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[filmscanners] Re: Archiving???!!!

I think the problem with changing specifications on CD-R/RW drives,
burning software and the disks themselves is a dirty little secret that
the industry doesn't like to talk about.

I understand that some of the improvements in speed and such required
changes of writing techniques, but I'm afraid some people are going to
be very disappointed when they discover their disks no longer read in
their newer equipment. With this occurring in literally a couple of
years, what does the future hold in terms of being able to access
archived materials?

It has been one of the areas that made me nervous about the digital
realm on image storage.

I envision people coming upon stacks of unlabelled disks when settling
estates with parents and such and having no idea what is on them (and
maybe not even being able to access them).  Are they letters, old
emails, back up commercial software, dirty pictures and movies, family
images, old web sites, etc.

At least with film, you encountered a box of prints or negs or slides,
and with a light source you could pretty much figure out what you were
looking at.  And the promise of the great digital archives are rapidly
being put into question.  The storage media doesn't hold up, the devices
change, etc.  The slides I took on Kodachrome film in 1974, kept in dark
storage, look pretty nearly identical to the day they were processed, 30
years ago.  I haven't needed to make triple copies, nor have to upgrade
the storage media 20 times.

And even if a neg was to get scratched or damaged, that is repairable.
However, a slight scratch on a CD may make it completely unreadable.

I suspect a lot of artwork, or all sorts, literature, poetry, images,
drawings and graphics will be lost as it lingers of slowly degrading
storage materials, or is swept away when hard drives are wiped clear or
crushed for scrap metal.

Yes, I do recognize that hundreds of Van Goghs were destroyed, cut and
sued to patch holes in plastic at boarding houses he left them in, etc,
but at least the people who did it knew they were paintings, even if
they had no idea what their value would be in the not so distant future.

If I were to "go ghost" today, I suspect a great deal of my digital
artwork would be lost forever, although the files of prints, slides and
negs would be immediately recognized.  The same will hold true, maybe
even more-so for family snaps taken with digital cameras.

It's all a bit scary.


Jim Couch wrote:

> Brad and others,
> Your expereince points to a tip I have heard elsewhere - keep your older
> CD drive on hand to read old discs. I did so and am very thankful I did.
> I have about 20 archived discs at work that our new computers will not
> read. I am in the process of recopying them to new discs. I read them on
> the old drive and burn new discs on the newer drives so that I can
> access them as needed. I think this may become a common task. The
> information from you, Art, and others may help in makeing the new copies
> more reliable and useable in the future.
> Jim Couch

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