I retired recently after 40 years in Public Library work, so I have an almost instinctive concern for preservation of information. The incident cited about reading a 3.5 inch floppy is really relevant. Imagine trying to read a 5.25 or 8 inch floppy! So many of my friends and even some professional colleagues never print their digital images, nor do they have even the most primitive backup strategy. When their laptop hard drive fails, as it will sooner or later, all those family pictures are probably gone. Cellphone pix? Forget it!

We will probably never leave those archetypal shoe boxes of family photos to our descendants. I treasure the photos my father took in the 30s, 40s and 50s; he processed the negatives himself and they're just fine.

And the problem isn't limited to pictures. My daughter has had two volumes of her poetry published by university presses, on acid free paper, but her chapbook is only in E-book format. How long will that be available? And how many of the youngsters out there understand the problem, or even give a damn.

And at the risk of seeming even more of an old fart, audio CDs have an unknown life span. I have a few of the first vinyl CDs ever made and they're still playable, although pretty noisy! Analogue is perhaps forever.... Digital is another matter.