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Old 09-11-2008, 11:47 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Archiving and hard drives

Macintouch readers are having a fascinating and far-ranging discussion of hard drives and archiving strategies.

Included in the somewhat meandering thread: whether activity affects the life of a drive (someone commented that once you start using a drive, it must be used regularly); testing for bad sectors, whether they are mapped out properly; mechanical reliability, data reliability; is tape more durable over time; how accessible will your data be in 5 years, 10 years; discussion of power supplies, data formats, archive media (CD, DVD, blu-ray, as well as tape and hard drives; and much more.

   
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:02 PM   #2
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My eyes are crossing and my mind is boggling just from your synopsis. Sounds like there are probably many fine tidbits of info if one is motivated to wade through and harvest them, though! I should force myself to read through it. Maybe tomorrow.

   
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:11 PM   #3
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My eyes are crossing and my mind is boggling just from your synopsis. Sounds like there are probably many fine tidbits of info if one is motivated to wade through and harvest them, though! I should force myself to read through it. Maybe tomorrow.
I know what you mean. I boggled a bit myself.

But having the collection I do of old unreadable media (floppies, Syquests, square digital thingies that I do not remember, and more) and indecipherable formats (PageMaker, in my case), the discussion seemed useful. Or interesting. I still do not see what to do.

People talk about the paperless society (though it does seem to recede). So does that mean that current and future writings will be lost forever, locked up in some irretrievable format?

   
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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On the up side, at least in my case, most of it probably deserves to be lost.

   
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:56 AM   #5
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On the up side, at least in my case, most of it probably deserves to be lost.
Not sure about mine, but I would rest easier if I actually could look at it all.

   
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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Maybe I should, too. But I know I don't have the time for it.

   
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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Maybe I should, too. But I know I don't have the time for it.
Seems that none of us has time for it — but Macintouch is good about maintaining those discussions, so now at least we will find the link when/if we need it.

   
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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The couple of days' worth I read was interesting ... but inconclusive. Was recently discussing the same concerns with some family members, because all of us have files -- photos, music, videos -- we've created and want to archive in some reasonably reliable way. At least as reliable as, say, photos on film are. Or music on LPs.

I've been archiving to CDs and DVDs since I started doing digital photography (with the most recent two or three years' photos also on a file server). But the reports from Library of Congress and elsewhere on the life expectancy of optical media aren't encouraging. Was starting to think it might be better to archive to external hard drives and stack them in the closet. But the Macintouch discussion raises questions about that, too.

   
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:10 AM   #9
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Just this morning I was thinking I had better weed through the tons of digital pics and actually print out the best of the best with archival ink on archival paper, putting them into albums the old fashioned way. I'm betting those -- if kept protected from fire and water -- will still outlive digital media.

   
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:09 PM   #10
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It does seem that way.

Though if someone is systematic enough to recopy everything every few years -- and, as KT suggests, uses a file format that's likely to endure -- the digital versions could have advantages.

   
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