After the pole shift, we can be sure that the whole PC industry and the IT industry as we know it will be gone, as well as any paper mills. Whatever we want to use, we need to stock in advance. This will not be cheap. Forget old 286, 386 and 486 PCs. Make certain the PCs and your software are Y2K certified. (No problem if you purchase them now or after Y2K.) Mainframe technology and high-end servers will be gone. Your best bet for survival will be industry strength PCs. For making it through the pole shift, laptops will be best. For durability after the PS, desktops will be best (if you can create the stable power required). No light laptops, no cheap Radio Shack PCs etc. except for spare parts. Modular systems based on SCSI or multi-bay laptops are the best. If you want to use one type of PC only, go for laptops. Buy plenty of additional batteries (and I mean plenty). If you want to go for desktop PCs in addition, you need 3 copies of each technology. Two laptops and one desktop is a poor choice.
Diskettes are out. Anything you want to save for the after-time, use 2 x 3 (yes, two times three) different copies. 2 CDs, 2 Hard-disks (I currently have 5.5 Gigabytes on my PC) and 2 DAT tapes. Remove the disks from the PCs. Modern disks park the heads automatically. Keep the original boxes for the disks. Normally, disks are not very well shock-proofed. Add shock-proofing insulation. Store your CDs, disks and tapes in 3 different places. Remember that if your PC technology fails, you will have no way of recovering the data. Harddisks, tapes and CDs wear out. Use only fresh components. Verify the component, store whatever you want stored, pack it away. Seal it watertight. Test your water protection in a river, pool or whatever. Better to lose a component now when you can buy and prepare a new one. Beware of magnetic influence on your disks and tapes. CDs are not subject to magnetism, but contrary to normal belief, they wear easily, especially the ones you record yourself.
There could be two different usages for binary recordable media:
For knowledge preservation, do not attempt to open or use the recorded media after the pole shift. Store your own reference and knowledge preservation copies together, so that you will have a good idea of whether the media survived by using your own reference copies. If your PC equipment fails, you should still watch over the recorded media like crown jewels. PC technology should not be your primary means for knowledge preservation, it is too fragile. This is for backup only.
Offered by Jan.