily a few generations beyond. And if you need them digital again you can OCR them and get them back, though that can take awhile.
Now for a slight change that has been happening. All my bank statements are sent to me digitally. All my school information is digital. All my work statements are digital and the money is direct deposited. Even my taxes and some of my tax info is on-line. Some of these things you are to keep for a few years too, but it is all digital so you just save it to your favorite storage media. So for information that is semi-short term it world is moving towards a digital approach, while long term storage (like a few generations) it is stored in both paper and digital formats.