The way I'm seeing it is that the DATs are the same bits on an inferior (and, to this client,
unusable) storage medium. The bits have migrated to hard drives, multiple, and I told them to burn
CDs (Gold CDs) of anything they think is really important. I also encouraged them to share really
important stuff with other institutions, or upload to Archive.org. The DATs are akin to keeping 5"
floppy discs. Why bother? "Just because" is not an operative answer. Is there any science that says
it's a good idea? The problem these folks have is that if they keep the DATs they have to become
part of the overall preservation plan and thus money has to be spent on them. They see this as
senseless spending and would rather use those dollars to have as robust a hard drive database as
possible. Given the age of the oldest DATs (dawn of the DAT age), I question whether all of them are
playable at any reasonable cost today.
I heard about a similar situation with 1630 U-Matic masters for a record company. Once they had
transferred the data, and were satisfied enough to reissuing CDs off the hard drive farm, they
dumped the U-Matic tapes.
Another part of this discussion is old hard drives. Once the data has been migrated and tested, how
long do you keep the old hard drive? In my case, once something gets to a third backup, I erase or
toss the original hard drive (it has gotten removed from the front line, and eventually gets tossed,
if it starts getting loud or otherwise exhibits mechanical wear-down, which I consider a dead
giveaway that it will fail sooner rather than later).
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Shai Drori" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:11 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DATs -- worth taking up space when they've been transferred?
In the case of DAT I would make an exception and toss them.
Sent from my ringing donkey
On 23 בפבר 2013, at 04:13, ADRIAN COSENTINI <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Never, ever dump the originals. You never know.
> ADRIAN COSENTINI
> [log in to unmask]
> On Feb 22, 2013, at 8:52 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> A former client asked me if I thought they should keep their DATs that I successfully transferred
>> to their professionally-managed data storage system (ie they have a staff IT guy and there's
>> off-site backup). I can't see any reason for them to take up space with the DATs, since they
>> don't have any playback equipment. We verified all the transfers and I recommended they burn CD
>> backups of anything particularly valuable (these were mostly public lectures and other such
>> events from an academic institution). Some of the material has been fed to an online streaming
>> archive, so there's been decent digital proliferation of the material.
>> Aside from an impulse to hoard, would there be any other reason to keep obsolete and cloned DAT
>> tapes around?
>> -- Tom Fine