code base is safe
That’s a very dangerous assumption to make.
After HP dropped the semi-official support Compaq had been giving to the iPaq Linux project, control fell to a loose group of hackers (as opposed to “engineers”) who, like many hacker communities, were entirely focused on the new development they considered “fun”. Not long after, the archives of earlier releases of the software started disappearing from the project website. Since all my iPaqs are older models purchased off ebay, I was basically, and instantly, screwed: support for many older models had been dropped from new versions, and the memory requirements had grown such that backporting was not even possible. If I hadn’t already downloaded the code for an particular app that I hadn’t foreseen needing/wanting, and couldn’t find an online copy that someone hadn’t gotten around to purging, I was out of luck.
I’ve had similar problems with other open-source projects, partly because one of my particular interests is in “re-purposing” old hardware. People who are driven by the urge to advance the state of the art often don’t care much about keeping track of where it used to be. That’s why $DEITY gave us document control clerks: to annoy the creative folks with demands that they keep good records, so they can build something to reproduce problems when last years’ super-cool automated laundry facility suddenly starts starching the customer’s underwear
CD/DVD writers and recordable media are real cheap these days. Next time you see a Microsoft commercial encouraging you to put all your goodies “in the cloud”, you should remember what happens to clouds when the sun comes up or the wind gets strong.