archiving as opposed to backing up

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Wed Sep 22 18:32:54 2004

On Tue, 2004-09-21 at 02:05, John Foust wrote:

> Today's backup problems will be tomorrow's preservation problems,

"Permanent" media (fiche, paper) are only part of the solution; none of
it's any good if you can't find it! Only one copy of the Dead Sea
Scrolls was found, and it is I think partially ruined; Archimedes
'Method' became a palimpsest, and few scholars are going to make that
much effort to recover Mary Programmer's scribblings.

I imagine something like a National Archive where every citizen was
allocated 6 cubic inches of deep vault, environmentally controlled
permanent storage plus indexing service, written into the U.S.
Constitution as an amendment. A 1/4" stack of 4x6" fiche. You could
appeal for more, based upon a very loose standard of merit, but everyone
would get space for love letters, baby pictures, favorite car, etc
suitably stored on fiche.

Copies could be requested and produced for a small fee, of ANYONE'S
fiche, based upon the index.

No data would ever be purged, ever.

I'm serious about this. Imagine what an incredible treasure it would be,
for a country's citizens to be able to retrieve any snapshot of any
person's work back to the beginning of (recorded) time.

For the 1% of us that generate large amounts of data, the national fiche
could be an index into larger stores, which could even be commercial or
private. Some would fail, but others could thrive by providing unique

THEN you'd have the basis for real archiving.
Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 18:32:54 BST

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