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Re: [BKARTS] CD-R longevity and recording techniques for archival recordings



On Wednesday, January 21, 2004, at 11:26 PM, DT Fletcher wrote:

<<That includes medium and format.>> .

 The actual low-level format of the CD does not and will not change.
Only
the higher-level format of the files (such as jpg, gif, txt, doc, as
so forth)
change.   Some standard formats, like jpg and txt, are fixed and will
never
change and will always be readable.  However, proprietary formats
(such as .doc,
pdf) change at the will of the owners ,  so, these would not good
formats for
use in archiving.   Same goes for the computer. Proprietary computer
systems
(such as Macs)  should not be used for archiving.  Only "open system"
computers
, such as PCs, should be used.

I'm not sure that I would call a PC an "open system". Remember that the hardware is just one piece of the complete picture. While PCs come from many manufacturers and their components are easily interchanged, the OS comes usually from a single source (Microsoft). And while you can run different versions of the OS on the hardware, you still need the software application (word processor, graphics program, etc.) to read the file format (e.g. jpg, tif, doc, etc.), and that software application will run only on a single OS for which is was designed.

Perhaps an even better platform than PC/DOS/Windows would be a Unix
variant such as Linux, as Unix will run on a wider variety of hardware
platforms than Windows. But still, the hardware and OS are just a
couple of the pieces -- you need to consider them all.

But I agree that an open file standard (e.g. text) is a *much* better
way to archive your files than a proprietary format (e.g. doc or pdf)
which will change over time. If plain text doesn't meet your needs
(i.e. you need formatting) then use XML.

-Karl

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