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



On 1/22/04 7:09 AM, you wrote:

> In a message dated 1/22/04 5:24:36 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> karl@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> 
> << I'm not sure that I would call a PC an "open system". >>
> 
> Well, for sure, you're wrong.   The PC is entirely open.  Nothing about it is
> proprietary.  Which means; anyone in the world can build a PC-compatible
> computer. Can't get more "open" than that.
> 
> here are the facts:
> 
> end of argument!

Not to stir up a tempest in a teapot, but I don't think things are nearly
that black and white.

You seem to suffer from the very bias that you mention about Macs vs PCs.

A few years ago there was an excellent article in the New Yorker about the
problems of digital archiving at the Library of Congress, and the
never-ending migration to newer hardware readers and media formats. In that
article, the main problem was with media formats and hardware, and the
degradation of magnetic and other coatings over time.

However software is always part of that picture as well.

The endless evolution from floppies to diskettes, to SyQuest discs, tape
drives, and optical media (such as CD-Rs and DVDs) will continue to be a
problem. It will always be, as newer better technologies are developed. We
are fortunate that it is probable that standard CD-Rs might be with us a
little longer than the earlier media. But will they be in standard use in 20
years? It's very doubtful.

In the past, formatting media on a Mac might have been a problem. A PC would
not have been able to read it, though Macs have since the very early days
been able to read all PC formatted media. However for some time now, when
you burn a CD-R on a Mac, it is in a hybrid form, so that that CD-R can be
put into any PC CD drive and read as if it were a PC formatted CD.

The files themselves (usually image files when archiving) are saved on both
platforms as jpegs. These are not platform dependent. They can be read by
either PCs or Macs. Adobe's PDF file format is now the most commonly used
file format for multi-page documents, and again, can be read by either Macs
or PCs. So this whole "must archive on a PC" issue is really not relevant.

The discussions about the coating failures on CD-Rs or any other optical or
magnetic media is still the real issue, not whether a PC or a Mac was the
machine that burned it.

Changes in hardware will also of course be a problem but again, it isn't
really that much of a platform issue anymore. BTW, almost any external or
internal CD or other drive hardware can now be used on either Macs or PCs.
Firewire/IEEE 1394, USB or USB2, these are common to both platforms.

> 1) Any PC ever built, or ever will be built, has to be able to load DOS.
> It's that simple; if it can't load DOS it ain't a PC.
 
> 2) Anything you need to do with archiving can be done with a simple DOS system

DOS is a crude and antiquated OS, about as relevant at this time as a
Commodore 64,  but I know that is not your point. Soon, if not already, DOS
will no longer be part of any picture, PC or otherwise, as it too is phased
out. Who does use DOS anymore anyway? Perhaps you just used that as a point
about all PCs having a common heritage. But in the long run, nothing is
permanent in the world of software or hardware whether it be PC or Mac.
 
> PS: Using UNIX for archiving is about as smart as using 8" floppies.

I assume this is just hyperbole.

> Fact: There will never be a PC that can't load a copy of DOS - and run it.
> If it can't, it's not a PC.   Something that most Mac folks just can't seem
> to understand.

With all due respect, this is a bit of an arrogant statement.

Macs or PCs, in archiving it really doesn't make a lot of difference.


Phil



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