On Fri, 7 May 2004, Konrad Strauss wrote:
> But do analog copies really make sense anymore? It is a dying format, most
> tape manufacturers are phasing out their analog tape lines, the same is true
> for tape machines. 2 questions come to mind: what guarantee do we have that
> present-day tape formulations are robust, and second, what are we to play
> these tapes on 40 years hence?
It seems to me that analog is just not economically viable, or
practical...however...some rambling thoughts...
Having done some consulting for the State's Department of Information
Resources...they had some digital files that were 30 years old. We had to
send the tapes to the Smithsonian where they had a working tape drive.
Then the State had to pay a group of programmers to reconstruct the
software to read the files.
I am reminded of the project, "Audio preservation: a planning study :
final performance report," published in 1988 under the Associated Audio
Archives. We still don't have the "universal" storage format recommended by
For me, it doesn't matter if it is analog or digital, for most (and I am
one of those whose favor CDRs) the choice is electromagnetic storage and
that is likely to be problematic over time. At least with digital storage,
refreshing and transferring need not be done in real time.
I also wonder about the implications of the recently postulated notion of
the theoretical limits of information storage and information theory and our
exponential growth of information.
Karl (wondering how much of his work will still be around after he is
gone-and at the age of 56, that is likely to be only 30 years or so)