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I've always thought it should be standard to keep archives labeled with a
particular type of computer, so the disks should read apple IIc or apple
Iigs and then either keep a computer around with the relevant programs to
read the files.  That is probably cumbersome, so maybe using an emulator and
backing the files up on a more modern computer would probably be more
logical.  I know you can get usb floppy drives, and I would think you could
read the files with unix or linux.  I'd have to know a little more about the
disks and the computer.    You could probably back up every file in
existence in the world in 1980 on a 120 gig hard-drive.
    There is always the question as to whether archiving some things is
really worth the bother.  It can be time consuming and expensive.  If it's
so old that you can't read it, then is it important?  I can't imagine that
computers created 20 years from now won't be able to view a jpg or a pdf.
Too many people have photos in this format and I guarantee there will be an
easy way to create family albums or whatever from most of these files,
similar to how you can have old film converted to DVD (though the process
will set you back more then a few clams).

Jeremy

>> I'll be researching long term data archiving over
>> the summer as I set it up an archival system for
>> the data in the biology
>> department of my college.  I'll share what I think
>> would be the best method then.
>
> Good topic.  It will be interesting to hear what you
> discover, as I will be in the same proccess at our lab
> in the fall.
>
> So far my only solution is to use external harddrives
> for backup, but as technology changes, and our budgets
> do NOT, I am concerned that some digital files may not
> be readable at some point in the future. This has
> already been an issue once here at our lab.
>
> When I first arrived here over a decade ago, people
> were in the process of switching from pc to mac and
> many files were archived... archived in the sense of
> being tossed on a floppy disk, thrown in a closet and
> forgotten.  Now, for numerous reasons, most of these
> disks are not even readable.
>
> Since backing up files will be my responsiblity this
> time around, I wish to be better prepared for future
> technological advances, or setbacks which ever the
> case may be, and do the best I can to archive our
> files in a safe, readable, and transferable format.
>
> So, yes! Please keep us informed as to what you (or
> others out there) discover!
>
> Jacki
>
>
>
>
>
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