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Re: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?

Respectfully, I agree with much of the below but there are some  things I
disagree with.  I work for a company that was involved in a major lawsuit.
At the time of "discovery" I worked for the IT department and watched the
furious scramble to comply with the subpoenas issued for the backed up data.
They had been using stuff that was 'industry standard', but within less than
10 years, they had difficulty finding a combination of
a) reader
b) computer
c) operating system
d) device driver
that would let them extract the data, AND communicate it to a printer or
other digital data system

Recently I resurrected (or tried to ) an old Win 95 machine (5-8yrs old).
Even though nothing had been done to it, other than move the boxes from one
house to the other, it would not boot.  I got it to boot using Linux, but
that of course meant reformatting the boot drive, and since it no longer is
the original OS, the other device drivers may or maynot work (one hard drive
just would not spin up and the floppy drive was so out of alignment it would
not read any floppies).  So unless you want to become an electronics repair
technician this isn't a viable alternative.  And this is the problem with

CDROMs are susceptible to 'bit rot' - what happens is that exposure to any
sort of light results in degradation of the plastic protective coating.  The
more use, the more the damage.  So even if there are no scratches, that
coating can, and does, become optically opaque (I suspect that atmospheric
oxidation does this as well).  Some studies have shown that as little as 5
years of sitting in an optical jukebox can cause enough bit-rot that stored
source code will not compile without errors.

I haven't seen studies on  CDRs and CDRWs but I suspect they are more
vulnerable to this.  The same 'fogging' applies to DVDs of all forms (though
perhaps the plastic formulations have improved).

Removable IDEs have the problem that they are fragile, and the docking bays
may or may not be supported by the OS flavour (yes in theory IDE is IDE, but
it doesn't always work out that way).

So for a 20 year archive, I would print to 2 CDRs and keep the original negs
in a cool-dry place (in essence that is what Corbis is doing with the
Betteman archive).

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Kehl - Kvernstoen, Kehl & Assoc." <BobKehl@kvernkehl.com>
To: <filmscanners@halftone.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?

> My long and detailed comments are below.
> BK
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Mark Edmonds <mmje@mmje.demon.co.uk>
> To: <filmscanners@halftone.co.uk>
> Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 1:01 PM
> Subject: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?
> > Basically, I am looking for a long term (20 years+) storage medium to
> > archive my scans on. I don't have faith in CDR and tapes are also prone
> > long term problems so the only solution I can see is a magneto optical
> disk.
> I'm curious, why do you trust MOD more than CDR?
> MOD will probably never become standard nor inexpensive.
> > Another problem is that it is all well and good to have a bomb proof
> medium
> > but it is no good if no one makes the hardware to read it in a few years
> > time.
> It really doesn't matter if anyone else has the hardware, as long as you
> As an example, although perhaps a poor one.  I have some programs and data
> on 5.25" floppy disks from 17 years ago.  During one of many computer
> upgrades about 8 years ago 5.25" disks were no longer a standard.  I kept
> old machine with a 5.25" drive (although I could have installed a 5.25"
> drive in a new machine) . The point is: if I want the data I can transfer
> to 3.5" floppy disks or transfer it through my home office network to a
> machine and put it on whatever medium is currently popular.  The only
> inportant issue is that I must keep these disks refreshed because they are
> magnetic and I must transfer them to some other medium prior to disposing
> of, or failure of, the 5.25" drives.
> >
> > So is there a clear cut winner out there? The two affordable options I
> > looking at are either the Iomega Optical drive or the Panasonic DVD-RAM.
> The
> > Iomega seems to support a format which has some penetration in the
> > but the DVD-RAM looks like it might not have got very far. I am running
> > NT4.0 by the way.
> CD-ROM has been around for a very long time. It took along time to catch
> CD-R and CD-RW caught on quickly only because CR-ROM had been with us for
> long.  DVD-Video and DVD-Ram are both new in comparison to CD formats.  As
> the cost of drives and media continue to drop DVD-RAM in some format or
> other will no doubt be the standard to replace CD-ROM and CD-R.  Iomege
> probably gain a foothold in specialized markets as they have with their
> and Jaz formats, but because their formats are proprietary they will
> probably never replace DVD formats.
> I've done a bit of research on storage media.  Here are my thoughts:
> CD-R is currently the cheapest format for long term storage.  If your
> storage needs can be met with CD-R it is probably your best low
> choice, as long as you can afford the time involved with burning CD's.
> you be sure to keep a CD drive or two available when their popularity
> ceases, if ever.
> DVD-RAM, although currenty more expensive, provides more storage per disk.
> If you need vast quantities of storage (for 4000dpi 8/16 bit TIF files
> perhaps) this is a very viable low maintenance choice. This is also
> time consuming, as writing DVD-RAM is painfully slow.  You will also want
> be sure to keep your particular format drives available should they ever
> discontinued in the future.
> Removable IDE hard drive storage is a higher speed solution for high
> storage.  It is much less time consuming but requires more maintenance and
> attention.  It is about as expensive as DVD, but much faster.  60GB IDE
> drives are now selling for about $150.  That's about $2.50 per MB.
> Removable hard drive frames are about $15 each and the cartridges that
> the hard drives are about $10 each. Hard drive storage is, at least, as
> reliable as any other magnetic medium as long as it is removed from the
> machine and stored properly.  One solution would be to archive to a
> removable IDE hard drive and copy to a second removable hard drive for
> redundancy.  Remove both and keep them properly stored.  Refresh them
> couple of years to ensure data integrity by running scandisk (PC) or some
> similar utility.  Another solution would be to set up an inexpensive
> raid array to automatically keep a redundant copy of your data on line.
> This is the most hassle free but involves a slight risk, should lighting
> strike or some other catastrophy take out your entire machine.
> As hard drive costs are dropping as quickly, or more quickly, than other
> media, I feel this is the best solution for those who want hassle free,
> speed, high volume storage.  Like DVD it is getting less and less
> but is not for the faint of wallet.  : )
> For me paying $150 for 60 GB of storage is pretty painless since I
> not that long ago (for some of us) paying $1000 for a 10 MB hard disk.
> I said 10 MEGA bytes.  It was new technology in 1984.  Most people only
> 2-5 MB hard drives.
> Way more than my US $0.02 worth!
> Bob Kehl
> Principal
> Kvernstoen, Kehl & Associates
> Star Prairie, WI  54026
> bobkehl@kvernkehl.com
> Check out our website: www.kvernkehl.com


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