File format hell

18Jul07

BBC NEWS | Technology | Warning of data ticking time bomb

The growing problem of accessing old digital file formats is a “ticking time bomb”, the chief executive of the UK National Archives has warned.

If everyone spontaneously started using OpenOffice and LaTex, we could all use free software and open formats today. But since Word’s .doc is a standard, it’s costly to use those formats — conversion is imperfect and despite the fact that OpenOffice and LaTeX are free and Word is expensive, most computers have Word installed, but neither OpenOffice nor LaTeX…

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