[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [AV Media Matters] Long-term presentation: digital

Dear Joseph J. Wrobel
I am not in the AV business and only have a limited knowledge. I've been
in the document management business since 1968. For the last 12 years or
so both microfilm and digital media, primarily optical discs, have been
used to store business documents, vital records, etc. Our business like
AV has and still is having a difficult time dealing with the endless
technology changes and the chaos it causes.
Some years ago many of us separated the problem or document preservation
into it's two basic components.
1. The storage media
2. The storage methodology
Forget the media for a moment. Visual storage can be either human
decipherable objects or a technology dependent machine readable system.
Human-readable storage, has and always will have, guaranteed access to
content, for the life of the media, because humans ARE the access device.
Even if you don't have a projector, you can view it with a basic film
transport and a magnifier which, in a pinch, you could construction in
your basement with off the shelf parts. The ONLY reliable visual,
technology independent, preservation standard is storage as human
decipherable objects. That IS what gives permanence to human activity. A
good example are the 10,000 year old pictures on cave walls in Europe. In
the technology world, things are completely different, everything has a
time and place. Eastman Kodak poses the question. Does digital have a
future? Because, no doubt, there will be something beyond. Such as
biological imaging. But when that new storage system is in place and
digital is history, human decipherable media will be viewable.

Back to the media. In the document world we are lucky. Silver gelatin
polyester based microfilm is certified by ANSI to last 500 years and it
is cost competitive with digital media. I think the laws of physics will
allow Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa to produce color motion picture film that
lasts 500 years. I believe current film will last for 100 years plus when
stored in a controlled environment. I have no doubt someone will correct
me if I'm wrong. When 500 year plus motion picture film is available, I
believe it will be possible to digitize it, or biologically image it,
using the technology of the day.

In Summary
1. If long term preservation is required use a permanent access system,
the human being.
2. Store human activity as human decipherable objects and convert to the
technology of the day as required.
3. Use a long life 500 year plus media.
4. Talk to the film manufacturers about technology and manufacturing
efficiencies to reduce the cost of motion picture film.

Russ Burkel

On Fri, 22 Sep 2000 05:54:44 -0700 Joseph Wrobel <mediaguy@kodak.com>
>Is there any non-human-readable storage format for any type of
>which is generally accepted as usable for long-term storage?

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]