HappySnapper90 wrote in post #17388303
...provided you continually move digital files onto accessible storage locations (remembering passwords and internet sites not shutting down) and convert to current file formats. Prints in a box will be readable in 30 years while a USB hard drive will not!
Actually maintaining your data is kind of implied there. The point of keeping digital copies is that they are easy to migrate to modern media. You can just give the proper commands to the computer for the storage methods you're using, and then just walk away. Multiple copies get transferred to the new media and checked for errors, and you don't even have to be there.
As for reading old media... Well, you are really underestimating legacy support. The bigger issue isn't whether or not you have the hardware and system to read the media, but rather whether or not the media itself was able to remain stable for that length of time. I've often heard people say "You can't read floppy disks anymore, because no one has a floppy disk drive!"... Seriously, 3.5" external drives can be had for $15-20, brand new in the box, and produced in the last 5 years. Yes, they are Still in production, because people still have old floppy drives kicking around with data they need to try and pull off them.
5.25" drives are harder to come across, but many of the disks are still perfectly readable. And it has only been a few years since floppy drives controllers were still the norm on modern motherboards. Seems they've finally been dropped by a good chunk of them, but it isn't that hard to find a way to read legacy hardware if you actually want to.
If you had invested in some 'new-fangled-state-of-the-art-gadget' that then never actually really caught on, then you might have more problems. But even tracking down a working zip drive isn't impossible.
However I have many photos that are less than 30 years old which are completely ruined. Many more of them were lost than what I've lost in digital files, in part because I could back the files up and move them around without thinking about them, or caring what was actually in the files. Box of old photos however? Sat in a closet for years without anyone thinking of them, and had a container of something leak, which ruined the whole box of them.
Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500