Long-term storage of files is difficult (and pretty boring to blog about)

So, I haven't had motivation to do any real work today. To feel productive, I spent time reorganizing all of my files, and moving them around between my server, laptop, desktop, and NAS (a NAS is a special computer used just to store files). I spent the last 30 minutes writing a post about what a pain-in-the-ass storing digital memorabilia is, but then I got bored. And if I get bored writing about it, there's no way in hell that anyone will want to read a big long post on it. So, to summarize, hard drives can die, computers can be stolen, and files can spontaneously go bad because cosmic rays (and god hates you).

I'm not actually kidding about that last part, not the god hates you part, but the files spontaneously going bad part. There's a thing called bit rot which is exactly what you think when you think about anything rotting; one day it's fine, then you take a close look at it, and see that it has decayed into something gross or unusable. Basically, long-term storage of documents and media is usually iffy, since often you won't know something has gone wrong until you need a file, and can't open it in your favorite application. There are ways to protect against this, but they are somewhat complicated, expensive, and difficult/annoying to set up for your average computer user. If you are feeling geeky, and care about how to protect against bit rot, go look up ZFS (the file system) on Wikipedia.

I was going to write more, but I just realized that all of my roommates have gone to their rooms for the night, and the last time I saw my guide dog Simba, he was sleeping on Rob's bed. I'm going to go grab the wooden sword that I bought last weekend with my friend Will at the flea market (a very long story, don't ask), and bust down some doors to rescue my puppy!

Sean

p.s. See, Nicole? I told you it wouldn't be long before I mentioned Simba in the blog.