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Re: Bridges to the past; links to the future

At 02:33 PM 5/14/97 -0400, you wrote:
>On Sun, 11 May 1997, Jack C. Thompson wrote:
>> It is not at all obvious that archives or libraries will keep up with
>> technological change at a rate sufficient to preserve the information in
>> their care.
>That is the core problem and if you're not part of some association that
>works to ensure the continued and improved funding of these institutions,
>why are you giving computer people such a hard time?

Because there simply is not enough money to replicate an archive of any
major size every 8-18 months as standards and equipment change.  There is
simply not enough man-centuries available.

>> And it is not cheap.
>Its cheaper than having sky scrapers full of books.

Bullendproduct.  You try purchasing mass quanta of major hardware and
paying the tens of programmers and buying what sofware they cannot write.
The make such a specious claim.

>> There is a very simple relationship to keep in mind.  The MTBF (Mean
>> Time Before Failure) of electronic equipment (such as computers) is
>> measured in the thousands to tens of thousands of hours of work.  The
>> MTBF of competently manufactured paper is measured in centuries and
>> millenia.  No contest.
>If you could store the electronic data in a safety-deposit box and it take
>a multi-million dollar building to store the paper, there's "no contest".

Bullshit.  Electronically stored data is liable to the same hazards as
paper, PLUS many more that paper is not.  Ask NASA or JPL or the National
Archives about electronically stored data that is already being lost for
the very reasons that have been cited in this thread.

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