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Re: "Digital Dark Age" -Reply

I did write that question, and that's not what I meant by it. The actual
bits-on-disk part of the CD-ROM equation are fairly well documented by
the rainbow books. However, what is still not being addressed by it is
what those bits mean. In the case of Audio CD, it's defined pretty
clearly by the original CD spec (16 bit pcm samples, 44.1khz). There is
the ISO 9660 standard for filesystems on CD, but that just gets us to
the file level.

Most of the "answers" so far have been lacking in various ways. Regular
migration to new formats is time-consuming, expensive and can loose
information. Distilling down to a least common denominator usually
looses information and makes the assumption that the format will be
supported. In some special cases, the format choices are pretty clear:
TIFF for images, PDF for complex artwork, and SGML for some text. But
other information it's much less clear (statistical datasets, GIS
information, CAD, etc.) And when all of these are combined, then what?

DT Fletcher wrote:
> In a message dated 2/17/99 7:32:24 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> jrininge@WPPOST.DEPAUL.EDU writes:
> << DT Fletcher wrote:
>  >
>   What about the next step? How do
>  we preserve the knowledge of how the content is encoded, and how to play
>  it back?
>  I don=27t know how to answer this. I=27d be interested in what people =
>  think. >>
> I never wrote the statement above, but the answer to how the knowledge of how
> the content is encoded is contained in a series of technical specifications
> called "books" There is Red Book for CD-ROMs and Orange Book for CD-R's and
> several other "books" these are open public specifications and are the
> reference standard for the entire CD industry.
> dt fletcher

Mark    -- http://www-personal.si.umich.edu/~handel
Handel  -- handel@umich.edu
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