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Re: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?



There was an interesting article in "Scientific American" magazine six or
eight years ago about the problems of storing digital data.  They cited, as
I remember, three challenges:  The permanence of the storage medium, the
availability of media-reading hardware, and the availability of software to
interpret the digital files.  They used the example of someone a century
from now finding a CD in an old trunk in the attic with the attached note:
"Enclosed is the secret to finding the fortune I buried."  Even if you could
resurrect a CD reader, there would be the problem of deciphering that long
string of 1's and 0's.

For a number of years, my printing company produced a catalog for a funeral
supply business.  The main catalog was printed every five years or so, and
about half the pages picked-up from the previous catalog (with changes), and
about half were new.  Over the period from the mid-60's to the late-80's we
used the following composition systems, all after the second one
incompatible with the previous systems:
1.  Letterpress-printed hot-metal forms (before my time)
2.  Repro-proofed hot-metal forms photographed and printed offset.
3.  Art-boards created by a paper-tape-driven VIP phototypesetter.
4.  Art-boards created by a magnetic-medium driven Quadex system.  (What did
it use, 8" disks?)
5.  Art-boards created by a magnetic-medium-driven Linotype 202
6.  Art-boards created by a Lino 300 or 330 using another completely
different programming language.

About that time we lost the job to another printer, so we didn't have to go
through the problem of converting digital files from whatever version of
whatever program stored on whatever medium that was popular five years
previously.

So getting an archival medium is only a third of the problem.  What happens
in 10 years when no one uses TIFF files anymore.

Preston Earle
PEarle@triad.rr.com
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I have little use for a man who can't spell a word but one way.---Mark Twain




 




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