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Re: [ARSCLIST] Article about digital archiving in the NY Times

At 11:43 AM 2008-04-09, Bob Olhsson wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From Marcos Sueiro Bal: "..."Economic sustainability is the new mantra of
those who would preserve
digital data"..."

This, after all, IS the Achilles' heel of digital media. It totally depends
on technology that is only affordable when mass produced and that
historically has generally become obsolete within a few short years. We
can't play the first decade of digital recordings.

Hi, Bob,

That is very true and at issue there was that the data was stored in a proprietary format, not a generic format. What we are doing now is moving media storage into generic storage. While I may have trouble reading some 360 kB floppies from my original IBM-PCXT, I do not worry, because long ago, I went through a floppy blitz and burned them onto a CD. I did not have the 1800 or so floppies that would fit on one CD.

Later, when I moved into mass disk storage which I've discussed at length here as a possible model for other users (currently 3 TB of storage with multiple copies of each (total disc capacity is about 7 TB)), I simply copied that one CD into a folder on the drives in an overall "archives" folder.

While I may have difficulty accessing some of the early word processor and spreadsheet files because of software obsolescence, none of the TXT or JPG files from that era are any harder to open than they were at that time -- in fact, they are much easier to open as we're not waiting for floppy disks to click-click-whirr-chugg.

I only see it easier moving forward. The contents of my disparate storage appliances at multiple locations will all nicely fit into one storage appliance a generation or two down the road and when it comes time for the children to set up their own homes, a RAID array or similar device will carry all the digital family memorabilia with them I suspect 1 TB or at the most 2 TB will be all we'll need for the slide collections, the scrap books, etc. While I'm not disposing of my originals, it's nice for the kids to have their own, high-quality copies--the whole thing sitting in less than one foot on one shelf with an ethernet port and a power cord (UPS extra).

I think we needed the dedicated formats (like Soundstream, Mitsubishi X8x, and Sony DASH) to kick-start the digital industry, but I think that now that we've moved into commodity storage, that will be something that, in some form, will be available for the foreseeable future.

What used to cost a fortune to store is now peanuts.



Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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