Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Wed Aug 11 12:50:24 2004

On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Paul Koning wrote:

> The point of the question: what assumptions are you making about the
> people who are trying to read your archive N years from now? Are they
> assumed to be using computers? If so, what kind?
> To look at it differently -- if you handed someone a CDROM, and a
> stack of standards describing it (ISO 9660, the Red Book, etc.) but no
> computer and no CDROM drive, is that person likely to have enough
> information to recover the data on the disk? I expect the answer is
> "no, not even close".

Well, that's hard to say really. Whose to know what technology people
will have access to in the future? Whose to say they will be speaking any
language we use today? There are a lot of ifs. All we can do is make a
standard and live by it, and then hope its useful to future generations.

> >> (See also www.longnow.org)
> Vintage> Is there a specific section you want to refer me to?
> It's all worth reading, but
> http://www.longnow.org/10klibrary/library.htm seems directly relevant
> to the discussion.

I read that, and I understand the concerns expressed. But a first step is
to actually develop a universally recognized format to archive the data
from various media into. The hard part is coming up with either a
technology that can last millenia, or a system that is foolproof and will
make sure the archive data is propagated throughout generations.

I'm focusing right now on the easy part.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 12:50:24 BST

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