Re: Digital Forever? [From: Edupage, 16 April 1998]

Frank Landrum (flandrum@lane.k12.or.us)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 10:12:44 -0700

Interesting info about the lifespan of digital. Just yesterday I toured
the Sony CD plant in Springfield, Oregon and we were told that CD's have a
lifespan of 80 years based on their testing. Of course their testing takes
place on new equipment, optimal conditions, and in an area where no outside
air is allowed in unless it is filtered. 10 years sounds more realistic.
Frank Landrum
At 09:15 AM 4/17/98 -0700, you wrote:
>DIGITAL ISN'T FOREVER
>"Digital information lasts forever, or five years -- whichever comes
>first,"
>says a senior computer scientist at RAND Corp. The problem is that
>computer
>experts are finding out that under less-than-optimal conditions,
>digital
>tapes and disks, including CD-ROMs, can deteriorate in as little as
>five to
>10 years. And the decay, although it happens gradually, isn't evident
>until
>it's too late, says the founder of Voyager Co., which makes commercial
>CD-ROM books and games. "CDs have a tendency to degrade much faster
>than
>anybody, at least in the companies that make them, is willing to
>predict."
>At the same time, as data is ported from an antiquated platform to a
>newer
>system, often there are bits that fail to make the transition.
>Sometimes
>it's just a matter of footnotes disappearing, but sometimes whole
>categories
>of data are lost. "It's like playing the child's game of Telephone.
>It
>doesn't take many translations from one media to another before you
>have
>lost significant aspects of the original data." (Business Week 20 Apr
>98)
>
>
>
>Philip Fryer
>AV/Systems Librarian
>Loyola/Notre Dame Library
>mailto:pdf@loyola.edu or pfryer@ndm.edu
>410-532-8787 x118
>410-532-6130 fax
>http:www.loyola.edu/library/avhome.htm
>
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