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Re: Permanence of duplicating paper (A major digresssion)

Peter Verheyen wrote:
 issues. CD's will not be acceptable for long term storage because of
> short life span, estimated at about 10+ years. That aside, for the

    That's a pretty low estimate, perhaps someone mixed up CD's with
tape or floppy medium, which are about 7-10 years. Optical should last
much, much longer, at least 25 years, probably more -- but we have no
way of knowing yet.

> information to be viable over longer periods of time, you would ahve to
> either use straight ASCII text or SGML, both of which are internationally
> recognized standards and non-proprietary. If you make a CD-ROM using

   I have never understood the reluctance in the archival community
towards digital storage -- other than the straight-out technophopia of
many older librarians, that is. It really doesn't matter what the
lifespan of a CD is ultimately, since once something is digitized, it
can be copied onto another medium so very easily, even back to paper or
to film, just (more or less) with the push of a button. The whole
process can be automated, with excellent error-checking builtin, and to
new formats as they arise. Thus the arguement about outdated formats
being unreadable at a later date holds little water.
   The only drawback I see for digital storage at this point -- and the
only real arguement in favor of film -- is that for other than text,
digital just can't even approach film in regards to color and
resolution. This will change, I'm sure. But as far as text goes, doing
new archival copying to film is ridiculous.

> anymore. DAT tapes are another great storage medium being able to hold up to
> 8GB (gigbytes) in some cases.

   DAT, being on tape, has a very short life.

> Then when the data is in digital form, it will need to be refreshed
> regularily and the medium of storage transfered to a newer one. Think

    Yes, but it's so easy to automate all that, once it's digitized. The
other major, major plus with digitizing, is that then the material can
be searched, word by word or bit by bit. You can't do that with film.
    Let's face it, libraries are so far behind the technology curve it's
pathetic. And I say this as a librarian, and a library automation
specialist, so don't flame me. 8-)

Harmon Seaver hseaver@xxxxxxx hseaver@xxxxxxxxxxx
The fundamental delusion of humanity is that I am in here -- and you
are out there.
Copyright, Harmon F. Seaver, 1996. License to distribute this post is
available to Microsoft for US$1,000 per instance, or local equivalent.

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