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Re: [AV Media Matters] Say Goodbye to Floppies

mwcpc6@aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 02/08/2003 9:55:22 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> jeffkreines@mindspring.com writes:
> >
> >  >I also use an Iomega Zip at 100 MB and a Castlewood Orb at 2.2 GB.
> I
> >  >use the
> >  >Zip for images and the Orb for backup.
> >
> >  Given how cheap other media are, I use CD-R for portability
> >  than
> >  a floppy) and another hard drive for backup (so fast and simple).
> >  don't trust Zip, Jaz, or Orb...
> Right now I am working with a four hour audio program and wish
> used
> DVDs.  However it is a lot easier to drag a 10K file to drive A than
> burn
> it onto a CD-R.
> I think there is a need for a low capacity transfer medium, just as
> there is
> for paper notepads.  I have hundreds of floppies stored with AV
> materials
> containing small text files with documentation so it will be available
> without retyping years from now if I need it.  Floppies are also used
> for
> small programs and batch files relevant to individual projects, stored
> in
> file folders and notebooks.  I will need a computer with a floppy
> for
> the foreseeable future.
> I've already been through this with 5-1/2" discs and it is an ongoing
> problem
> with them now.  It seems that the only way to retain information for
> extended time is to print it out and hope to always have available a
> good
> scanner and OCR program.
> The CD, being a consumer distribution medium, has some longevity for
> same
> reason as the 78 rpm record, 16 mm film, LP, and VHS tape. However for
> each
> generation the lifetime seems to get shorter.
> What is the best bet on the next medium and format that will stay
> current
> long enough to be used for long term storage?
> Mike Csontos

78 rpm turntables, VHS recorders, and floppy discs drives are still
available because of the very large installed base. I would expect the
same to be true for CD-ROM. There is an ongoing struggle over various
incompatible DVD recordable/rewritable formats, and it would be wise to
await the outcome in this area.

Long term storage cannot be achieved by put-and-forget. Tape, and
possibly film, should regularly be retensioned. Recorded information
should be periodically tested to confirm the absence of degradation, and
information must be transferred if significant degradation is detected.
Estimates have suggested that mass storage technologies have a 20 year
life cycle, therefore it may be necessary to transfer archival material
to newer formats over that time span, even though the information has
not degraded during storage.

Media Sciences, Inc.

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