• SHARE

A computer-geek friend of mine recently posed an interesting problem to me: “If you wanted to save a document so that it was easily accessible 100 years from now, what format would you use?”

I thought for a while — will MS Word go the way of Word Perfect? Some of my earliest documents in that format are already difficult to open. And what of the storage medium? Floppy discs, once the industry standard, have become the 8-track cassette tapes of the information age. I suggested to my friend that an ASCII text-only document burned onto a CD-ROM seemed the best bet. “Wrong,” he answered with a wry smile. “If you really want to make sure people will be able to read the document in 100 years, write or print it on a piece of paper.”

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW