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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Hello Richard,

you wrote a good argument for being more optimistic than I am and a generally 
interesting discussion. However, the greatest argument for some optimism was 
in a response to John Spencer,
in which you stated:

"The commercial digital repositories that I am aware of charge a 
per-chunk, per-time-period fee and if you don't keep paying your data 
goes to the bit bucket in the sky. The university systems I am 
familiar with have a higher cost-of-entry, but for a one-time fee 
they are storing your data in perpetuity"

A one-time fee is the closest we can get to an investment, and it is the  
counter-intuitive need to pay a subscription that I discussed. I am not 
really sorry that physical original artefacts disappear or fade out, but that 
replacement physical artefacts and replay devices with some durability are 
not made. I know that the market cannot supply at a cost that archives can 
afford, and that for this reason ever since digital started to skyrocket 
archives have been forced to use the cheapest, because it is mass produced.

On a similar issue: will some photographers begin to use the wet collodion 
plate, because they are bent on using the large formats, once ordinary 
photographic plates go out of production? Or will there be micro-brew, sorry 
platemakers, like for instance the small enterprise that now manufactures 
rubber ink reservoirs for the afficionado fountain-pen community?

If you have an unending supply of laborers (students) at low rate, migration 
from CD-R to CD-R, either monitored by detecting an increase in defects or 
just on a fixed cycle, and duplicating with separate locations would be 
feasible, not just as a stop-gap, but until the next system comes along that 
can also be dealt with manually. That is a different kind of perpetuation and 
the manual administration is heavy. 

The real awareness of our situation will only dawn on the general public when 
they discover that they have no familiy memories any more - photographic 
color prints will have faded, and nobody can reboot the family computer. So 
perhaps your long time constant in the feedback loop will finally pass enough 
energy that world-wide manufacture changes its course? Families would be 
better off if they printed color separations of their digital images as black-
and white laserprints and kept them dry. Laserprint is more durable than many 
digital audio systems we have seen.

Well, it is sad to know about the problems and to realize that it is a 
community issue, not a private issue how to solve them.

Kind regards,


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