QUESTION: My wife and I want to leave our grandson a record of photos, videos and family-tree data. Given the rate of change for all things digital, what media and file format should we use to futureproof it as much as possible? Pete
HELPROOM ANSWER: DVD is a good medium for storing data, readable by computers of all stripes and likely to be in use for many years to come.
While PC vendors may start to replace DVD drives with Blu-ray Disc drives and other types of optical disc drives, backwards-compatibility will enable DVDs to be read by the new drive.
The DVD-burning utility on your PC will be able to create such a disc.
If you want to give your grandson more than photos and documents to look at, assemble your media and add narration and/or music using Windows Live Movie Maker. Save the presentation in AVI format, then burn it to disc. AVI files can be converted and transferred to new media as needed.
Microsoft Photo Story is another option, offering a simple way to create striking slideshows with music.
Store your original files on a removable drive, separating them from your finished multimedia presentation.