At 10:52 AM 3/10/2003 +0000, Copeland, Peter wrote:
>Dear All,
>     Sorry to open another can of worms on this subject, but I have the
>following objection to using hard drives for "serious archival work" (which
>I consider different from *exploitation* work)!
>     As far as I know, all hard drives (and indeed DLT and its rivals)
>involve *software*, and there is always copyright in software. This includes
>both the error-correction system and the formatting of the medium.

Hi, Peter,

I'm not sure I totally agree with this. Yes, there is copyright on the code
embedded in the drive. However, if you take the drive as a package and not
try and disassemble it, the USB 2.0 or FireWire (IEEE 1394) connection is
open and the drive responds to open standard commands. Even IDE and SCSI
are open standards, but I think harder to implement in a robust
disk-swapping system. The IEEE 1394 interface currently has faster
throughput than the USB 2.0 interface, but USB 2.0 is more pervasive at the
moment. The difference is generally less than 2:1.

By the way, LTO, LTO-2, and S-AIT (100, 200, & 500 GB/tape) are all open
standards...although the degree of openness on S-AIT is still to be seen
since this is an emerging format. We hope to see S-AIT drives mid-summer.