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Re: Permanence of duplicating paper (A major digresssion)



 At 11:55 AM 10/30/96 -0600, you wrote:
 >Thus the arguement about outdated formats
 >being unreadable at a later date holds little water.

It holds buckets of water, in most cases, the data will outlast the
machinery required to read it. and this won't be resolved until there is
a perfect solid state data storage mechanism.

Example:

One council in England have all of their traffic
data for the 1960s/70s stored on an ICL CRAM deck ('Card Random Access
Memory' the magnetic equivalent to punch cards). Their reader fell to
pieces before the info could be duplicated onto current media, and I
might add also before they knew CRAM decks were obsolete and their
service contract was invalid. The nearest known functioning reader is in
Washington DC, in a museum. The curator will not allow it to be used to
transfer the data is he fears that the reader will cease to function before
the process is complete. The data is there, but no one can get at it.

How long will it take for this to happen to floppys/CDs etc?

Jon Farley


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