The paper you kindly pointed us to is so flawed that I am not sure it
really merits detailed analysis, so I'll keep this brief.
As the paper itself points out, there are two issues: media degradation
and format obsolescence.
The proposed preservation approach addresses only the former, which is
by far the easiest one to solve. Indeed, it is solved already, at low
cost and with off-the-shelf hardware, by several cultural memory
institutions around the world. So that is not attractive.
The proposed approach does not address the format obsolescence issue -
the more critical and difficult issue - other than to propose (a)
keeping the data with a full copy of the application and operating
software and (b) _assuming_ that emulation will solve everything.
Keeping copies of the software is not novel; it might have some place in
a future scheme, but rarely. And the fact that an Amiga emulator exists
hardly gives me confidence that (say) a reliable Pentium4 emulator will
be globally available whenever it is needed (just how many hundreds of
times bigger and more times more complex than Amiga is a Pentium4?).
Even it did exist, would all the operating systems, system software
(remember, you'll probably need an RDBMS...) drivers, application
programs etc stored in the 2-D patch codes actually install and work?
Or will you find your drivers attempting to access non-existent devices,
failing to install properly because a CD-ROM emulator has an obscure
fault, or because your RDBMS licence won't work on this processor?
Another major, conceptual, error is to assume that there must a single
generic answer to the digital preservation challenge which faces us and
our descendants. There is no reason to suppose that any such "silver
bullet" can or does exist. There is good reason, on the other hand, to
suppose that specific digital preservation requirements of specific
institutions can successfully be addressed.
There are other points I could make, but I have already typed too much
From: The UK Records Management mailing list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laurie
Sent: 25 May 2005 01:05
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Ending of Digital Obsolescence
You may find the information detailed below of interest plus the link to
the Paper @ The Ending of Digital Obsolescence
Let the discussion begin!
May 2005 - At the recent second Society for Imaging Science and
Technology - IS&T Archiving Conference - Introduction to Archiving 2005
held at the Washington Hilton - Washington DC on the 26th to 29th April
2005 an interesting paper was presented titled - The Ending of Digital
Obsolescence by Michael C. Maxwell and Ken Quick of Affiliated Computer
Services, Inc. - ACS of Texas, USA. For persons wishing to provide for
the longevity of digital data for preservation and archive purposes this
paper will be of great interest. The paper is available for viewing or
to download from this website with the permission of Michael C. Maxwell
of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. - ACS of Texas, USA. The paper -
The Ending of Digital Obsolescence - @ The Ending of Digital
The process or product discussed in the paper is a commercial product
marketed by ACS and it is referred to by it registered name
Datasurance(r). This is not the last time you will hear of
Datasurance(r) as this process has the potential to revolutionise the
storage of digital data in any form for its Long Term - LE preservation
over extended periods of time. The media utilised by Datasurance(r) has
a stated Long Term - LE preservation period of LE 500 = 500 years if
processed under the appropriate Quality Assurance procedures and then
stored under the required conditions of humidity and temperature. May
Datasurance(r) prove to be the answer to the archivists, records
managers, preservations and conservationists prayers for the Long Term -
LE preservation and storage of digital data in any form into the unknown
Mr Daniel Lawrance [Laurie] Varendorff, ARMA
Member of the Western Australian Governments - Digital Records Working
Specialist Technical Writer on Records and Information Management (RIM)
and related subjects, available for hire.
Published Articles available @
A Records Management Professional, and proud of the fact!
Consultant/Trainer/Tutor/Presenter: Records and Information Management
Imaging and Micrographic Specialist: 31 years experience
You may care to visit our web site @ www.records-management.com.au