Seen on RISKS-L

From: Eric J. Korpela <>
Date: Thu Mar 7 12:23:41 2002

>Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 09:51:50 -0000
>From: "LEESON, Chris" <>
>Subject: Metro: Time runs out for Domesday discs
>The BBC's 1986 Domesday Project (a time capsule containing sound, images,
>video and data defining life in Britain) is now unreadable. The data was
>stored on 12-inch video discs that were only readable by the BBC Micro, of
>which only a handful still exist. The time capsule contains "250,000 place
>names, 25,000 maps, 50,000 pictures, 3,000 data sets and 60 minutes of
>moving pictures.". The article notes that the original Domesday Book
>(compiled in 1086 for tax purposes) is still in "mint condition".
>[Source: London *Metro*, 01 Mar 2002]
>Additional comments of my own:
>The BBC Micro, along with the original Sinclair Computers, was the computer
>that sparked off the "computer revolution" in the UK. The BBC Micro was
>especially popular in schools, whereas the Sinclair computers were more
>popular in the home.
>To be fair, the 1986 Domesday Project was in the days before the really
>rapid changes in technology came into force - the BBC Micro was not a bad
>choice of platform then, especially when you consider that there were very
>few other choices available (50,000 pictures alone take up a lot of space).
>Moral/Risk: If you are wanting long-term data storage, the format is just as
>important as the materials.
>This is not a new problem - It has appeared in Risks before (RISKS-21.56:
>'NASA data from 1970s lost due to "forgotten" file format' for one...), but
>is worth keeping in mind. I still have an old Commodore 64/128 disk with my
>(very) old account details on it - not that I have a C64/128 any more. My
>permanent records, however, are the printouts.
>PS: "Domed... We are all Doomed..."
Received on Thu Mar 07 2002 - 12:23:41 GMT

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