An excerpt from ReliabilityConversation 2 of 3
Nilas Andersen You have your work on DVDs?
Ayham We have that on the record, now, by the way.
Bryce Wilner The disk drive is very rapidly being phased out…
Dan Yeah. I don't know if I can read those DVDs anymore. Also, DVDs get bit rot and have calibration issues.
Nilas I have all of my stuff online. Like every single digital file.
Ayham But not public?
Nilas Not public, no.
Dan On Dropbox, or something?
Nilas Yeah. DVDs are not public either.
Laurel Do you know where your actual servers are?
Nilas No idea.
Dan It's two o'clock.
Bryce That's a serious question, though, because I've heard stories of people archiving family photos. I forget the name of this one service, but it was used for archiving huge amounts of photos, and many people would use it for photos of their children. It went down for about a whole year, and people had no idea if they would get their photos back. For a lot of people, that service was their only storage. I’m super unsatisfied with leaving all of my work on Dropbox, so I try to do a combination. I do use Dropbox, but I also back up on a hard drive as well.
Daniel When I was younger, I used to upload all of my photos onto a Korean social media platform called Cyworld (portmanteau of cyber and world, I assume). Come to think of it now, it was probably my first digital archive, and I seemed to rely on it somewhat to retain all of that data for me. Once, I accidentally wiped my harddrive while trying to move files from an old laptop to a new one. I remember crying over all the photos I lost but also feeling relieved that many of them were 'archived' on my Cyworld page – a public platform intended for social interaction, rather than photo archiving. I totally forgot about this 'archive' of mine until the service went down for a couple of years, without much notice as to when or if it would ever come back online. I was in a place where I could potentially lose years of family photos because I relied to heavily on a platform I did not know would turn obsolete. I actually just checked and the platform is up again with all of my photos. But now I back up my work on an external drive, because I don't need to undergo the stress of having an online archive – the great 'cyber world', of all things – fail me. But then again, I'm always riddled with the anxiety of physical archives getting lost or damaged. I live with the perpetual fear of losing things, and data and files seem as important and lose-able as any of our other physical posessions in today's world. I'm always on the look out for what the best way to preserve my digital 'stuff' is.
Ayham Because, naturally, you’re very concerned about losing all of your work.
Bryce Yeah, for sure. I assume I will have researchers. Well, I hope I have researchers, and I want them to be able to access that stuff.
Matt Wolff Do you scan your own journals? Do you take whatever you have tangible and make a digital file?
Bryce Whenever I use my computer, I feel like I’m constantly archiving everything I’m doing. I’m taking screenshots all the time of whatever I’m working on. And I’m putting writing into my journal, but also some of that goes into Are.na and some of it goes into the notes on my computer.