Before we left the U.S. in a pickup truck, I scanned my letters to my parents from the 70s and 80s, carefully saved by my mother, and got rid of a small pile of paper. A few months ago, I turned those megabytes of scans into one 86 kb text file (and for the first time actually read the letters again – some useful insights).
Tracking book production for the last several years, I have accumulated 14.7 megabytes of documents. All jobs are complete, and paid for, and I realized I only care to preserve four bits of data: date, quantity, item, supplier. Which fits in a text file of 3,653 bytes.
Instead of five or six minutes, I can’t even blink in the time it takes to back up that information to a server halfway around the world.
Back to the future: text files.