The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.Many genealogists believe that every bit of information should be printed on paper for long-term storage because "there won't be any computers available years from now that will still read today's electronic data." In Salman Rushdie's case, that is definitely not true.
In the 1990s, Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, KBE, used a variety of Macintosh computers and software, all of which are no longer available. He wrote much of his material in Claris Works, a word processor that has long disappeared from the scene. He read and wrote email in an early version of the Eudora email application. A current version of Eudora is still available today but the modern versions cannot read the messages stored by the much earlier versions from the 1990s.
Salman Rushdie recently donated all his material to Emory University which has since been building the Salman Rushdie Archives. The donated material includes 200 boxes of diaries and first editions, along with 18 gigabytes of digital data retrieved from four separate Macs. The paper material was easy to catalog and preserve but the digital material provided a challenge: how to preserve the information and also make it available in its original format to modern-day scholars. MARBL, Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, found a solution. In fact, similar solutions can provide extended lifetimes to your information and mine.
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