Preserving ancient media (was Re: VCFe Munich report)

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Mon May 12 18:23:00 2003

> > hard disk had headcrashed!. Why do people insist on transfering reliable
> > storage media onto modern, unreliable stuff? It's the same with
> > photographs and cine films -- people transfer them to CDs and DVDs. The
> > originals have a much longer life...
> True, but I doubt that Hans or any of the rest of us are planning on
> trashing the originals after they've been copied.

Maybe not on this list, but I have seen it happen far too often
elsewhere. People think the latest/greatest storage media must be more
reliable that something that's rather more ancient...

> I have been (slowly) copying off old TU-58 carts with VMS 3.x and VMS 4.x
> distros on them because, unlike paper tape, they _do_ degrade with age.

Equally, there are old storage devices that do decay with age, sure...

> I think the thing to remember is, just because you've transferred
> something from original media to "modern" (for the moment) media, you
> aren't off the hook forever. Those same copies will have to be
> copied to "modern" media at some point in the future. Depending on

I would never want to rely on this happening, simply because it won't
always happen. People forget, or they assume tbat nobody will ever what
'that old file'. And then it's lost for ever.

Received on Mon May 12 2003 - 18:23:00 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:15 BST