A friend of mine told me (and I also have read something similar in the NY times) that digital supports like CD ROMs, DVDs have a life expectancy of just over 5 years... I mean they can last longer but their accuracy reproducing data can't be guaranteed. I was really shocked, all this excitement about the digital age, laser technology, perfectly cloning records, paper become obsolete. Even recent historical events in terms of their live recordings are threatened by this incredible weakness of digital supports. Are there really no alternatives? What does it mean in practical terms? Do we have to keep our records on hard drives (many of them) so that we can pass over data to new harddrives as they will inevitably fail (oddly enough even HDs are expected to last safely 5 years). Seems to me that the good old photo-negative film and vinyl plastic music LPs along with the ubiquitous paper book form are not about to disappear so soon.