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Re: Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000



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Karl wrote:

>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.

        Obsolete is different than unusable.  Victor 10-inch Opera
Records and 3 minute 12-inch discs, even Edison's cylinders, are
obsolete but they are not unusable.  They may be fast approaching
decay, but until they rot away or break they can be made to work.

Yes, making then work may destroy them, they are old.  Old things
have a tendency to break down, quite literally sometimes.  This is
not to say that the technology is unusable.  It's obsolete.  No one,
for commercial reasons, would choose to record on a cylinder.
There's no market.  But one could choose to construct a new player
and create fresh cylinders the technology is usable.


In my opinion what DT Fletcher is trying to say is that the
technology to read a CD from 1996 will be long lasting, even easily
recreated in the future.  Much like Edison's cylinders today.

While that may be correct, again like the cylinders, the CD's
themselves will become obsolete.  There will be future technologies
that will out preform the CD, the CD format will loose market share
and over time fade away.  LP's were doing the same for a while.  They
continue to hold and some artists are choosing to record to vinyl.
But fewer today than 30 years ago.  I imagine fewer still in the next
30 years.

The technology will be come obsolete not unusable.

My original purpose in posting the story was, quite simply, humor.  I
found the amount of shortsightedness accompanying an event of such
magnitude quite amusing.  I'm just glad it wasn't my decision not to
transfer to more up-to-date media, or at least purchase more viewers.


Karl also wrote:

>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.

DT Fletcher also made the point that propagating the information is a
key to it's survival.  I think he right here.  The more copies that
exist the greater the chance that the information will last.  This
would be especially true today with our overnight global reach.  It
would take a world wide calamity to destroy a digitized library that
had been copied and shared all over the world.

Imagine if some of history's greatest libraries had been copied
wholesale and distributed throughout the world.  Chances are we would
be able to piece together any information that hadn't survived whole
and intact.

I know the argument to CD storage is that once it's scratched it's
unreadable.  But if there are 2000 copies and all are scratched what
are the chances that they are all scratched in the same place?  I
would be willing to bet that someone could figure out a way to
capture information from a damaged CD and with multiple damaged
copies create one whole copy.


To review:

Point A - CD's will become obsolete, but not unusable.
Point B - Digitizing a library and spreading it throughout the world
is, today, the surest way to keep it alive (assuming proper handling
such as routine backups, etc.).


Thanks for your time.  Good night.

- Duncan
--
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     "All my life I wanted to be someone;
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   Duncan   http://www.campbell-logan.com

        Campbell-Logan Bindery, Inc.
              Minneapolis, MN
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