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Re: Science and Inkjets

Scott Johnson <vitalh@online.no> 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! / dd-b@dd-b.net
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
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