In reply to this posting:
> I suggest that which ever format you plan to use,
> include the installation for the viewer on the backup media. The adobe
> pdf reader is just over 6 meg currently, and likewise include a tiff
> and ASCII viewer as well if required. This way you shouldn't have to
> be concerned with the proprietary nature of the files, and you will
> always be able to view them. This will reduce the space you have on
> each CD or backup tape a little, but can ensure very limited hassles
> when attempting to retrieve the documents from storage.

Well, this solves the problem only for as long as the computer
platform currently in use is backwards-compatible with the platform
used to produce and store the documents.

It does not resolve the longer-term issue of retrieving and reading
or viewing documents when the original platform is a very dim memory.
Remember Wang VS? Someday, in the not-too distant future, it will be
"remember Microsoft Windows NT?"

Part of the issue here is the tendency of the computer industry to
view the "very long term" as next year.

Best regards.

Frederic J. Grevin,
Technology Coordinator
The City of New York, Department of Finance
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The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the policy of the City of New York