OT: Archiving data/video/movies/photos/oral history

From: William Donzelli <aw288_at_osfn.org>
Date: Mon Jun 5 20:45:32 2000

> I don't dispute that there are modern plastics that are very stable and
> have a long life. But I doubt that they're used in consumer-grade CD-ROM
> drives or VCRs.

They are, simply because the formulations have changed across the board.
You can't getthe bad plastics anymore, they just are long since out of
> Some are. Some aren't. In my experience, the ones used in consumer-grade
> stuff are not the latest plastics. They are neither stable nor
> long-life. Period.

Well, I made my point, and am not going to continue beating a dead horse.
> Well, it was a consumer-grade unit.

And how much did it cost? Probably a good week's pay...

> Plastic gears cracking and falling off. You think this is a non-problem,
> I've seen it happen far too often to trust it won't. Other plastic parts
> will fail due to stress. Adjustments (turntable height -> focus) will be
> lost.

No comment anymore.
> Chips failing due to :
> Thermal stresses cracking bondout wires (this happens in powered-down
> equipment)
> Contamination getting into the device/dopant migration (not common, but
> certainly possible after 50 years)
> Bit Rot. The microcontrollers may well use OTP EPROM or E2PROM program
> memeory. We worry about bit-rot in our classic computers. It's a
> problem in other devices as well

Uhhh...integrated circuit technology has progressed as well, and we are
not talking about cutting-edge fineline traces on the dies.
> Electrolytic capacitors, particularly SMD ones failing. This is a major
> problem in modern-ish camcorders, BTW. The problem is not replacing the
> capacitors (which are easy to get, well-understood, and thus could be
> made in 50 years time). It's that they leak a corrosive electrolyte which
> will make a right mess of the multi-layer PCB. Seen it happen. Seen it
> happen in modern devices.

And capacitor technology...

> No, not every device will fail, sure. But I think rather more will fail
> than you might think. And they will not be easily repairable.

I've made my point a few times over now, and this will be my last word on
the matter - and I don't want this to sound like a flame, but man, you
have to get a little faith in what mankind can actually accomplish. That
"world of tomorrow" and "technology marches on" stuff may actually mean

William Donzelli
Received on Mon Jun 05 2000 - 20:45:32 BST

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