On 2010-08-13 20:28, Will Honea wrote, on the thread “SuSE 8.2 personal + Old PC + Firefox 3.6?”:
(I’m starting a new thread on this one)
> That leads to a question: where to go for archival storage? I bogged down
> when it came time to decide WHERE to put the data. There have been all sorts
> of discussions over the years on this topic but I have no idea of the
> current state of the art. Anything as reliable as the 1970 era punch
> cards/paper tape yet?
very good question… Good enough for another thread.
I do not really know.
I remember when I saw the first mention of optical media, for audio, in the Spanish translation of
the magazine “Scientific American”, here called “Investigación y Ciencia”. Some time later they
reported on the modifications done to use CDs to store data. Of course, nothing usable for common
mortals… er, users.
The thing is, the CD was considered then so reliable as to be “ethernal”.
Then, I suppose, makers started to cut corners for consumers, and their expected self life could be
as short as a decade.
The ony reliable archival media, with a proven record, is ink and paper. A track record of
centuries. Even Millennia.
So… could we use paper again for our archives?
Not as text. Dots. Pages fulls of dots that can be scanned again and converted to the original code.
Is it doable? What data density could we get per page? Laser or inkjet? Colour/Greys/BW? At what
resolution? How many printer pixels per information dot? Redundancy / forward error recovery?
Food for thought, eh?
Cheers / Saludos,
Carlos E. R.
(from 11.2 x86_64 “Emerald” GM (Elessar))