"It's a scary thought. Computers have completely usurped pencil
and paper. We all store our precious family pictures and important
data on our computers and some of us go the extra step of securing
this data from prying eyes through encryption, obscurity or at
least strong passwords. Some of us manage data for others, too. Say
you manage servers or websites. Would your family be able to get
data to clients? Would they even know where it existed on your
machine? Would your family know that as a webmaster there are many
memberships you belong to or forums, chat groups, etc? Would your
family be able to tell which of the 5 versions of patches and
upgrades you have stored in each project's sub-directory was
current or even applied?
"As I age (40-something) I begin to consider the difficulties my
own family would have in the event of my death. Ours is a typical
household in that all Mumma and the kids want to do is happily
compute and not bother with the details. Sure, it kills me a little
but I accept it and we're all better for it ;) However, in our case
we have maybe 15 years of data stored on various devices and media
and sometimes it's encrypted. At the very least some data is
archived and password protected, even on the cds I burned it to.
Speaking of cds, would your family know that the expected life of a
cdrom is ~ 10 years?"