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Re: Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000



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          CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
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OK, so now you've got hundreds of copies that are readable today but
won't be readable tomorrow. So really, you're still out of luck. Those
hundreds of CDs will become unreadable in 10 or 20 years, and unless
someone has the foresight to transfer the pictures to new media before
that time then they will be lost. And since you've lost your original
source, well... you're hosed.

The answer really is to keep multiple copies of (near to) originals,
stored in multiple locations, but also stored on non-machine dependent
formats.

Yes, some technology lasts a long time (the wheel, etc.), but more
specifically for data storage any machine-dependent technology has
become obsolete in an incredibly short period of time.

Given library budgets I wouldn't expect that digitizing a library's
entire collection, then converting to new formats every 10 years, would
ever work. Information must be stored on long-lasting media and formats.

=======================================================================
Karl F. Best
karl@karlbest.com                "A Luddite with a Laptop..."
Chelmsford, MA



DT Fletcher wrote:

>             ***********************************************
>          CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
>           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.
>                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>
>             ***********************************************
>
>In a message dated 3/7/02 10:40:32 PM Pacific Standard Time,
>angelspawn@EARTHLINK.NET writes:
>
><< Being always mindful of magnets, voltage spikes, lightening, and EMPs
> (electromagnetic pulses) which can completely wipe out your data without
> chance of retrieval within seconds (unless it is an optical storage device
> which can still be melted or otherwise mechanically damaged). Just a happy
> little thought form a computer geeks' wife.
>
> Angela >>
>
>Sure Angela, buth that is not the type of endurance that I was referring to.
>Instead, the idea is that some technologies can last a longtime as a viable
>technology, ie, not all technology is destine to become obsolete.   One
>example would be the QWERTY keyboard. This standard keyboard pattern, by any
>measure, shouldl be long obsolete, but it continues..  Chances are, just
>about everyone will still be using the QWERTY keyboard as long as people have
>a need to use keyboards.   Thus, it would be correct to say that the QWERTY
>keyboard is a longlasting and enduring technology.
>
>The reason that i'm trying to make this  point is that it is common for folks
>to make the statement that ALL technology is destine to become obsolete, and
>especially for ANY form of digital technology, in a short period of time.
>
>Because digital storage technology requires some form of machine technology
>to read it; if the technology behind the choosen storage technology becomes
>obsoleter, it can become difficult or even impossible to retrive the data.
>So, technical obsolesence is a very valid concern.
>
>There have been many cautionay tales about poor folks who stored all their
>data on 9-track tapes and Winchester drives, 8" floppy disks, and, to their
>horror, can no longer read their data.  Unfortunately, these otherwise valid,
>cautionary tales are being used to transform the correct warning of: beware
>that digital technology CAN become obsolete, to, the incorrect warning of:
>beware ALL digital technology quickly becomes obsolete.
>
>My own cautionary tale: When I did the conservation on the archives of the
>Crosman Corp., I consulted with a professional photo conservator about the
>many 8" x 10" BW glossies.  I took all of his advice about mylar folders and
>special envelopes and boxes. But, I didn't take his advice when he protested
>(rather loudly in fact) about not bothering with doing a CD of the pictures.
>He said, "terrible idea, it will just become obsolete."
>
>Well, after preserving the photos and returning them to the company. I
>proceeded to sell several hundred copies of all the photos on a CD to
>interested collectors around the world.   Because of that, I can rest assured
>that these historically important photos willl never be lost.   What happened
>to the originals?  Due to a management change, they were all sent to the
>dumpster.  I ain't kiddin'.   A related note: t the World Trade Center was
>apparently used as an archive. I saw on TV where a firefighter found his
>graduation-class photo in the rubble.   I'll bet that those archives weren't
>digitized and stored on CDs in alternative locations.
>
>
>To be sure that my CD can be read by anyone (MAC or PC), all the files are
>either JPG, PDF (Acrobat reader included), or TXT files.  This CD is
>completely readable on every computer ever made  that includes some form of a
>CD-ROM drive.   Sure, it will take a machine to read the CD, but there are
>now billions of these machines and billions more to be made. Note that the
>cost of a standard CD drive (read only) is less than the cost of a single
>book.
>
>Yet, Angela, there are people who seriously state that, in just a couple
>years, it will be impossible to find any of these billions of machines!?
>They also seem to think that these machines, which we build in the billions
>today, are so arcane that nobody will be able to figure out how to build, let
>alone operate, one of them in the future!?   And why are they so sure of
>this?  Well, of course, because the 8-track tape became obsolete (?).
>
>I thoroughly enjoyed a CSPAN segment on the Library of Congress and their
>one-of-a-kind collection.  The head of the library answered the question
>about digitizing the collection.  He said that nothing has been done because
>there is a concern about standards. Great. Terrorists make a direct hit on
>the library and we lose our history because people are afraid of digital
>technolgy.
>
>Regards,
>Dean Fletcher
>
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