----- Original Message -----
From: "Rob Poretti" <[log in to unmask]>
> Actually, computer storage has reliability as a "reasonable" goal. But
> long-term storage in IT circles actually revolves around failure
> redundancy, error correction and eventual automated migration. These
> concepts are based on the knowledge that the hard drive *WILL* fail. A
> drive is not even a mid-term solution; but a managed hard drive "system"
> certainly be a long term one.
Of course, if one speaks of "true long-term" in its actual ultimate
that is, forever or as close as possible thereto...we run into two vital
questions for which we don't...in fact, CAN'T...have answers?
1) Will whatever format we use to store the data be usable...for that
RECOGNIZABLE...by whomever finds the device a number of millennia hence?!
2) Will these future "mystery finders" be able to...or capable of...
comprehending that data we are archiving, should they figure out how
to access it (assuming they do?)?!
For example, suppose we carefully archive a number of musical sound
recordings, along with data thereon. Suppose the finders are either
extra-planetary aliens, or much-further-evolved descendants of some
species other than Homo Sapiens (i.e. my usual "radioactive cockroaches")
who are incapable of receiving sound to the point they take no notice
of the airborne vibrations...and are telepathic to the point they
have no need for, or comprehension of, written language!
But, they are capable of perceiving infrared, find one of our old
TV remotes, and either assume it was used for communication or is
Steven C. Barr