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

Jeffrey Pearson (aa6547@wayne.edu)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 15:18:02 -0700

I wonder if this is true of music CDs. Good thing I did not throw away my
vinyl record collection...

At 09:16 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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************************************
Jeffrey W. Pearson
Collections Librarian
Wayne State University
David Adamany Undergraduate Library
Detroit, Michigan 48202
(313) 577-4480 (voice)
(313) 577-5265 (fax)
jeffrey.pearson@wayne.edu (email)
************************************