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Re: Bridges to the past; links to the future

>> Be realistic, any mechanism of information storage that is not directly
accessible to humans is not practicable. If we have to rely on a machine
interface we are being held to ransom by the manufacturers who don't
care about preserving for posterity, but forcing you to continually
upgrade and help them turn a quick profit. <<

  You're still missing the point. The ease of copying it to a different
format -- even if it's back to paper, or to microform, or whatever, is
what makes digitization the perfect archival method. Obviously the
archive/library is going to be using some sort of newer technology, as
the old stuff becomes obsolete, and the copying and error correction can
be pretty easily automated at no real expense, so there's no excuse for
not doing it. Optical writers are now down around $400, cheap enough
that any place actually doing archiving can afford one. And I have no
idea where you're getting the figures of optical only lasting 5
years?????? That's a bit absurd.
   At least as far as library archives are concerned, the arguement is
essentially microform vs. digital. Paper doesn't enter into it really,
since the stuff being archived -- such as newspapers -- isn't going to
last long enough to even think about it.  Microform only lasts if you
don't use it -- and even then not that long. Are you suggesting we use
microform instead of digital? The example of the outdated card reader
simply points up the incompetence of the company's management, eh? Any
company that lets themselves get in that position deserves their fate, I
guess. It's pretty funny really, probably would play well as a sitcom or
comic strip. Maybe they should try clay tablets instead. 8-)

Harmon Seaver hseaver@xxxxxxxxx http://www.zebra.net/~hseaver
"Facts an' facts, an' t'ings an' t'ings: dem's all a lotta fockin'
bullshit. Hear me! Dere is no truth but de one truth, an' that is
de truth of Jah Rastafari."   -- Sir Robert Marley, 1978
Copyright, Harmon F. Seaver, 1997. License to distribute this post is
available to Microsoft for US$1,000 per instance, or local equivalent.

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