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Scott Johnson <email@example.com> writes on 5 November 1999 at 15:50:23 +0100 > Now the original material is a digital file which to all intents and > purposes has an infinite life. No it doesn't. On any current consumer-writable media, it has a shorter expected life than, say, Ilfochrome prints. Because it can be copied losslessly (very nearly; that is, most copies really will be lossless, but there *is* some error rate, and there are some failures to detect errors, so copying isn't reliably totally perfect), a *well-managed* digital archive could in theory perpetuate the information indefinitely, by copying regularly. That's exciting; but note the qualifier "well-managed". You can't just write a CD and throw it in the closet and count on reading it in 20 years. Heck, you probably won't even be able to find a Cd reader for the computer you're using in 20 years! -- David Dyer-Bennet / Join the 20th century before it's too late! / firstname.lastname@example.org http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/ (photos) Minicon: http://www.mnstf.org/minicon http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b (sf) http://ouroboros.demesne.com/ Ouroboros Bookworms - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.