There were a few exciting projects around here at R Cubed Networks before The Digital Lifestyle. Sadly, their time has passed, and they only exist on a few hard drives living in the closet. However, final cut pro guru Larry Jordan has sounded the warning bells about archiving to hard drive.
In his September newsletter, Jordan said he has talked to hard drive engineers, indicating the lifespan of data sitting on an unplugged drive may be much shorter than we thought:
According to what I've been told, the life-span of a magnetic signal on a hard disk is between a year and a year and a half. The issue is complex, as you'll see, but this is a MUCH shorter shelf-life than I was expecting.
The way to keep the files on your hard disks safe is to connect the hard drive to your computer every six months or so and, ideally, copy all the files from one drive to another. Failing that, use a program like Micromat's TechTool Pro, or ProSoft's Drive Genius, to do a complete scan of your hard drive. Doing so will replenish any magnetic signals that are starting to fade.
If you'll excuse us, we have some data moving to do...