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MMD > Archives > January 2006 > 2006.01.20 > 01Prev  Next

Archival Media for Digital Data
By Jim Crank

The following is what I was told by two experts that I consulted.
Home recorded CD-ROM disks are heat activated dyes in the disk's
layers.  They are sensitive to both heat and ultra-violet light (UV).
Dyes can and do fade -- just remember the early Ektachrome film that
faded away after only a few years, and the early Eastman Color movies
that faded in only a year or two.

Commercial CD-ROM's and DVDs are pressed, and have infinitely longer
expected life.  Today, the most non-volatile storage medium is the
flash card.  Supposedly nothing except a massive EMP will erase them.
Then, just consider that in a few years, MIDI will no doubt be replaced
by a better system.

Re-record every five years and use the latest digital storage programs,
seems to be the accepted archive long term storage concept.

The joys of the digital world...  Today I can play a 100-year-old
cylinder record, or run a 1927 nitrate film with an optical sound
track, and get perfect results.  Both are _analog_.

Jim Crank

(Message sent Fri 20 Jan 2006, 17:14:32 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Archival, Data, Digital, Media

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