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How should I permanently store digital photographs?

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Anonymous
December 22, 2004 9:28:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

X-No-Archive: Yes

The last few days, I had the luxury of extracting pictures I took with
an ancient Apple QuickTake 100 digital camera. This circa ~1995 camera
was capable of storing 8 pictures at whopping 640x480@24bit or 32 at
320x240@24bit. The pictures were accessed by downloading it to a
Macintosh computer through its special software. Pictures were saved
in form of proprietary "QuickTime PICT" that requires special Macintosh
extension to be viewable. I spent hours converting these pics to JPEG
and this process had to be done on a Mac (!!!!! :-/ )

The pictures were only 8 years old. 8 yrs is a long time for computers
due to rapidly changing/advancing technology. Not such a long time for
photographs. It was such a pain in the ass to get them out and it was
only possible because my old Mac still had the QuickTake extension file
loaded to it.

First concern is the availability of current file and data format. I
save picturs as JPEG, which is the dominating format now, but I have no
idea how long JPEG is going to be around. Same feelings about disk
formats(ISO 9660 CD-ROM, HFS Mac, FAT/FAT32 Windows etc).

While recording medium is advertised to last a century, I've had CD-Rs
that was readable immediately after recording and went unredable a year
later. Recordable CD technology has been around for merely a decade
and there simply isn't a track record to validate the longevity claims
in real life. In the event the recorded data lasts three decades, I'm
not sure if there's a way to playback CD-Rs few decades from now.

So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 12:42:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I am not a certified expert on this, just a normal user like anyone else.
But my advice to you frankly: relax.

Now, by no means am I saying to be cavalier about the whole thing. In my
case, I am blessed with a huge 160 gigabyte hard drive which enables me to
store every last photo EVER taken on it, but of course I backup
periodically. CDs for fine for me when all I had a 2 MP point & shoot, now
that I have a D-SLR and a prosumer 5MP--both shoot RAW, and RAW files are
large--I use DVD+Rs. I typically use Memorex or TDK or Philips, as opposed
to whatever off-brand Office Max has for a low price after rebate.

With CDs, I have used the cheap off-brands lately, but if you want to be
extra cautious maybe use those for non-archival things (making an audio CD
of MP3s which you have backed up) and use TDK, Fuji, Kodak, Sony etc brands
of CD-R for the crucial things.

As for format compatibility--I could be totally naive to say this, but
frankly I don't see JPEG going anywhere anytime soon. The only real format
compatibility issues I saw are for RAW files, which are exclusive to the
brand--and even that is somewhat mitigated by Photoshop's growing tendencies
towards reading RAW files and being able to convert them to JPEG. Getting
back to JPEG--people said much the same thing about MP3s becoming obselete
with iTunes using its own propreitary format, and WMA, and AAC files, et
al--but last time I checked, MP3 was still THE dominant format for
downloaded music. Heck, they even make software (if I'm not mistaken) to
convert the iTunes files back to MP3 format. I've seen software which I can
use to convert WMA files to MP3.

Meanwhile, I mean, look at the newest versions of Word & WordPerfect--they
have converters to convert anyfile from old formats to the new. But if you
keep it simple, you can play it safe--that's why many such files are saved
as TXT files rather than DOC or WPD files, because almost any program can
read them. But anyway, I've seen how Word files can take really old files
from previous formats and bring them in cleanly. You may lose some
bold-facing and italicizing etc, but it can be cleaned up often-times--and
again, if you save in a simple format (and I'd think that equivalent to
shooting JPEG in the digital imaging world), you can often-times import
totally cleanly.

I am not saying be cavalier about the whole thing--by all means, backup
often, and consider a fire-proof safe to store the most "archival" intended
CDs and DVDs in. Label them very well so you know what's on them--and every
now & then, load them up to ensure that they work, and then while you're at
it make a copy of THAT CD/DVD--and label it as such (so you don't get them
mixed up), with the date you backed it up. Have the software verify the
files after burning to ensure the CD burned fine.

LRH
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 12:48:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I too say "relax". Jpeg is not going anywhere soon. Just back up on
cd's, make sure they are good, and you'll be all set. If you got a
lot, get a tape drive. Your biggest problem was using an old MAC
format, of course it took forever to work with that dog. Buy Fuji cd's
made in Japan, they are the best right now. Don't worry about format
changes now, it's not like digital photo's just came out.

Xiaoding
Related resources
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 12:51:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Man, everytime today I've had to reply to my own posting because I forgot
something.

I was talking about labeling the CD to what's on there so you can find the
file easily. What I often do is, when I print out a photo--whether I do it
or the lab does--I write the filename on a label & stick on the back of the
photo, so I can track it down on CD/DVD easily. (Or, if the photo is not
borderless, I write this info in the border-area I have.) I also put the
exact date it was taken (sometimes that IS the filename); between those two
things, I can EASILY track the file down to the CD/DVD it's burned onto.
Then, I can backup that particular CD/DVD often, to double-triple-quadruple
insure such highly coveted images have been covered very well in terms of
being backed up.

Also--consider making a "best of" CD so that the best ones have a CD all to
their own (in addition to the date-organized backups I more commonly do),
and that also ensures your favorites are getting backed up more often--and
are easily tracked down.

Store the 4x6s in a shoe-box--I have one that's actually made for index
cards and has a device to keep the photos from sliding around a half-full
box (an annoyance more than anything else). I hope this helps.

LRH
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 1:59:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dude17@sacbeemail.com wrote:


> While recording medium is advertised to last a century, I've had CD-Rs
> that was readable immediately after recording and went unredable a year
> later. Recordable CD technology has been around for merely a decade
> and there simply isn't a track record to validate the longevity claims
> in real life. In the event the recorded data lasts three decades, I'm
> not sure if there's a way to playback CD-Rs few decades from now.
>
> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?

There is no 'best' media or file format..

Regular photos and negatives could be placed in a shoebox and forgotten about,
but digital images requre some upkeep. If you aren't prepared to do that, stick
with film.

Back up frequently. Have several copies of your images and at least one copy
kept off of and away from the computer.

Keep up with technology. I have some files that originally came on 8 inch floppy.
They still live on my hard drive and also backed up to DVD.

If TIFF or JPEG dissapear, then just convert the files to whatever format
is in vogue at the time.

Another argument is "Who's going to do this when I'm gone". Of course the
answer is.. Whoever cares about your images. The "care" thing is important..
because even photos and negatives aren't a safer way to preserve what you have
the next 10 million years..

If I had a nickle for every shoebox full of photos that got tossed in the garbage by
relatives who were liquidating an estate... I'd be very a very wealthy person :-)
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 3:27:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dude17@sacbeemail.com writes:

> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?

TIFF if possible (LZW compression is okay), else JPEG. I sometimes
archive PSD (Photoshop files) but *not* as the only copy; just as a
way to save the components of my work without flattening all the
layers. I always archive camera originals even if the format is
proprietary; but I don't let a proprietary format be the *only* copy
of anything I care about. Sometimes I end up with a RAW file that I
don't do anything with but also don't quite delete, and in that one
case the proprietary RAW format is sometimes the only archive copy.
But there are already multiple applications including Photoshop itself
that can read my camera's RAW format, actually.

For media -- there's no single medium you can put the files on and be
happily confident that they're good for 100 years, really. The Kodak
or Mitsui gold CD-Rs are speced for over 100 years, but that's based
on accelerated testing (obviously!) and is a better indication of
their life compared to other CD-Rs than of their *absolute* life.

Because there's no absolutely rock-solid stable storage solution, and
also to a lesser extent because of media and file format changes
possible or likely in the future, a digital archive requires *constant
attention*. You can't just write it once and forget it.

I keep all the pictures on my hard drive, and also make multiple CD
and DVD offline copies, some of which live outside my house. I try to
check up on their state fairly regularly (which is easier now that my
mother's computer has a DVD drive in it).

While in the long-long run of course media and file formats will
evolve, I'll point out that CDs have been around for over 20 years,
and that I can still buy a turntable for their *predecessor* medium at
mainstream audio stores; and that all DVD drives I've seen can read
CDs. And that JPEG and TIFF have been the obvious archive file
formats since pretty darned early. I'm not terribly worried about
file format problems, at least, in my lifetime.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 3:32:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> writes:

> dude17@sacbeemail.com wrote:
>
> ...
>> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
>> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
>
> As you have noticed there is no one best solution. I will suggest a few
> ideas which you or other may or may not have considered.
>
> Let's face the fact that a good archival quality print is going to last
> 100 - 300 years and will not require any technology other than our eyes to
> view it and it can be copied by many different technologies now an in the
> future.

What medium are you going to make this good archival quality print in
to get that kind of lifespan? The only choices for color prints I
know that approach those numbers are dye transfer, and perhaps
pigmented inkjet prints.

> Digital storage of digital images maintains the most data, even
> more than a good print. However every time you change formats, you
> loose some of that data.

That is not true. I can go from jpeg to tiff to png without *any*
loss of data. And I can go from hard drive to CD to DVD without any
loss of data.

> Digital storage is not forever. CD's and DVD's are long lived.
> Well at least the commercial ones are. Home burned disk are not the
> same. Some last longer than others non meet the 100 year test, at
> least yet. and as you have noted, it may well be difficult to find
> something to read them with 100 years from now.

There will be no *sudden* loss of the ability to read CDs or DVDs,
though.

Actually home-burned ones are probably *longer* lived than pressed
ones, if kept out of bright light (their one weakness).

> Making new copies is always a good idea, and if you keep up with
> changing technology with each new copy reading them should not be a problem.
> However if you are like me, you just will not keep up.

Yes, exactly. A digital archive does require constant review and
renewal as necessary.

> Note: if they are really important, you need to make two copies
> and keep one on site and another at a distant off site location.
> Things like floods can cause damage within a large area.

And that's something you can't do with an analog original -- well, you
can, but the copy is degraded relative to the original.

> I back up to a second computer on my LAN. That gives me two
> copies. About every two or three years I try to get around to
> making a few CD's and sending them to out of town relatives.

I get my off-sites updated multiple times a year, at least. But not
monthly or anything *really* good.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 3:34:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Aerticulean Effort <spoofed@spooked.com> writes:

> There is a wonderful consumer product that can accommodate 100 DVDs or
> CDs or a combination of both.
>
> It will fit on a desk as the disks are stored by order without the cases

What's its archival permanence like? All the studies I've seen on CD
archiving say they must be stored *in jewel cases* and upright (as
well as in decent temp and humidity, and in the dark) to last a long
time.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 3:38:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jim Townsend <not@real.address> writes:

> dude17@sacbeemail.com wrote:
>
>
>> While recording medium is advertised to last a century, I've had CD-Rs
>> that was readable immediately after recording and went unredable a year
>> later. Recordable CD technology has been around for merely a decade
>> and there simply isn't a track record to validate the longevity claims
>> in real life. In the event the recorded data lasts three decades, I'm
>> not sure if there's a way to playback CD-Rs few decades from now.
>>
>> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
>> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
>
> There is no 'best' media or file format..
>
> Regular photos and negatives could be placed in a shoebox and
> forgotten about, but digital images requre some upkeep. If you
> aren't prepared to do that, stick with film.

And a lot of pictures from my parents, and some of mine, that were
stored better than in a shoe box, are already badly faded (only about
50 years old). I'd be willing to bet that three CD copies on Mitsui
Gold CDs would end up outlasting that by a lot (at least one of the
three).

> Back up frequently. Have several copies of your images and at least one copy
> kept off of and away from the computer.

Very very VERY good advice, yes.

> Keep up with technology. I have some files that originally came on 8
> inch floppy. They still live on my hard drive and also backed up to
> DVD.
>
> If TIFF or JPEG dissapear, then just convert the files to whatever format
> is in vogue at the time.

Yes; you do have to pay attention a bit, and media and file formats
*may* change (media is nearly certain to over a long enough timespan),
but they won't change *suddenly*, so if you're paying attention you'll
have plenty of warning to convert over.

> Another argument is "Who's going to do this when I'm gone". Of
> course the answer is.. Whoever cares about your images. The "care"
> thing is important.. because even photos and negatives aren't a
> safer way to preserve what you have the next 10 million years..

Yes. Exactly.

So I'm going to make some attempts to get copies of my images into the
hands of people who might care. Friends and relatives, and also
historians; the local historical society might find uses for my
pictures from various places I've lived, etc. Clubs or club members
devoted to the same interests. School archives. Even possibly
various university collections if you rubbed shoulders with relatively
famous people in some portions of your life.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 6:58:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>From: dude17@sacbeemail.com

>So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
>media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?

Consensus among the digital wise men is that no CD or DVD is truly archival and
that it's best to rewrite the data periodically to the current "best storage
solution", preferably in duplicate or triplicate.

Most wise guys are using external hard drives now that base prices are around a
buck a gigabyte, with occasional sales down to 50 cents/GB. Be prepared to
rewrite to other technologies as things change.
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 7:04:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 22 Dec 2004 06:28:48 -0800, dude17@sacbeemail.com wrote:

<Trolling babble removed>

For images of VGA resolution, the best way to store them is in a
shredder.

--
Owamanga!
December 22, 2004 7:19:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<dude17@sacbeemail.com> wrote in message
news:1103725728.795292.265670@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> First concern is the availability of current file and data format.
>
> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
>

Welcome to the world of digital image preservation! Sorry that you were hit
so hard by your experience with your "ancient" 8-year-old image files.
Actually, you received a valuable lesson from the School of Hard Knocks, for
which you should be grateful. You learned while you were still able to
correct the problem. Others will not be so lucky.

The short answer to your question is to store files in UNCOMPRESSED TIF. It
is the format of choice for virtually all libraries. Do not compress the
TIF files, because the various compression schemes might become unreadable
by editing programs in the future. Already there are reports of old
compressed TIF files not being able to be opened by modern editing software.
Forget compression on your archived image files.

Use the "Master and Derivative" model for your storage media: in other
words, make TWO "Master Disks." Store one off-site (bank safe deposit box,
relative or friend's home, etc.) Store it in a jewel box, keep it in a dark
place and don't touch it. Store a duplicate "Master Disk" at home, under
the same dark/temperature/humidity optimum conditions.

These "Master Disks" are used only to make derivative copies. If you work
on your images, always work off the expendable Derivative Copy. If the
Derivative ever goes bad, use your on-site Master Disk to make a new
Derivative Copy, and then return the Master Disk back to hibernation. Never
use the Master Disk for any other purpose. If your on-site Master Disk goes
bad, or if it is lost in a fire, flood or theft, then make a NEW on-site
Master Disk from the one you stored off-site, in the Safe Deposit Box.

You might consider including an Index Print along with your Master and
Derivative Disks, just so you (or your descendants) can see what is
contained on them.

This is a far cry from storing negatives in archival plastic pages, and
storing prints in albums (or in shoeboxes).

Even after taking all these precautions, you will have to provide for
migrating the data to the latest file format and media type as time goes on.
Plan on doing this every 7-10 years. This is the Achilles Heel of digital
preservation: you cannot be assured that this migration effort will continue
after your demise. Just think about the proverbial shoebox full of photos
found in Grandma's attic: for one thing, people tend to move more often and
there is less chance that our historical images will be left undisturbed for
generations. And (more importantly) the photos Grandma stored were visible
without any special equipment or software. What if those Mac images that
you had were just a few years older? You might not have had the means to
decode them, and you would have probably discarded them, rather than pay to
have them converted onto a current medium.

Kodak, on their website, even recommends that you consider long-term storage
of your important images by making PRINTS of them, and storing them in
archival albums, in appropriate temperature/humidity/darkness conditions.
The fact is that, for the typical consumer, the lowly PRINT stands the
greatest chance of long-term survival, because it requires little long-term
maintenance.

If you are starting to have reservations about digital file longevity, you
are not alone. I recommend that you have a look at this article, that
discusses the issue better than I can. "Digital's Dirty Little Secret"

http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1513.htm

Even large digital libraries are affected by the need to periodically renew
their digital assets onto newer file formats and storage media. What makes
them different from us consumers is that they have planned for, and budgeted
for, this continual file maintenance and renewal. We ordinary folks must
rely upon our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren to care for our
image files. There is no assurance that they will have any interest in
doing so. More likely, the piles of disks will gather dust until somebody
decides to throw them out, since they can't read them. At least prints have
a chance of surviving, because their historical value is apparent at first
glance. Not so with those CDs or DVDs.

More photos are being taken than ever before, and I believe that a large
number of them will survive. But the question of whether YOUR particular
photos will survive in digital format is uncertain.

My own solution is to do my important stuff on film. I use digital for
short-time-horizons of under 5 years. And on important digital images, I do
have OFOTO make prints on silver halide paper, and I keep them in archival
albums. I have tons of CDs, with digital images on them, and I have no
reason to think that they will survive long-term. It is a pity that this
problem has not been solved yet.
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 7:24:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dude17@sacbeemail.com wrote:

....
> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?

As you have noticed there is no one best solution. I will suggest a few
ideas which you or other may or may not have considered.

Let's face the fact that a good archival quality print is going to last
100 - 300 years and will not require any technology other than our eyes to
view it and it can be copied by many different technologies now an in the
future.

Digital storage of digital images maintains the most data, even more
than a good print. However every time you change formats, you loose some of
that data.

Digital storage is not forever. CD's and DVD's are long lived. Well at
least the commercial ones are. Home burned disk are not the same. Some
last longer than others non meet the 100 year test, at least yet. and as you
have noted, it may well be difficult to find something to read them with 100
years from now.

Making new copies is always a good idea, and if you keep up with
changing technology with each new copy reading them should not be a problem.
However if you are like me, you just will not keep up.

Note: if they are really important, you need to make two copies and keep
one on site and another at a distant off site location. Things like floods
can cause damage within a large area.

I back up to a second computer on my LAN. That gives me two copies.
About every two or three years I try to get around to making a few CD's and
sending them to out of town relatives.




--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 7:45:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:

> ... every time you change formats,
> you loose some of that data.

This is not a true statement.
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 8:03:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Larry R Harrison Jr wrote:
> Man, everytime today I've had to reply to my own posting because I forgot
> something.
>
> I was talking about labeling the CD to what's on there so you can find the
> file easily. What I often do is, when I print out a photo--whether I do it
> or the lab does--I write the filename on a label & stick on the back of the
> photo, so I can track it down on CD/DVD easily. (Or, if the photo is not
> borderless, I write this info in the border-area I have.) I also put the
> exact date it was taken (sometimes that IS the filename); between those two
> things, I can EASILY track the file down to the CD/DVD it's burned onto.
> Then, I can backup that particular CD/DVD often, to double-triple-quadruple
> insure such highly coveted images have been covered very well in terms of
> being backed up.
>
> Also--consider making a "best of" CD so that the best ones have a CD all to
> their own (in addition to the date-organized backups I more commonly do),
> and that also ensures your favorites are getting backed up more often--and
> are easily tracked down.
>
> Store the 4x6s in a shoe-box--I have one that's actually made for index
> cards and has a device to keep the photos from sliding around a half-full
> box (an annoyance more than anything else). I hope this helps.
>
> LRH
>
>
There is a wonderful consumer product that can accommodate 100 DVDs or
CDs or a combination of both.

It will fit on a desk as the disks are stored by order without the cases

It has software support in the form of a database (althou I expect this
will be a bit inferior to what image handlers require.

Now why should I post this? Is it spam?

Nope - just an idea that's all. Have you seen the desk space / storage
100 disks take up?

Aerticeus
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 11:00:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> writes:

> "David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
> news:m21xdidw0a.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
>>
>> I can go from jpeg to tiff to png without *any*
>> loss of data. And I can go from hard drive to CD to DVD without any
>> loss of data.

> Although I am not technically qualified to comment on this point, I
> would like to mention that I did read a rather technical article
> that discussed conversion of file formats. Apparently it IS
> possible to lose data when going from one format to another, because
> not all formats store the same amount of data. The other point that
> the writer noted was that it could be a real problem if an image was
> migrated from, say, Format "A" to Format "B," and then from Format
> "B" to Format "C," and later from Format "C" to Format "D." While
> this type of scenario might not be probable within the
> photographer's own lifetime, it is almost a certainty if images are
> refreshed over a span of several generations (human generations).

You can lose data *as a result of a mistake*. Proper procedures check
for that mistake, though, and declare the copy operation a failure.

> I was storing my digital files in FlashPix format up to just 3 years
> ago, believing that it was the closest thing to Kodak's ImagePac
> ("Photo CD") format. Then one day, all support for FlashPix was
> withdrawn and the format died. Almost overnight. I understand that
> PhotoShop no longer supports that format. What good will my CDs
> full of FlashPix images be in, say 25 years?

WHY? A weird proprietary format with very limited support is *not* a
decent candidate for archiving.

Luckily, you have time to fix this; you still have the software that
supports FlashPix and you still have your CDs. You just pay for your
mistake with a bunch of time turning them into some reasonable format
(TIFF, presumably) .

> I could go on, but you surely get the picture. We just do not know
> for sure what the future will bring, in terms of file formats. I
> understand that TIF is now on its 6th version (Adobe acquired it
> from Aldus when they bought the PageMaker program. Anyone remember
> Aldus?)

Yes, exactly. And what mainstream tiff from 6 versions ago will any
modern program fail to read?
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 11:02:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> writes:

> "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:bdhyd.11970
>>
>> Digital storage is not forever.
>>
>
> We often fail to appreciate the fact that CDs were NEVER developed to be an
> archival storage medium! There is an element of Russian Roulette when
> storing on CD or DVD. We already know that there is a wide variation when
> it comes to reliability of data (I just read something about "rotting dyes"
> in some CDs, that apparently degrade over time to the point that the entire
> disk becomes unreadable).
>
> Meanwhile, the guy that has shot film, on his cheap little Point & Shoot
> camera, and who has carefully stored the prints and negs in archival plastic
> album pages, ends up keeping his whole library of his life's pictures! Is
> that ironic, or what?

For thirty years, or perhaps even longer sometimes if he's lucky! You
are *greatly* over-rating the stability of color photograhic
materials. Most of the color snapshots from the 60s are essentially
gone now.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
December 22, 2004 11:29:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in
>
> While in the long-long run of course media and file formats will
> evolve, I'll point out that CDs have been around for over 20 years,
> and that I can still buy a turntable for their *predecessor* medium at
> mainstream audio stores; and that all DVD drives I've seen can read
> CDs. And that JPEG and TIFF have been the obvious archive file
> formats since pretty darned early. I'm not terribly worried about
> file format problems, at least, in my lifetime.
> --

Here is an interesting excerpt from a report from the Council on Library and
Information Resources, which notes some of the problems with LONG-TERM
archiving of documents. The opinions expressed apply equally to
photographs.

"Digitization is not Preservation-at Least not Yet
All recorded information, from the paintings on the walls of caves and
drawings in the sand, to clay tablets and videotaped speeches, has value,
even if temporary, or it would not have been recorded to begin with. That
which the creator or transcriber deems to be of enduring value is written on
a more or less durable medium and entrusted to the care of responsible
custodians. Other bits of recorded information, like laundry lists and tax
returns, are created to serve a temporary purpose and are allowed to vanish.
Libraries and archives were created to collect and make available that which
has long-term value. And libraries and archives serve not only to safeguard
that information, but also to provide evidence of one type or another of the
work's provenance, which goes towards establishing the authenticity of that
work.

Though digitization is sometimes loosely referred to as preservation, it is
clear that, so far, digital resources are at their best when facilitating
access to information and weakest when assigned the traditional library
responsibility of preservation. Regrettably, because digitization is a type
of reformatting, like microfilming, it is often confused with preservation
microfilming and seen as a superior, if as yet more expensive, form of
preservation reformatting. Digital imaging is not preservation, however.
Much is gained by digitizing, but permanence and authenticity, at this
juncture of technological development, are not among those gains.

The reasons for the weakness of digitization as a preservation treatment are
complex. Microfilm, the preservation reformatting medium of choice, is
projected to last several centuries when made on silver halide film and kept
in a stable environment. It requires only a lens and a light to read, unlike
computer files, which require hardware and software, both of which are
developed in often proprietary forms that quickly become obsolete, rendering
information on them inaccessible. At present, the retrieval of information
encoded in an obsolete file format and stored on an obsolete medium (such as
8-inch floppy diskettes) is extremely expensive and labor-intensive, when at
all possible. Often the medium on which digital information is recorded is
itself inherently unstable. Magnetic tape is one example of a common digital
medium that requires special care and handling and has been known to degrade
within a decade, beyond the point where information can be recovered.
Magnetic forms of analog recording, such as video and audio tape, are
equally fragile and unreliable for long-term storage. In its inherent
physical fragility, magnetic tape is not different in essence from the acid
paper so widely produced in the last 150 years, but its life span is often
dramatically shorter than that of poor quality paper.

More important even than the durability of the medium is the need to keep
the data fresh and encoded in readable file formats. Ongoing investigations
into two possible ways of ensuring data persistence-the migration of data
from one software and hardware configuration to a more current one, and the
creation of software that emulates obsolete encoding formats-may develop
solutions to this problem. As yet, we have no tested and reliable technique
for ensuring continued access to digital data of enduring value, although
information stored on nonproprietary formats such as ASCII has been migrated
successfully (in the case, for example, of specific government records).
Nevertheless, migration from one software to another does not produce a new
file exactly identical to the old one. Though data loss may not necessarily
mean loss of intellectual content, the file has been changed.

Another reason that preservation goals are in some fundamental way
challenged by digital imaging is that it is quite difficult to ascertain the
authenticity and integrity of an image, database, or text when it is in
digital form. How can one tell if a digital file has been tampered with and
the content changed or falsified? Looked at from the traditional perspective
of published or manuscript materials, it is futile even to try: there is no
original with which to compare a suspect file. Copies can be deceptively
faithful: one cannot tell the difference between the original output of a
scan of the Declaration of Independence, and one that is output four months
later. In contravention of a core principle of archival authenticity, one
can change the bit stream of a file and leave no record of its having been
altered. There is much research and development being dedicated to solving
the dilemma posed by the stunning fidelity of digital cloning, including
methods for marking images and time-stamping them, but as yet there is no
solution.

Authenticity may not be important for a digital image of a well-known
document like the Declaration of Independence, in which access to either the
analog original or a good photographic image is easy enough to obtain for
comparison's sake. But anyone who has seen the digitally engineered
commercial in which Fred Astaire can be seen dancing with a vacuum cleaner
can readily understand the ease with which improbable digital occurrences
can become real because we can be made to see them. After all, the evidence
is before our eyes, and our eyes cannot detect a falsehood. It is our
cognitive reasoning that detects that falsehood, not our eyes. That image of
the suave, gliding across the floor with the functional, startles and amuses
us because it confounds our expectations.

But what if we arrive at a library Web site, for example, looking for an
image that we have never seen and about which we have few expectations. The
only reason that we expect that image to be a truthful representative of the
original is that we can rely on the integrity of the institution that has
mounted the files and makes them available to us. We transfer the confidence
we experience in the reading room of that library to our work station,
wherever it may be. We go to the New York Public Library Web site with the
full expectation that the library "guarantees" the integrity of the images
they mount. But it would be very hard indeed for a researcher in Alaska
looking at New York Public Library's Digital Schomburg site to verify
independently that any given image is indeed a faithful representation of
the original.

The problem of authenticity is far from unique to the digital realm. Forgers
and impostors have a distinguished history of operating successfully and
often long undetected in print and photographic media, although they have
had to work harder and smarter than their digital counterparts. The
traditional methods for authenticating documents that have served the
library and archival professions well until now have relied largely on
practices derived from markers carried on the physical medium itself. After
a textual examination to look for obvious differences in content,
researchers have often then examined the physical carrier itself-the book or
manuscript leaf-to see if there are any signs of modification or
falsification. From a simple examination of watermarks to a variety of
sophisticated chemical, optical, and physical tests that can verify the age
of paper, the composition of inks, and the physical traces of erasures and
palimpsests, researchers have resorted to a number of strategies to verify
the authenticity of a document. Granted, there are few who routinely insist
on that level of authentication in doing research, but that is because the
pitfalls of using books, manuscripts, and visual materials are familiar to
us and we tend to discount them without much conscious thought. We should be
wary of reposing the same quality of trust in digital resources that we do
in print and photographic media until we are equally familiar with their
evidentiary weaknesses.

As in other forms of reformatting, digital scanning has implications for the
original item and its physical integrity. Depending on the policy of a
library or archival institution, the original of a scanned item may or may
not be retained after reformatting. To the extent that a reader can make do
without handling the original, the digital preservation surrogate can serve
to protect it from wear and tear. If there is concern that the scanning
process could damage materials, one would choose to scan a film version of
the original.

The advantages of scanning for access purposes may be combined with those of
preservation microfilming by using the model of hybrid conversion, that is,
creating preservation-standard microfilm and scanning it for digital access
purposes, or, conversely, beginning with a high-quality scan of the original
and creating computer-output microfilm (COM) for preservation purposes. Work
is presently underway to articulate and refine best practices for
implementing the hybrid approach to reformatting so that it can be adopted
by libraries across the country. Of course COM, unlike microfilm created
from the original, is only a recording of digital images on an analog
medium. Though it has been fixed on a durable medium, some would argue that
the image itself, having been generated digitally, has lost some essential
information-or has at least lost its fundamental analog character-and cannot
therefore claim to be as desirable for preservation as film made by
photographing the original source.

Although this may seem a minor point to those more interested in easy access
than in that level of authenticity, it is still important to understand that
digital technology transforms analog information radically. There has to be
some loss of information when an analog item is made digital, just as there
is when one analog copy is made from another. On the other hand, there is
virtually no loss of information from one generation of a digital copy to
another. Images will not degrade when copied, in contrast to microfilm,
which loses about 10 percent of its information with each copy. Once there
is more than one copy of a digital file, it is impossible to pick out the
original, and one will never speak of "vintage files" the way that one now
speaks of vintage photographs. On the other hand, digital images are less
likely to decay in storage if they are refreshed, the images will not
degrade when copied, and the digital files will not decay in use, unlike
paper, film, and magnetic tape."
December 22, 2004 11:40:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:m21xdidw0a.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
>
> I can go from jpeg to tiff to png without *any*
> loss of data. And I can go from hard drive to CD to DVD without any
> loss of data.
>

Although I am not technically qualified to comment on this point, I would
like to mention that I did read a rather technical article that discussed
conversion of file formats. Apparently it IS possible to lose data when
going from one format to another, because not all formats store the same
amount of data. The other point that the writer noted was that it could be
a real problem if an image was migrated from, say, Format "A" to Format "B,"
and then from Format "B" to Format "C," and later from Format "C" to Format
"D." While this type of scenario might not be probable within the
photographer's own lifetime, it is almost a certainty if images are
refreshed over a span of several generations (human generations).

I was storing my digital files in FlashPix format up to just 3 years ago,
believing that it was the closest thing to Kodak's ImagePac ("Photo CD")
format. Then one day, all support for FlashPix was withdrawn and the format
died. Almost overnight. I understand that PhotoShop no longer supports
that format. What good will my CDs full of FlashPix images be in, say 25
years?

I could go on, but you surely get the picture. We just do not know for sure
what the future will bring, in terms of file formats. I understand that TIF
is now on its 6th version (Adobe acquired it from Aldus when they bought the
PageMaker program. Anyone remember Aldus?)

Lotus 1-2-3 files from version 1 (the DOS version) are not readable in the
current Windows version. When IBM bought Lotus, some of the technical and
engineering staff left, taking their knowledge with them.

If this is what we get in 20 years, what can we expect in 75 years?
Meanwhile, those old film negatives can be reprinted (and digitally enhanced
if their colors have faded or shifted) without any problem . . .
December 22, 2004 11:55:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Frank ess" <frank@fshe2fs.com> wrote in message
news:ZYadnQgCedRJRlTcRVn-gA@giganews.com...
>
> So I guess that once you decide on which medium is useful in that sense,
> you archive the hardware that uses it?
>

That technique is referred to as "The Museum Approach," and it is being
implemented more often than one might expect.

The archiving debate is somewhat like the "Film vs. Digital" one. There are
ardent advocates on both sides. I used to think that it was no big deal,
until an article in The "New Yorker" magazine opened my eyes to the risks of
long-term digital storage. The United States Government itself has lost
tons of data because the equipment to read it no longer is produced. Part
of the 1970 census is gone, along with raw data from some of the NASA space
missions.

If the Government, with all of its planners and its financial resources, is
unable to secure its data, how can we mere mortals be so certain that we
won't have even bigger problems?

Here is something hardly anyone knows: The National Archives had the task of
storing all of the millions of emails that President Clinton and VP Gore had
sent/received over their 8 years in office. How did the Archives approach
the problem? They PRINTED the emails out on PAPER, then MICROFILMED them!
Microfilm has an expected life of 500+ years, if stored under proper
temperature/light/humidity conditions.

The advice that Kodak is giving on its web site, about archiving important
photographs by making and keeping PRINTS of them, may not be so bizarre
after all!

I became interested in Archival issues after having rescued a family album,
from the 1940s, that had been chucked into the dumpster by a cleaning
service that was hired to get my late aunt's condo ready for sale, when she
had entered a nursing home. There were about 500 B&W photos, most of which
I had never seen, that were saved. If those photos had been on CDs, tapes
or other digital storage media, no one would have seen what was on them, and
they would be on a landfill somewhere.

(And, yes, I am scanning and digitizing them--so I am not opposed to digital
archiving.)

If we want to ensure long-term availability of our images, we need to think
about possible retaining analog copies in addition to our digital originals.
December 23, 2004 12:01:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:bdhyd.11970
>
> Digital storage is not forever.
>

We often fail to appreciate the fact that CDs were NEVER developed to be an
archival storage medium! There is an element of Russian Roulette when
storing on CD or DVD. We already know that there is a wide variation when
it comes to reliability of data (I just read something about "rotting dyes"
in some CDs, that apparently degrade over time to the point that the entire
disk becomes unreadable).

Meanwhile, the guy that has shot film, on his cheap little Point & Shoot
camera, and who has carefully stored the prints and negs in archival plastic
album pages, ends up keeping his whole library of his life's pictures! Is
that ironic, or what?
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 12:17:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jeremy wrote:
> The short answer to your question is to store files in UNCOMPRESSED TIF. It
> is the format of choice for virtually all libraries. Do not compress the
> TIF files, because the various compression schemes might become unreadable
> by editing programs in the future. Already there are reports of old
> compressed TIF files not being able to be opened by modern editing software.
> Forget compression on your archived image files.

IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard. Having
become one of the two formats universal on the Web, it is not going away
during your or my lifetime. Not a chance.


> Even after taking all these precautions, you will have to provide for
> migrating the data to the latest file format and media type as time goes on.
> Plan on doing this every 7-10 years.

This is less and less the case. As computers become more widespread and
more adequate, evolution slows. People point out that (for instance)
there are only two drives on earth that can read the tapes on which the
1960(?) census were recorded. But how many of those drives were ever
manufactured in the first place? Writable CDs have already been the
norm for about 7 years, and all new drives are backwards compatible with
them, and will be for the forseeable future. 3.5" floppies have been
"dying" for almost 10 years now, yet drives are cheap and widely
available. And there are far more CDs in curculation than there ever
were 3.5" floppies, ensuring an even longer transition.

> This is the Achilles Heel of digital
> preservation: you cannot be assured that this migration effort will continue
> after your demise.

But then you won't care.

Responding to the rest of your post, as well, I just don't think it's
important to worry about hundreds of years. I disagree with the fears
of a "digital dark age." If digital information is more easily
destroyed, it is also replicated and distributed. Many images will not
survive, but billions upon billions will. Given that, it's vanity to
imagine that anybody will mourn the loss of your (or my) photographs.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 12:58:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jeremy wrote:
> "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:bdhyd.11970
>>
>> Digital storage is not forever.
>>
>
> We often fail to appreciate the fact that CDs were NEVER developed to
> be an archival storage medium! There is an element of Russian
> Roulette when storing on CD or DVD. We already know that there is a
> wide variation when it comes to reliability of data (I just read
> something about "rotting dyes" in some CDs, that apparently degrade
> over time to the point that the entire disk becomes unreadable).
>
> Meanwhile, the guy that has shot film, on his cheap little Point &
> Shoot camera, and who has carefully stored the prints and negs in
> archival plastic album pages, ends up keeping his whole library of
> his life's pictures! Is that ironic, or what?

Ah such is life.

Actually few people using point and shoot will end up with archival
prints, they will be prints from the cheapest lab they can find, but they
still may outlast many digital images.

I don't remember who noted it, but I like the response that brought out
the point that 90% of the messages here are really over worried about it and
I will add that most of the images being worried about should be on the
cutting room floor.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 1:59:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1103725728.795292.265670@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>, dude17
@sacbeemail.com says...
> First concern is the availability of current file and data format. I
> save picturs as JPEG, which is the dominating format now, but I have no
> idea how long JPEG is going to be around. Same feelings about disk
> formats(ISO 9660 CD-ROM, HFS Mac, FAT/FAT32 Windows etc).

JPEG is a very well documented format. That knowledge isn't going to
go away. Same is true for TIFF, NEF, etc. There are a number of
open source imaging programs that can parse JPEG, so I don't see that
there will be a point where you simply can't get it. Of course, if
you see 20 years from now that people are dropping support for it,
find a program that can convert from it to whatever is the rage then,
and batch convert them.

> While recording medium is advertised to last a century, I've had CD-Rs
> that was readable immediately after recording and went unredable a year
> later.

They (recordables) are very sensitive to heat and sunlight.

> Recordable CD technology has been around for merely a decade
> and there simply isn't a track record to validate the longevity claims
> in real life.

True. Use them as backups in addition to other forms of primary storage.

> In the event the recorded data lasts three decades, I'm
> not sure if there's a way to playback CD-Rs few decades from now.

Don't throw away your current computer. You'll always have a way.
:-)

> So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?

The best, (which implies that you don't care about price, but only about
realiability) is to use a storage medium that is fault tolerant, and
gradually migrate it to newer forms of similar storage over time.

The current way to go would probably be a hardware RAID 5 storage
solution, where any single hard drive can go bad and yet ALL of the
data is still immediately available, and the array will be rebuilt
after you replace the failed drive. For the truly paranoid, RAID 6
(sometimes called ADG) can suffer two simultaneous drive failures, or
if you have megabucks and want both redundancy and speed, a compound
RAID such as 1+0 is the best, but requires far more drives. Apart
from servers, the biggest issue with this is finding a chassis that
can hold enough drives.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 2:02:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

timeOday wrote:

> IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.
> Having become one of the two formats universal on the Web,
> it is not going away during your or my lifetime. Not a chance.

Hogwash. File formats come and go in a very short period.
There's nothing that guarantees the survival of a lossy format
like JPG during the course of the next ten years, much less
the next fifty.

> As computers become more widespread and more adequate,
> evolution slows.

More hogwash. You're swimming in it.

> Writable CDs have already been the norm for about 7 years,
> and all new drives are backwards compatible with them,
> and will be for the forseeable future.

Utter baloney. DVD-R is standard now for most high-end
systems. CD is dying.

> 3.5" floppies have been "dying" for almost 10 years now,
> yet drives are cheap and widely available.

Yeah right -- the last gasp of a moribund hardware item!

>> you cannot be assured that this migration effort will
>> continue after your demise.

> But then you won't care.

Moronic interpretation of the topic. Ever heard of archival
preservation? Family records? The point is to preserve
images beyond one's demise. Maybe you don't care, but
most folks interested in this topic care deeply.

> I just don't think it's important to worry about hundreds
> of years.

Then why are you participating in this thread, which is
about exactly that?

> If digital information is more easily destroyed, it is also
> replicated and distributed. Many images will not
> survive, but billions upon billions will. Given that,
> it's vanity to imagine that anybody will mourn the loss
> of your ... photographs.

Duh! Well, you don't have children or grandchildren then,
do you? If you don't mind substitution of documents, and
just rejoice that "billions" of irrelevant ones "survive," then
I guess you don't care if the picture of your mother hanging
on the wall is replaced with one of Phyllis Diller, eh? Hey,
one pidger's just like another, right? And quantity is important,
so we'll give you 100,000 pidgers of Phyllis Diller.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 6:15:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>From: David Dyer-Bennet dd-b@dd-b.net

> And what mainstream tiff from 6 versions ago will any
>modern program fail to read?

I can think of three tiff versions that many or even most modern programs
cannot read today ... layered tiffs generated by Photoshop, compressed tiffs in
LZW format, and 16 bit tiffs ... try opening any of these in Corel Painter or
Paint Shop Pro or many other programs ... I agree with you if you're talking
about 8 bit non-compressed non-layered tiffs though :) 
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:25:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Farga Palenga Jengis wrote:

> timeOday wrote:
>
>
>>IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.
>>Having become one of the two formats universal on the Web,
>>it is not going away during your or my lifetime. Not a chance.
>
>
> Hogwash. File formats come and go in a very short period.
> There's nothing that guarantees the survival of a lossy format
> like JPG during the course of the next ten years, much less
> the next fifty.

My goodness; now you have me scared! Is it going to
disappear tonight? Next week? Do I have a month?

Come on, even IF it were to disappear over the next few
years or a decade, those of us who care would simply
create new copies in whatever format on whatever media
was then current. And even for those of us not smart
enough to do so, someone somewhere would provide us with
a convertor.

<snip>

> Utter baloney. DVD-R is standard now for most high-end
> systems. CD is dying.

Yeppers, a long long long slow death. Darn, I'm in
trouble again. Don't even have a CD player in my
machine. But wait! Somehow magically my DVD burner
seems to use them. Writes 'em too. Try it, maybe yours
will too.

<snip again>

> Moronic interpretation of the topic. Ever heard of archival
> preservation? Family records? The point is to preserve
> images beyond one's demise. Maybe you don't care, but
> most folks interested in this topic care deeply.

Nothing moronic about it. It's NOT our task to
preserve beyond our own lifetimes. I pass mine on
to my daughers, then THEY decide if and when they'll
maintain them. There's nothing more that can be asked
of me, or that I can do. Period.

<snip again>

> Duh! Well, you don't have children or grandchildren then,
> do you? If you don't mind substitution of documents, and
> just rejoice that "billions" of irrelevant ones "survive," then
> I guess you don't care if the picture of your mother hanging
> on the wall is replaced with one of Phyllis Diller, eh? Hey,
> one pidger's just like another, right? And quantity is important,
> so we'll give you 100,000 pidgers of Phyllis Diller.

Sure do. The best in the world. And I hope the future
generations remember some of our history; both of us; all of
us. But if they're going to do it then they are going to
have to take on the responsibility of maintaining those
records. No matter how badly we want to, no matter how hard
we try, we just can't.

Take care.

Ken
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:25:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ken Weitzel wrote:
> Farga Palenga Jengis wrote:
> > timeOday wrote:

> >>IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.
> >>Having become one of the two formats universal on the Web,
> >>it is not going away during your or my lifetime. Not a chance.

> > Hogwash. File formats come and go in a very short period.
> > There's nothing that guarantees the survival of a lossy format
> > like JPG during the course of the next ten years, much less
> > the next fifty.

> My goodness; now you have me scared! Is it going to
> disappear tonight? Next week? Do I have a month?

A little reductio ad absurdem, eh? tOd said JPG would
last beyond his lifetime. See on the one hand "tonight" and
on the other hand "my lifetime?"

> Somehow magically my DVD burner seems to use
> them. Writes 'em too. Try it, maybe yours will too.

Yes but that's not the point, is it? Yesterday the
standard for optical storage was CD, today it's
DVD, tomorrow it might not be optical at all.

> It's NOT our task to preserve beyond our own lifetimes.
> I pass mine on to my daughers ...

Still missing the point. tOd said that he didn't care if his
images were passed on to his daughters, since "billions"
of other images would survive.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 10:17:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 16:04:37 GMT, Owamanga <nomail@hotmail.com> wrote:

> <Trolling babble removed>
>
> For images of VGA resolution, the best way to store them is in a
> shredder.

So they can sit next to your brain...
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 6:46:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mike F" <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2@comcast.net> writes:

> In general, I agree with what you are saying, but would
> add a comment here -- when doing the "double copies"
> thing, use different brands of media for the copies.

Good point. And that also guarantees you separate manufacturing
batches, which you might not be able to verify otherwise.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 6:48:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> writes:

> My own solution is to do my important stuff on film. I use digital
> for short-time-horizons of under 5 years. And on important digital
> images, I do have OFOTO make prints on silver halide paper, and I
> keep them in archival albums. I have tons of CDs, with digital
> images on them, and I have no reason to think that they will survive
> long-term. It is a pity that this problem has not been solved yet.

Um, what do you mean by "silver halide paper"? To me that refers to
one particular approach to making silver-gelatine B&W paper. And
Ofoto offers no such service that I've ever found. They print on
ordinary chromgagenic color materials -- which have rated lives on the
order of 1/5 to 1/10 the rated lives of CD-Rs.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 6:51:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> writes:

> "Ken Weitzel" <kweitzel@shaw.ca> wrote in message
> news:ZEsyd.545646$Pl.432666@pd7tw1no...
>>
>> My goodness; now you have me scared! Is it going to
>> disappear tonight? Next week? Do I have a month?
>>
>
> Please do not twist the focus of the discussion. We are commenting
> on LONG-TERM ARCHIVING of our images. No, the JPG format will not
> "disappear" in the near term. But it will almost certainly be
> supplanted at some point down the road--and anyone that is concerned
> about saving his images must deal with that contingency.

Perhaps your confusing actual archiving with unattended storage?

And what kind of time-span are you thinking of? I'd rate the chance
that software available in the year 2050 couldn't read a current JPEG
or TIFF file at exactly *zero*.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 6:54:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

timeOday <timeOday-UNspam@theknack.net> writes:

> 5.25" disks were never in widespread usage compared to CDs
> today. Computers themselves weren't in widespread usage them compared
> to now.

True enough.

> Besides, things change. 20 years ago home computers couldn't even
> display photorealistic images (Amiga HAM mode notwithstanding), and
> there were a huge number of different manufacturers of incompatible
> computers and media. The technology has matured a lot.

Yes.

> In the late 60s you could look back at the previous 30 years in
> aerospace and honestly say that *everything* had changed. That's
> how long it took to go essentially from biplanes to landing on the
> moon. Now, a little over 30 years later, we're still using airplanes
> very similar to the late 60s.

Yes and no. There are *still* people flying wood-and-fabric
airplanes, as a hobby. And there are still A&P mechanics certified to
repair them. And that's *another* 40 years down the road.

> I cannot say for sure that's hapenning to computers, but I think it
> is.

I think it *has*. I think CDs and jpeg and tiff and ASCII are the
"wood and fabric airplanes", though -- which look like they're going
to be supported on into the forseeable future.

> After reading the "Dirty little secret" article, I realize the
> author and I are looking at the same information and coming to
> different conclusions. I don't dismiss the author's opinions, I'm
> just stating some reasons why I think he may be mistaken on some
> things. On other things, I think he's right on, for instance I
> would *not* have confidence in being able to read a Microsoft Word
> or PowerPoint document 50 years from now. On the other hand I would
> be very surprised if this usenet exchange we're having doesn't
> outlast both of us.

Absolutely agree on those two.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 7:31:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In general, I agree with what you are saying, but would
add a comment here -- when doing the "double copies"
thing, use different brands of media for the copies. For,
over in the alt.video.dvdr group there have been comments
recently of the Ritek G04 and G05 media (which people have
been very happy with in the past) "forgetting" what was written
within a fairly short period of time ( < 6 months ). Use two
different manufacturers (not just different brand names which
may actually be the same) to do the backups. If one develops
read problems, refresh from the other one. Two copies in
different locations is great if you have a fire or something, but
if they both begin to forget at the same time, you lose.
I know -- no simple answer. As to whether or not anyone
cares about your pix 50 years from now, I know I have
really enjoyed being able to find old B/W pix from when my
dad was a kid (but then I am into genealogy stuff too). See
the picture at http://home.comcast.net/~mike.fields/genealog.htm
for a cute picture of my 87 year old father when he was a little
boy on the farm. Glad I found that one. Will my kids care in
50 years I hope so. Will anyone else care? In reality probably
not. I would suspect that jpg will be around for quite a while,
if not as a primary storage, then at least with converters for
whatever is current in the future. The trick is to at least make
the attempt to make sure the media is there if anyone wants
to look. It is easy to make a copy onto the "new standard" -
it is much harder to recover from old corrupted media.

mikey

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:38hyd.9749$Z47.8090@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> <dude17@sacbeemail.com> wrote in message
> news:1103725728.795292.265670@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > First concern is the availability of current file and data format.
> >
> > So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> > media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
> >
>
> Welcome to the world of digital image preservation! Sorry that you were
hit
> so hard by your experience with your "ancient" 8-year-old image files.
> Actually, you received a valuable lesson from the School of Hard Knocks,
for
> which you should be grateful. You learned while you were still able to
> correct the problem. Others will not be so lucky.
>
> The short answer to your question is to store files in UNCOMPRESSED TIF.
It
> is the format of choice for virtually all libraries. Do not compress the
> TIF files, because the various compression schemes might become unreadable
> by editing programs in the future. Already there are reports of old
> compressed TIF files not being able to be opened by modern editing
software.
> Forget compression on your archived image files.
>
> Use the "Master and Derivative" model for your storage media: in other
> words, make TWO "Master Disks." Store one off-site (bank safe deposit
box,
> relative or friend's home, etc.) Store it in a jewel box, keep it in a
dark
> place and don't touch it. Store a duplicate "Master Disk" at home, under
> the same dark/temperature/humidity optimum conditions.
>
> These "Master Disks" are used only to make derivative copies. If you work
> on your images, always work off the expendable Derivative Copy. If the
> Derivative ever goes bad, use your on-site Master Disk to make a new
> Derivative Copy, and then return the Master Disk back to hibernation.
Never
> use the Master Disk for any other purpose. If your on-site Master Disk
goes
> bad, or if it is lost in a fire, flood or theft, then make a NEW on-site
> Master Disk from the one you stored off-site, in the Safe Deposit Box.
>
> You might consider including an Index Print along with your Master and
> Derivative Disks, just so you (or your descendants) can see what is
> contained on them.
>
> This is a far cry from storing negatives in archival plastic pages, and
> storing prints in albums (or in shoeboxes).
>
> Even after taking all these precautions, you will have to provide for
> migrating the data to the latest file format and media type as time goes
on.
> Plan on doing this every 7-10 years. This is the Achilles Heel of digital
> preservation: you cannot be assured that this migration effort will
continue
> after your demise. Just think about the proverbial shoebox full of photos
> found in Grandma's attic: for one thing, people tend to move more often
and
> there is less chance that our historical images will be left undisturbed
for
> generations. And (more importantly) the photos Grandma stored were
visible
> without any special equipment or software. What if those Mac images that
> you had were just a few years older? You might not have had the means to
> decode them, and you would have probably discarded them, rather than pay
to
> have them converted onto a current medium.
>
> Kodak, on their website, even recommends that you consider long-term
storage
> of your important images by making PRINTS of them, and storing them in
> archival albums, in appropriate temperature/humidity/darkness conditions.
> The fact is that, for the typical consumer, the lowly PRINT stands the
> greatest chance of long-term survival, because it requires little
long-term
> maintenance.
>
> If you are starting to have reservations about digital file longevity, you
> are not alone. I recommend that you have a look at this article, that
> discusses the issue better than I can. "Digital's Dirty Little Secret"
>
> http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1513.htm
>
> Even large digital libraries are affected by the need to periodically
renew
> their digital assets onto newer file formats and storage media. What
makes
> them different from us consumers is that they have planned for, and
budgeted
> for, this continual file maintenance and renewal. We ordinary folks must
> rely upon our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren to care for our
> image files. There is no assurance that they will have any interest in
> doing so. More likely, the piles of disks will gather dust until somebody
> decides to throw them out, since they can't read them. At least prints
have
> a chance of surviving, because their historical value is apparent at first
> glance. Not so with those CDs or DVDs.
>
> More photos are being taken than ever before, and I believe that a large
> number of them will survive. But the question of whether YOUR particular
> photos will survive in digital format is uncertain.
>
> My own solution is to do my important stuff on film. I use digital for
> short-time-horizons of under 5 years. And on important digital images, I
do
> have OFOTO make prints on silver halide paper, and I keep them in archival
> albums. I have tons of CDs, with digital images on them, and I have no
> reason to think that they will survive long-term. It is a pity that this
> problem has not been solved yet.
>
>
December 23, 2004 8:20:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:m2652tdb5x.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
> "Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> writes:
>
> > "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:bdhyd.11970
> >>
> >> Digital storage is not forever.
> >>
> >
> > We often fail to appreciate the fact that CDs were NEVER developed to be
an
> > archival storage medium! There is an element of Russian Roulette when
> > storing on CD or DVD. We already know that there is a wide variation
when
> > it comes to reliability of data (I just read something about "rotting
dyes"
> > in some CDs, that apparently degrade over time to the point that the
entire
> > disk becomes unreadable).
> >
> > Meanwhile, the guy that has shot film, on his cheap little Point & Shoot
> > camera, and who has carefully stored the prints and negs in archival
plastic
> > album pages, ends up keeping his whole library of his life's pictures!
Is
> > that ironic, or what?
>
> For thirty years, or perhaps even longer sometimes if he's lucky! You
> are *greatly* over-rating the stability of color photograhic
> materials. Most of the color snapshots from the 60s are essentially
> gone now.
> --

And what about those shots being taken today? Are they going to be gone in
3 decades? I suspect not. But I wouldn't bet the farm on too many of
today's CDs being around in 30 years.

Time will tell.
December 23, 2004 8:27:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"timeOday" <timeOday-UNSPAM@theknack.net> wrote in message
news:D bednV4rvZ1N21fcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
>
> IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.

WHY would you recommend a lossy format as an archival storage format?



Writable CDs have already been the
> norm for about 7 years, and all new drives are backwards compatible with
> them, and will be for the forseeable future.

Not according to the Luminous Landscape article on "Digital's Dirty Little
Secret." The writer cites examples of formats that were once in common use
that are now unavailable.

> Responding to the rest of your post, as well, I just don't think it's
> important to worry about hundreds of years.

You are stating an unqualified opinion, as though it were factual. The fact
is that countless archivists and digital libraries are struggling with this
problem, and there is no solution on the horizon. I quoted exper articles
in my previous posts, and you have just dismissed them with a wave of the
hand, and have suggested that there is no problem with archival storage with
today's media and file formats. Tell that to the Library of Congress and
they'll laugh at you.

It is irresponsible to suggest to an inquirer that he should, essentially,
"just burn it onto CD."





I disagree with the fears
> of a "digital dark age." If digital information is more easily
> destroyed, it is also replicated and distributed. Many images will not
> survive, but billions upon billions will. Given that, it's vanity to
> imagine that anybody will mourn the loss of your (or my) photographs.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:27:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 17:27:33 GMT, "Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> wrote:

>
>"timeOday" <timeOday-UNSPAM@theknack.net> wrote in message
>news:D bednV4rvZ1N21fcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
>>
>> IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.
>
>WHY would you recommend a lossy format as an archival storage format?
>
>
>
>Writable CDs have already been the
>> norm for about 7 years, and all new drives are backwards compatible with
>> them, and will be for the forseeable future.
>
>Not according to the Luminous Landscape article on "Digital's Dirty Little
>Secret." The writer cites examples of formats that were once in common use
>that are now unavailable.

If that's Jim McGee's article as here:
http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1513.htm
I think he's working under some false impressions.
One of the worst is where he talks about the development time and
money needed to continue to put CD reading capability into future DVD
drives. That's just wrong; the R&D's already been done. It's just a
matter of bringing *already present* technology into the new DVD
drives. This is being done now, and costs are still going down for the
new drives; obviously, including the ability to read CDs isn't the
financial burden he makes it out to be.
It's easy to predict failure, but will the failure he predicts
actually come about? I doubt it, at least not as he predicts.
Yes, there are formats that aren't being used anymore; however, there
are *years* of overlap, giving pleanty of time to do the transfer.
And he violates his own prediction, by advising the use of hard drives
as archival storage, after pointing out that he has his own hard
drives that are old technology that can't be read anymore.
In sum, he's doing nothing that others haven't done: predicting that
new technologies will come along. Well, Duh! That's called progress!
It's up to the owner of data to transfer that data to current
technology; saying that it must be done is a reason to somehow devalue
current technology (in this case, digital photography) is downright
stupid!
>
>> Responding to the rest of your post, as well, I just don't think it's
>> important to worry about hundreds of years.
>
>You are stating an unqualified opinion, as though it were factual. The fact
>is that countless archivists and digital libraries are struggling with this
>problem, and there is no solution on the horizon. I quoted exper articles
>in my previous posts, and you have just dismissed them with a wave of the
>hand, and have suggested that there is no problem with archival storage with
>today's media and file formats. Tell that to the Library of Congress and
>they'll laugh at you.
>
>It is irresponsible to suggest to an inquirer that he should, essentially,
>"just burn it onto CD."
>
>
>
>
>
> I disagree with the fears
>> of a "digital dark age." If digital information is more easily
>> destroyed, it is also replicated and distributed. Many images will not
>> survive, but billions upon billions will. Given that, it's vanity to
>> imagine that anybody will mourn the loss of your (or my) photographs.
>

--
Bill Funk
Change "g" to "a"
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:27:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jeremy wrote:
> "timeOday" <timeOday-UNSPAM@theknack.net> wrote in message
> news:D bednV4rvZ1N21fcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
>
>>IMHO jpeg (not jpeg 2000) is perfectly safe in that regard.
>
>
> WHY would you recommend a lossy format as an archival storage format?
>

I'm saying, if you want to save some space, don't worry about jpeg going
away, because it won't.

>
>
> Writable CDs have already been the
>
>>norm for about 7 years, and all new drives are backwards compatible with
>>them, and will be for the forseeable future.
>
>
> Not according to the Luminous Landscape article on "Digital's Dirty Little
> Secret." The writer cites examples of formats that were once in common use
> that are now unavailable.

5.25" disks were never in widespread usage compared to CDs today.
Computers themselves weren't in widespread usage them compared to now.

Besides, things change. 20 years ago home computers couldn't even
display photorealistic images (Amiga HAM mode notwithstanding), and
there were a huge number of different manufacturers of incompatible
computers and media. The technology has matured a lot.

In the late 60s you could look back at the previous 30 years in
aerospace and honestly say that *everything* had changed. That's how
long it took to go essentially from biplanes to landing on the moon.
Now, a little over 30 years later, we're still using airplanes very
similar to the late 60s.

I cannot say for sure that's hapenning to computers, but I think it is.

After reading the "Dirty little secret" article, I realize the author
and I are looking at the same information and coming to different
conclusions. I don't dismiss the author's opinions, I'm just stating
some reasons why I think he may be mistaken on some things. On other
things, I think he's right on, for instance I would *not* have
confidence in being able to read a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint document
50 years from now. On the other hand I would be very surprised if this
usenet exchange we're having doesn't outlast both of us.

>
>
>>Responding to the rest of your post, as well, I just don't think it's
>>important to worry about hundreds of years.
>
>
> You are stating an unqualified opinion, as though it were factual. The fact
> is that countless archivists and digital libraries are struggling with this
> problem, and there is no solution on the horizon.

Well, let me qualify my opinion then (yes, it is certainly a personal
opinion). I was talking about personal photos. If I were trying to
preserve the US Constitution or the Leaning tower of Pisa or gigabytes
of data from the Mars rovers, I agree that is a whole different
ballgame. Those artifacts are worth millions of dollars.

> I quoted exper articles
> in my previous posts, and you have just dismissed them with a wave of the
> hand, and have suggested that there is no problem with archival storage with
> today's media and file formats. Tell that to the Library of Congress and
> they'll laugh at you.
>
> It is irresponsible to suggest to an inquirer that he should, essentially,
> "just burn it onto CD."
>


I didn't mean it is safe to just burn to a CD and leave it there
forever, only that the ubiquity of the media ensures a nice, long
transition period. I think the transition period for CDs (maybe it has
already begun) will be longer than for 3.5" disks, which was much longer
than for 5.25" disks, and so on, because computers have become so
ubiquitous, and the need for improvement is decreasing.

Here is what I do. I have two computers, and one makes nightly backups
to the other. Periodically, I copy my data to CDs. When I visit my
parents, I take a copy of my backup CDs and leave them there. I expect
to switch to DVD soon. My wife puts prints of our favorite photos into
scrapbooks - not all of them, but perhaps our favorite dozen or 20
photographs each year. As a whole, I think this system is reasonable
and I expect it to work, but my crystal ball is no better than anybody
else's.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:30:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

timeOday wrote:

> 5.25" disks were never in widespread usage
> compared to CDs today.

That's just flat out incorrect. For many years,
5.25" mini-floppy disks were the main means
of distribution of software. It's all you could
purchase on the commercial market when 8"
floppies went away and before 3.5" micro-
minis became popular. Wordstar, Liesure Suit
Larry and GW BASIC were distributed on
5.25" mini-floppies. So were 1-2-3 and every
other app from that era you can name.

If you mean quantity as opposed to market
share, well, that's true but meaningless. If you
had data or applications during that period, it
was on 5.25" mini-floppies, tape or a Winchester
HD.

> If I were trying to preserve the US Constitution
> or the Leaning tower of Pisa or gigabytes of data
> from the Mars rovers, I agree that is a whole
> different ballgame. Those artifacts are worth
> millions of dollars.

Money isn't the only measure of worth. To me,
photos of my family are priceless, and I would like
to hand my children images of our family that they
can count on to remain usable. To a working press
photographer, his back catalog is precious, even
though on the market, it's not "worth millions."

> I think the transition period for CDs (maybe it
> has already begun) will be longer than for 3.5" disks,
> which was much longer than for 5.25" disks, and
> so on, because computers have become so ubiquitous,
> and the need for improvement is decreasing.

That statement that is belied by the history of
technology which predicts an opposite course.
Remember the Patent Office director who
foresaw no further technological developments since
everything had already been invented? Look at the
history of the automobile. Convergence into an
aerodynamically similar shape was predicted just ten
years ago. What happened instead was a fracturing into
hundreds of model types, each with smaller market share.

You say CD is safe. A few years ago, industry analysts
were predicting that the 100MB Zip drive would be the
removable standard. Ubiquity guarantees nothing.
Even standardization guarantees nothing. What will the
format be for dual-layer DVDs? I'd be willing to bet
that when it's decided, it will become irrelevant because
a new optical storage method has come into use.

> Here is what I do. I have two computers, and one
> makes nightly backups to the other.

In what format? With what operating system and
backup application? Will they both remain usable
when XP goes away in a couple of years? MS backup
systems are notorious for lacking backward compatibility.
Use Ghost? Tried to restore from a five-year-old image?
Backup is a short-term safety practice, not an archiving
solution.

> Periodically, I copy my data to CDs.

Ever had a CD delaminate on you? Do you store
them in a temp-hum controlled area and periodically
refresh them by copying? And in what format? What's
your plan to translate and pull forward existing data
when protocols change? Your plan must go far beyond
simple backup of existing file formats.

> When I visit my parents, I take a copy of my backup
> CDs and leave them there. I expect to switch to DVD
> soon.

Using what format? Single layer straight data copy? How
long do you expect that hardware to remain active in
the market? Tried to find a computer with a micro-floppy
drive lately? Tried to use Zip disks at work? I'd bet that
in ten years, your backup CDs are unreadable from
age or lack of hardware/software to read them. Same
for DVD. If you don't have a refresh/pull-through plan,
your kids will inherit nothing from you but coasters.

Tech boards are full of requests from people trying
to read old manuals and docs created with obsolete
word processing programs (Wang) that can't be read
today. If they find someone with a copy of the software,
it's on a medium nobody has a drive for. If you don't
translate and pull forward periodically, you're left
behind and the data becomes unusable.

> My wife puts prints of our favorite photos into scrapbooks

Inkjet prints? Or prints from the drugstore?
She using acid-free paper? What's in the adhesive?

> - not all of them, but perhaps our favorite dozen or 20
> photographs each year. As a whole, I think this system
> is reasonable and I expect it to work, but my crystal ball
> is no better than anybody else's.

I'd wager that your wife's scrapbooks -- assuming she's
not using home-printed photographs -- will be of use
to your children, but your CDs and DVDs will not.

You sound like a home user with limited needs (20
photos per year), and there's nothing wrong with that,
but you're scoffing without knowing that there are people
with far more serious demands than yours. A working pro
may have a library of hundreds of thousands of images on
storage and in formats that are at risk, and needs to have a
plan to convert and store those images so not to lose them.
He's not going to be interested in the advice of someone
who says "Just burn 'em on CDs, drop 'em off at the
parent's house and quit worrying."

A serious archiving plan must deal with formats, media,
hardware, translation, indexing and storage conditions.
Failing in any of those areas can result in loss of your
images. Your plan appears to deal with none of them,
and is therefore not a serious plan.

You also sound like a newcomer to this issue. Those
with a few decades of computer storage and archiving
experience under their belts take the problem far more
seriously than you do, because they've lost data and have
had to deal with all the issues you take so lightly.
December 23, 2004 8:31:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Ken Weitzel" <kweitzel@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:ZEsyd.545646$Pl.432666@pd7tw1no...
>
> My goodness; now you have me scared! Is it going to
> disappear tonight? Next week? Do I have a month?
>

Please do not twist the focus of the discussion. We are commenting on
LONG-TERM ARCHIVING of our images. No, the JPG format will not "disappear"
in the near term. But it will almost certainly be supplanted at some point
down the road--and anyone that is concerned about saving his images must
deal with that contingency.

Your scoffing at the problem is not resulting in anything constructive. If
you are not concerned with it, then so be it. Let's revisit this in another
century and see which of us was right.
December 23, 2004 8:42:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Mike F" <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:xpCyd.245319$V41.53355@attbi_s52...
> In general, I agree with what you are saying, but would
> add a comment here -- when doing the "double copies"
> thing, use different brands of media for the copies. For,
> over in the alt.video.dvdr group there have been comments
> recently of the Ritek G04 and G05 media (which people have
> been very happy with in the past) "forgetting" what was written
> within a fairly short period of time ( < 6 months ). Use two
> different manufacturers (not just different brand names which
> may actually be the same) to do the backups. If one develops
> read problems, refresh from the other one. Two copies in
> different locations is great if you have a fire or something, but
> if they both begin to forget at the same time, you lose.
> I know -- no simple answer. As to whether or not anyone
> cares about your pix 50 years from now, I know I have
> really enjoyed being able to find old B/W pix from when my
> dad was a kid (but then I am into genealogy stuff too). See
> the picture at http://home.comcast.net/~mike.fields/genealog.htm
> for a cute picture of my 87 year old father when he was a little
> boy on the farm. Glad I found that one. Will my kids care in
> 50 years I hope so. Will anyone else care? In reality probably
> not. I would suspect that jpg will be around for quite a while,
> if not as a primary storage, then at least with converters for
> whatever is current in the future. The trick is to at least make
> the attempt to make sure the media is there if anyone wants
> to look. It is easy to make a copy onto the "new standard" -
> it is much harder to recover from old corrupted media.
>
> mikey
>
> "Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:38hyd.9749$Z47.8090@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> >
> > <dude17@sacbeemail.com> wrote in message
> > news:1103725728.795292.265670@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> > >
> > > First concern is the availability of current file and data format.
> > >
> > > So what would you guys say is the best file type, media format and
> > > media type to use if I want them to be easily accessible for decades?
> > >
> >
> > Welcome to the world of digital image preservation! Sorry that you were
> hit
> > so hard by your experience with your "ancient" 8-year-old image files.
> > Actually, you received a valuable lesson from the School of Hard Knocks,
> for
> > which you should be grateful. You learned while you were still able to
> > correct the problem. Others will not be so lucky.
> >
> > The short answer to your question is to store files in UNCOMPRESSED TIF.
> It
> > is the format of choice for virtually all libraries. Do not compress
the
> > TIF files, because the various compression schemes might become
unreadable
> > by editing programs in the future. Already there are reports of old
> > compressed TIF files not being able to be opened by modern editing
> software.
> > Forget compression on your archived image files.
> >
> > Use the "Master and Derivative" model for your storage media: in other
> > words, make TWO "Master Disks." Store one off-site (bank safe deposit
> box,
> > relative or friend's home, etc.) Store it in a jewel box, keep it in a
> dark
> > place and don't touch it. Store a duplicate "Master Disk" at home,
under
> > the same dark/temperature/humidity optimum conditions.
> >
> > These "Master Disks" are used only to make derivative copies. If you
work
> > on your images, always work off the expendable Derivative Copy. If the
> > Derivative ever goes bad, use your on-site Master Disk to make a new
> > Derivative Copy, and then return the Master Disk back to hibernation.
> Never
> > use the Master Disk for any other purpose. If your on-site Master Disk
> goes
> > bad, or if it is lost in a fire, flood or theft, then make a NEW on-site
> > Master Disk from the one you stored off-site, in the Safe Deposit Box.
> >
> > You might consider including an Index Print along with your Master and
> > Derivative Disks, just so you (or your descendants) can see what is
> > contained on them.
> >
> > This is a far cry from storing negatives in archival plastic pages, and
> > storing prints in albums (or in shoeboxes).
> >
> > Even after taking all these precautions, you will have to provide for
> > migrating the data to the latest file format and media type as time goes
> on.
> > Plan on doing this every 7-10 years. This is the Achilles Heel of
digital
> > preservation: you cannot be assured that this migration effort will
> continue
> > after your demise. Just think about the proverbial shoebox full of
photos
> > found in Grandma's attic: for one thing, people tend to move more often
> and
> > there is less chance that our historical images will be left undisturbed
> for
> > generations. And (more importantly) the photos Grandma stored were
> visible
> > without any special equipment or software. What if those Mac images
that
> > you had were just a few years older? You might not have had the means
to
> > decode them, and you would have probably discarded them, rather than pay
> to
> > have them converted onto a current medium.
> >
> > Kodak, on their website, even recommends that you consider long-term
> storage
> > of your important images by making PRINTS of them, and storing them in
> > archival albums, in appropriate temperature/humidity/darkness
conditions.
> > The fact is that, for the typical consumer, the lowly PRINT stands the
> > greatest chance of long-term survival, because it requires little
> long-term
> > maintenance.
> >
> > If you are starting to have reservations about digital file longevity,
you
> > are not alone. I recommend that you have a look at this article, that
> > discusses the issue better than I can. "Digital's Dirty Little Secret"
> >
> > http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1513.htm
> >
> > Even large digital libraries are affected by the need to periodically
> renew
> > their digital assets onto newer file formats and storage media. What
> makes
> > them different from us consumers is that they have planned for, and
> budgeted
> > for, this continual file maintenance and renewal. We ordinary folks
must
> > rely upon our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren to care for
our
> > image files. There is no assurance that they will have any interest in
> > doing so. More likely, the piles of disks will gather dust until
somebody
> > decides to throw them out, since they can't read them. At least prints
> have
> > a chance of surviving, because their historical value is apparent at
first
> > glance. Not so with those CDs or DVDs.
> >
> > More photos are being taken than ever before, and I believe that a large
> > number of them will survive. But the question of whether YOUR
particular
> > photos will survive in digital format is uncertain.
> >
> > My own solution is to do my important stuff on film. I use digital for
> > short-time-horizons of under 5 years. And on important digital images,
I
> do
> > have OFOTO make prints on silver halide paper, and I keep them in
archival
> > albums. I have tons of CDs, with digital images on them, and I have no
> > reason to think that they will survive long-term. It is a pity that
this
> > problem has not been solved yet.
> >
> >
>
>

Eastman Kodak has a professional division that specializes in imaging
solutions for banks. Banks are required to maintain copies of certain types
of documents for years.

Take cancelled checks. Must be kept for 7 years, last time I looked at the
regulations. But banks do not simply scan them and store the images on
magnetic or optical media. They microfilm them. Kodak has come up with a
hybrid solution: the checks are scanned, and their images can be stored
electronically. That means that checks can be sorted by account number,
date, check number, etc. In addition, the scanned images are also printed
to microfilm and held in long-term storage. If a copy is required at some
point in the future, (even after the electronic image format is no longer
supported) it can be printed from the microfilm and can even be digitized
into whatever format is then in use.

U.S. Department of Defense requires important manuals, plans, schematics
etc. to be stored on MICROFILM, in addition to any current electronic image
standard.

Despite its shortcomings (for example, microfilm loses 10% of its image
information each time it is copied and reproduced onto new microfilm) it is
the only sure-fire method to ensure readability into the long term.

The National Archives has been experimenting with CDs that have a glass
coating--in an effort to come up with an archival-use CD.

Digital imaging makes for easy accessibility, for sure, but it does not have
archival qualities. The proverbial shoebox filled with photographs stands a
greater chance of long-term survival than does a shoebox filled with CDs.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 8:46:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Big Bill

> I think he's working under some false impressions.
> One of the worst is where he talks about the
> development time and money needed to continue
> to put CD reading capability into future DVD
> drives. That's just wrong; the R&D's already been
> done. It's just a matter of bringing *already present*
> technology into the new DVD drives.

With respect, you don't know what you're talking
about. Keeping existing legacy technology in an
advancing product is a difficult and destructive
ball-and-chain around the ankle of development
engineers. Look at all the problems caused in Windows,
for example, trying to maintain DOS compatibility.
As DVDs go from single to dual-layer capability,
engineers would dearly love to drop the requirement
to be able to read CD data.

You can't just say "the R&D's been done." No, it
hasn't been done for every new track width and
velocity, every new rotational speed, every new
pit-and-land configuration, every new laser frequency.
Each time changes and advances are made in optical
storage technology, the engineers have to figure out
how they can squeeze a CD reader into the new box.

Sooner or later, and I predict sooner, like Redmond
finally shot DOS in the head with XP, Phillips and
Sony and Toshiba, et alia, will shoot CD in the head
and drop it in the dumpster.

What's keeping CD alive? Installed base? No, the
advantage to the manufacturers is in replacing the
installed base. Music? MP3 and on-line distribution
is killing the CD in the marketplace. It's not even
an efficient distribution medium anymore, since the
price of DVD has dropped below a dollar. Why
hold onto a 650MB medium when a 4.7GB medium
is almost as inexpensive? Software? It's already
distributed on DVD, and there's no advantage
to distributors in using CDs.

What's keeping CD alive is economics -- the
economics of replacement. As soon as enough
people have saved up to replace their CD drives
with DVD, and the computer makers have sold
enough computers with CD-DVD combos, and
then DVD alone, you'll see the balance tip and
wave bye-bye to CD. I'd predict about three years
before it starts to fall. Within six, it'll be gone.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 10:10:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

X-No-Archive: Yes

Jeremy wrote:
> "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:bdhyd.11970
> >
> > Digital storage is not forever.
> >
>
> We often fail to appreciate the fact that CDs were NEVER developed to
be an
> archival storage medium! There is an element of Russian Roulette
when

While I agree with you, I have never heard this before. CD-Rs are
advertised to last decades to more than a century (based on statistical
models given the conditions of ideal, fixed, storage climate). When
they say an incandescent lamp lasts about xx hours and a fluorescent
lamp lasts ~10,000 hours or 5 yrs under ordinary use, I have faith in
the claim, because there is experimentally verified data as well as
track record to confirm it.

> storing on CD or DVD. We already know that there is a wide variation
when
> it comes to reliability of data (I just read something about "rotting
dyes"
> in some CDs, that apparently degrade over time to the point that the
entire
> disk becomes unreadable).

I have only had a few CDs fail spontaneously but thats too many. They
ALL played back fine immediately after recording. They were stored in
a normal environment. At least other discs stored together in the same
drawer had no problems. There are a number of problems with CD-Rs.
The organic recording dye is subject to chemical degradation,
hydrolization, photochemical breakdown and such. The silver reflective
layer will tarnish if there's a void in protective layer which maybe a
result of damage or a poor manufacturing process. The price war on
recording media has ensured quality is not a priority.

Chemically deactivated inorganic compound will without doubt outlast a
CD-R, such example being B&W prints and films processed with
polysulfide toner. If a CD-R was a thermal printed ATM receipt that
will fade after a while, a polysulfide processed print is a note
written on paper with pencil.

> Meanwhile, the guy that has shot film, on his cheap little Point &
Shoot
> camera, and who has carefully stored the prints and negs in archival
plastic
> album pages, ends up keeping his whole library of his life's
pictures! Is
> that ironic, or what?

I stored my Quicktake pics to two different media.
1. Ricoh CD-R disc
2. 640MB MO disk.
MO is better time proven than CD-R technology and the lack of fierce
price war should keep the quality high(MOs are very expensive, ~$40 for
five 640MB disks). They're often used in medical, banking, government
data which should ensure the availability of playback device into the
future.

3. I'm going to make a third set of backups for the pics I really like
and this will be a physical print out from a photo lab with Fuji
Frontier silver-halide machine.
December 23, 2004 11:10:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Big Bill" <bill@pipping.com> wrote in message
news:363ms0lv2kiqbersevn00dtslgfrmf6v6m@4ax.com...
>
> If that's Jim McGee's article as here:
> http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1513.htm

Sorry about that--you are correct, it WAS the VividLight article that I was
referring to.


> I think he's working under some false impressions.
> One of the worst is where he talks about the development time and
> money needed to continue to put CD reading capability into future DVD
> drives. That's just wrong; the R&D's already been done.

He cites a couple of examples where compatibility was maintained for a short
time as one format transitioned into another. Later, the compatibility was
withdrawn. His point was that manufacturers will make what is cheapest, and
they will not necessarily build in backward compatibility once it is
unnecessary to do so. (Remember the Canon breech mount? Or 78 RPM records?
By the late 60s, most high fidelity turntables were playing 33 and 45 only.)

The point is that we must not ASSUME that what exists now will survive well
into the future, especially if the technology improves and makes today's
technology obsolete. (I wish I could still get mercury batteries for my
Spotmatic meter. . .)

It's just a matter of bringing *already present* technology into the new DVD
> drives. This is being done now, and costs are still going down for the
> new drives; obviously, including the ability to read CDs isn't the
> financial burden he makes it out to be.

They are compatible NOW--no contest on that point. There is no assurance
that they will be compatible 30 years from now. In fact, I'd be surprised
if DVDs still exist as they do now. The trend is to make everything
smaller. We'll probably be storing files on media no bigger than a postage
stamp in the next 20 years. Believe me, they will NOT try to make that kind
of media backward compatible with today's CDs.


> It's easy to predict failure, but will the failure he predicts
> actually come about? I doubt it, at least not as he predicts.

The archivist must take stock of the risks. Otherwise he runs the risk of
preserving today's information is a way that cannot be decoded easily.

There is already an obscure (but growing) field called "Digital
Archaeology." Technicians are trying to read obsolete file formats and
convert them to current ones. And we are talking about a technology that is
no more than 50 years old! If we are having these problems NOW, imagine
what it will be like in 50 more years?

> Yes, there are formats that aren't being used anymore; however, there
> are *years* of overlap, giving pleanty of time to do the transfer.

That is a very short time, when we are talking about a long term time
horizon. I have no doubt that big institutions will be able to decode old
files, but the typical consumer will probably just throw the showbox full of
obsolete media into the trash, rather than mess with it.

The other problem that even institutions face is how to cope with the
demands of migrating an ever-increasing amount of files. What if there is a
budget crunch? Will they continue to commit money and labor to keeping that
old stuff alive? They never really had to deal with this before--they just
housed the original books, manuscripts, photos in a building (like a
library) and it could just sit there. Perhaps they had to provide some
temperature and humidity controls (what did libraries do before they had air
conditioning? The material still managed to survive).


The fact is, if you search the literature, you will find that our most
prestigious institutions are struggling with this problem. And the amount
of digitized information continues to grow exponentially. They can't cope
with what they have now, and they will have many times more of it within
just a couple of years.

My point is that many amateur photographers are under the mistaken
impression that they are creating digital images that will last a lot longer
than did the analog prints that their parents and grandparents made. They
do not take into consideration that their work will require maintenance
(migration of file format and media format) as time progresses.

One woman in an online genealogy group boasted that she had just completed a
project of scanning all her important family historical documents--birth and
death certificates, newspaper clippings, obituaries, marriage certificates,
photographs--and she finished by saying that she had shredded and disposed
of all the paper originals. I cringed when I read that.
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 2:44:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Oh no !!! 8" floppies are gone ??? I still have
several boxes of them and the Double Sided Double
Density (1,2 megs !!) drives for them (maybe I'll start
a museum ??)

mikey

"Farga Palenga Jengis" <fpj@sakaratchafratchit.biz> wrote in message
news:D _ednaRpDIuzyFbcRVn-1A@comcast.com...
> timeOday wrote:
>
> > 5.25" disks were never in widespread usage
> > compared to CDs today.
>
> That's just flat out incorrect. For many years,
> 5.25" mini-floppy disks were the main means
> of distribution of software. It's all you could
> purchase on the commercial market when 8"
> floppies went away and before 3.5" micro-
> minis became popular. Wordstar, Liesure Suit
> Larry and GW BASIC were distributed on
> 5.25" mini-floppies. So were 1-2-3 and every
> other app from that era you can name.
>
> If you mean quantity as opposed to market
> share, well, that's true but meaningless. If you
> had data or applications during that period, it
> was on 5.25" mini-floppies, tape or a Winchester
> HD.
>
> > If I were trying to preserve the US Constitution
> > or the Leaning tower of Pisa or gigabytes of data
> > from the Mars rovers, I agree that is a whole
> > different ballgame. Those artifacts are worth
> > millions of dollars.
>
> Money isn't the only measure of worth. To me,
> photos of my family are priceless, and I would like
> to hand my children images of our family that they
> can count on to remain usable. To a working press
> photographer, his back catalog is precious, even
> though on the market, it's not "worth millions."
>
> > I think the transition period for CDs (maybe it
> > has already begun) will be longer than for 3.5" disks,
> > which was much longer than for 5.25" disks, and
> > so on, because computers have become so ubiquitous,
> > and the need for improvement is decreasing.
>
> That statement that is belied by the history of
> technology which predicts an opposite course.
> Remember the Patent Office director who
> foresaw no further technological developments since
> everything had already been invented? Look at the
> history of the automobile. Convergence into an
> aerodynamically similar shape was predicted just ten
> years ago. What happened instead was a fracturing into
> hundreds of model types, each with smaller market share.
>
> You say CD is safe. A few years ago, industry analysts
> were predicting that the 100MB Zip drive would be the
> removable standard. Ubiquity guarantees nothing.
> Even standardization guarantees nothing. What will the
> format be for dual-layer DVDs? I'd be willing to bet
> that when it's decided, it will become irrelevant because
> a new optical storage method has come into use.
>
> > Here is what I do. I have two computers, and one
> > makes nightly backups to the other.
>
> In what format? With what operating system and
> backup application? Will they both remain usable
> when XP goes away in a couple of years? MS backup
> systems are notorious for lacking backward compatibility.
> Use Ghost? Tried to restore from a five-year-old image?
> Backup is a short-term safety practice, not an archiving
> solution.
>
> > Periodically, I copy my data to CDs.
>
> Ever had a CD delaminate on you? Do you store
> them in a temp-hum controlled area and periodically
> refresh them by copying? And in what format? What's
> your plan to translate and pull forward existing data
> when protocols change? Your plan must go far beyond
> simple backup of existing file formats.
>
> > When I visit my parents, I take a copy of my backup
> > CDs and leave them there. I expect to switch to DVD
> > soon.
>
> Using what format? Single layer straight data copy? How
> long do you expect that hardware to remain active in
> the market? Tried to find a computer with a micro-floppy
> drive lately? Tried to use Zip disks at work? I'd bet that
> in ten years, your backup CDs are unreadable from
> age or lack of hardware/software to read them. Same
> for DVD. If you don't have a refresh/pull-through plan,
> your kids will inherit nothing from you but coasters.
>
> Tech boards are full of requests from people trying
> to read old manuals and docs created with obsolete
> word processing programs (Wang) that can't be read
> today. If they find someone with a copy of the software,
> it's on a medium nobody has a drive for. If you don't
> translate and pull forward periodically, you're left
> behind and the data becomes unusable.
>
> > My wife puts prints of our favorite photos into scrapbooks
>
> Inkjet prints? Or prints from the drugstore?
> She using acid-free paper? What's in the adhesive?
>
> > - not all of them, but perhaps our favorite dozen or 20
> > photographs each year. As a whole, I think this system
> > is reasonable and I expect it to work, but my crystal ball
> > is no better than anybody else's.
>
> I'd wager that your wife's scrapbooks -- assuming she's
> not using home-printed photographs -- will be of use
> to your children, but your CDs and DVDs will not.
>
> You sound like a home user with limited needs (20
> photos per year), and there's nothing wrong with that,
> but you're scoffing without knowing that there are people
> with far more serious demands than yours. A working pro
> may have a library of hundreds of thousands of images on
> storage and in formats that are at risk, and needs to have a
> plan to convert and store those images so not to lose them.
> He's not going to be interested in the advice of someone
> who says "Just burn 'em on CDs, drop 'em off at the
> parent's house and quit worrying."
>
> A serious archiving plan must deal with formats, media,
> hardware, translation, indexing and storage conditions.
> Failing in any of those areas can result in loss of your
> images. Your plan appears to deal with none of them,
> and is therefore not a serious plan.
>
> You also sound like a newcomer to this issue. Those
> with a few decades of computer storage and archiving
> experience under their belts take the problem far more
> seriously than you do, because they've lost data and have
> had to deal with all the issues you take so lightly.
>
>
>
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 2:44:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mike F wrote:

> Oh no !!! 8" floppies are gone ??? I still have
> several boxes of them and the Double Sided Double
> Density (1,2 megs !!) drives for them (maybe I'll start
> a museum ??)

Heh. That's the way to keep any technology available
-- store the media, the hardware, spare parts and
manuals. Just recently, I purged all my 8" and 5.25"
media and gear, and dumped almost all of my 3.5"
stuff. I kept a few software items and some blank
micro-floppies, but I fear it's a bit like putting lettuce
into the fridge that you don't want to toss after making
a salad. It's too good to discard -- I'll wait 'till it rots.

I've already dumped the Sparq (!), Zip and Peerless
gear. I have one Jaz drive left, and use it with fingers
crossed since I only have one.
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 3:43:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Farga Palenga Jengis wrote:
> Big Bill
>
>
>>I think he's working under some false impressions.
>>One of the worst is where he talks about the
>>development time and money needed to continue
>>to put CD reading capability into future DVD
>>drives. That's just wrong; the R&D's already been
>>done. It's just a matter of bringing *already present*
>>technology into the new DVD drives.
>
>
> With respect, you don't know what you're talking
> about. Keeping existing legacy technology in an
> advancing product is a difficult and destructive
> ball-and-chain around the ankle of development
> engineers. Look at all the problems caused in Windows,
> for example, trying to maintain DOS compatibility.
> As DVDs go from single to dual-layer capability,
> engineers would dearly love to drop the requirement
> to be able to read CD data.
>
> You can't just say "the R&D's been done." No, it
> hasn't been done for every new track width and
> velocity, every new rotational speed, every new
> pit-and-land configuration, every new laser frequency.
> Each time changes and advances are made in optical
> storage technology, the engineers have to figure out
> how they can squeeze a CD reader into the new box.
>
> Sooner or later, and I predict sooner, like Redmond
> finally shot DOS in the head with XP, Phillips and
> Sony and Toshiba, et alia, will shoot CD in the head
> and drop it in the dumpster.
>
> What's keeping CD alive? Installed base? No, the
> advantage to the manufacturers is in replacing the
> installed base. Music? MP3 and on-line distribution
> is killing the CD in the marketplace. It's not even
> an efficient distribution medium anymore, since the
> price of DVD has dropped below a dollar. Why
> hold onto a 650MB medium when a 4.7GB medium
> is almost as inexpensive? Software? It's already
> distributed on DVD, and there's no advantage
> to distributors in using CDs.
>
> What's keeping CD alive is economics -- the
> economics of replacement. As soon as enough
> people have saved up to replace their CD drives
> with DVD, and the computer makers have sold
> enough computers with CD-DVD combos, and
> then DVD alone, you'll see the balance tip and
> wave bye-bye to CD. I'd predict about three years
> before it starts to fall. Within six, it'll be gone.

Farga, I admire your fortitude, but you're doing your
very best to invent a solution for a problem that just
doesn't exist!

An example, if I may? You suggest (and I agree) that
CD's will die a slow death over the next few years.
Will not *everyone* who has a vested interest in data
stored on CD not copy it to DVD's sometime during that
few years?

Did you not (if you're old enough) copy your 5.25 360's to
3.5 720's before the 360's demise? Your 720's to 1.44's?
Your 1.44's to 650 meg CD's and then 700 meg CD's? And now
currently your CD's to data DVD's?

Did you not copy your vinyl records to cassettes? And now
your cassettes to CD's?

Did you not copy your beta video's to VHS? Your old 8mm movies
to DVD?

Will you not just keep going, regardless of the direction
that mass storage moves? Even when it *finally* moves
away from mechanical devices?

If you care enough, and your data is sufficiently worthwhile,
then it's easy.

The best of the holidays to you and to yours.

Ken
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 3:43:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ken Weitzel wrote:

> Farga, I admire your fortitude, but you're doing your
> very best to invent a solution for a problem that just
> doesn't exist!
>
> An example, if I may? You suggest (and I agree) that
> CD's will die a slow death over the next few years.
> Will not *everyone* who has a vested interest in data
> stored on CD not copy it to DVD's sometime during that
> few years?
>
> Did you not (if you're old enough) copy your 5.25 360's to
> 3.5 720's before the 360's demise? Your 720's to 1.44's?
> Your 1.44's to 650 meg CD's and then 700 meg CD's? And now
> currently your CD's to data DVD's?
>
> Did you not copy your vinyl records to cassettes? And now
> your cassettes to CD's?
>
> Did you not copy your beta video's to VHS? Your old
> 8mm movies to DVD?

Yes, but Bill suggested that CD technology could
easily be placed into DVD equipment, and that those
who suggest that's a technology drag were
blind to the fact that the R&D was already done.
My point was that CD technology is already obsolete,
and the difficulty is retaining backward compatibility.

As to the recopying of existing data onto new media,
yes, everyone does that, but that's not my point, either.
My point was that recopying, backing up and storage
are only part of an archiving solution. You must also
be prepared to translate or migrate formats that go
obsolete, and to index your data to make such a chore
possible, and obtain batch software to accomplish it.

You mention vinyl. I have LOTS of vinyl, and it is
simply not feasible for me to tape it -- who uses tape
anymore? It's difficult to find good metal tape anywhere.
It's not feasible to record it onto CD, either. So I'm
stuck with the vinyl. Some of my LPs aren't available
on CD or the (inferior) MP3. So I keep a turntable
and a stock of styli.

Suppose you just ignore your collection of older images
for a few years while tech marches on, and then go
back to work on your archival Canon RAW images,
only to find that the new RAW standard isn't compatible
with your archived images. Suppose this is in 2015,
not an unreasonable scenario.

It's not enough to just have the data on a medium that
is readable by your hardware. It has to be compatible
with your software as well.

If you have ever gone to the trouble of rerecording
analog Hi-8 video to MiniDV (I have), you know
what a major pain that is, and how time consuming.

I have also converted 16mm film to VHS, then to MiniDV.

The loss of quality from analog to digital is great. Factor
in the time involved, the expense, and many people will
simply not do this chore, and lose their data.

> Will you not just keep going, regardless of the direction
> that mass storage moves? Even when it *finally* moves
> away from mechanical devices?

Because, as I've stated, it's not just having the data available
that is the archivist's problem. It's being able also to use the
data. Can you handle old Lotus PIC files today, from archived
spreadsheets? How about PCX files? There are dozens of
graphics formats that I have in my existing archived data that
I doubt I could even view today, much less manipulate.

> If you care enough, and your data is sufficiently worthwhile,
> then it's easy.

No, it's far from easy. It's very difficult. In order to truly archive
all your data, you must routinely examine the entire index for
formats that are marginal, translate them (if you can) into current
standard forms, and re-archive them in multiple locations. This
takes time, knowledge and skill. In library science, this is called
"reading the shelf." Fail to do that, and you risk losing data
accessibility for a portion of your collection due to obsolescence.

Again, I'm not necessarily talking about the average home user
with a few shoebox JPGs, but working pros and technicians
dealing with thousands of images and the associated text, sound
and log files.

> The best of the holidays to you and to yours.

And to you and yours! Keep warm.
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 5:49:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Farga Palenga Jengis" <fpj@sakaratchafratchit.biz> writes:

> timeOday wrote:
>
>> 5.25" disks were never in widespread usage
>> compared to CDs today.
>
> That's just flat out incorrect. For many years,
> 5.25" mini-floppy disks were the main means
> of distribution of software. It's all you could
> purchase on the commercial market when 8"
> floppies went away and before 3.5" micro-
> minis became popular. Wordstar, Liesure Suit
> Larry and GW BASIC were distributed on
> 5.25" mini-floppies. So were 1-2-3 and every
> other app from that era you can name.
>
> If you mean quantity as opposed to market
> share, well, that's true but meaningless. If you
> had data or applications during that period, it
> was on 5.25" mini-floppies, tape or a Winchester
> HD.

I don't think it's meaningless. I think how many of them with data are
out there has a big influence on how well supported they are in their
future. I had CP/M 400K 5.25" floppies, and DOS 360K, and DOS 1.2M.
Still do, actually, but the last time I tried the particular data I
wanted was unreadable -- not surprising for floppies, a *very* fragile
medium.

It's similar to the fact that you can still buy turntables to play
vinyl LPs, but it's much harder, perhaps impossible, to buy a Betamax
VCR (though the beta name is still used on unrelated professional
equipment).

>> If I were trying to preserve the US Constitution
>> or the Leaning tower of Pisa or gigabytes of data
>> from the Mars rovers, I agree that is a whole
>> different ballgame. Those artifacts are worth
>> millions of dollars.
>
> Money isn't the only measure of worth. To me,
> photos of my family are priceless, and I would like
> to hand my children images of our family that they
> can count on to remain usable. To a working press
> photographer, his back catalog is precious, even
> though on the market, it's not "worth millions."

But I can't afford the kind of archiving that is applied to things
like the Constitution, no matter how precious my photos are.

>> I think the transition period for CDs (maybe it
>> has already begun) will be longer than for 3.5" disks,
>> which was much longer than for 5.25" disks, and
>> so on, because computers have become so ubiquitous,
>> and the need for improvement is decreasing.
>
> That statement that is belied by the history of
> technology which predicts an opposite course.
> Remember the Patent Office director who
> foresaw no further technological developments since
> everything had already been invented? Look at the
> history of the automobile. Convergence into an
> aerodynamically similar shape was predicted just ten
> years ago. What happened instead was a fracturing into
> hundreds of model types, each with smaller market share.

Actually, all cars *do* look alike today, compared to 20 years ago.
There's been a huge amount of convergence.

And I think that patent office director is an urban legend; I can't
find it on Snopes or as an attributed quote anywhere else right now,
though.

> You say CD is safe. A few years ago, industry analysts
> were predicting that the 100MB Zip drive would be the
> removable standard. Ubiquity guarantees nothing.
> Even standardization guarantees nothing. What will the
> format be for dual-layer DVDs? I'd be willing to bet
> that when it's decided, it will become irrelevant because
> a new optical storage method has come into use.

Industry analysts are wrong all the time, most especially when
predicting the future. Observing that CDs *are* the ubiquitous
removable medium is quite different from predicting that something
*will be*.

Dual-layer DVD drives and media are on the shelves now, so I think the
standard has been decided, and it ain't irrelevant yet. (It may be
irrelevant because of low write speed, though; 2.7x, when 8x and 16x
are becoming common for single-layer.)

>> Here is what I do. I have two computers, and one
>> makes nightly backups to the other.
>
> In what format? With what operating system and
> backup application? Will they both remain usable
> when XP goes away in a couple of years? MS backup
> systems are notorious for lacking backward compatibility.
> Use Ghost? Tried to restore from a five-year-old image?
> Backup is a short-term safety practice, not an archiving
> solution.

XP won't go away in a couple of years, any more than 98 is "gone away"
now. I haven't even upgraded any of my computers *to* XP; perhaps
never will.

>> Periodically, I copy my data to CDs.
>
> Ever had a CD delaminate on you? Do you store
> them in a temp-hum controlled area and periodically
> refresh them by copying? And in what format? What's
> your plan to translate and pull forward existing data
> when protocols change? Your plan must go far beyond
> simple backup of existing file formats.

No, I've never had a CD delaminate, either a pressed CD or a CD-R.
And I've never been shown one by a friend yet, either. It's damned
rare.

While you're right in theory about file formats, I don't expect to
lose software support for TIFF or JPEG files in my lifetime.

>> When I visit my parents, I take a copy of my backup
>> CDs and leave them there. I expect to switch to DVD
>> soon.
>
> Using what format? Single layer straight data copy? How
> long do you expect that hardware to remain active in
> the market? Tried to find a computer with a micro-floppy
> drive lately? Tried to use Zip disks at work? I'd bet that
> in ten years, your backup CDs are unreadable from
> age or lack of hardware/software to read them. Same
> for DVD. If you don't have a refresh/pull-through plan,
> your kids will inherit nothing from you but coasters.

I'd bet that in 10 years my backup CDs and DVDs can be read in every
computer in the house without trouble. And all the data will still be
on the (then-current) hard drives, too.

> Tech boards are full of requests from people trying
> to read old manuals and docs created with obsolete
> word processing programs (Wang) that can't be read
> today. If they find someone with a copy of the software,
> it's on a medium nobody has a drive for. If you don't
> translate and pull forward periodically, you're left
> behind and the data becomes unusable.

Yes, and that's largely a problem because of poor file-format choices,
like proprietary word process or page layout programs. There's
nothing in that space vaguely comparable to JPEG or TIFF.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
December 24, 2004 5:51:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Farga Palenga Jengis" <fpj@sakaratchafratchit.biz> writes:

> Mike F wrote:
>
>> Oh no !!! 8" floppies are gone ??? I still have
>> several boxes of them and the Double Sided Double
>> Density (1,2 megs !!) drives for them (maybe I'll start
>> a museum ??)
>
> Heh. That's the way to keep any technology available
> -- store the media, the hardware, spare parts and
> manuals. Just recently, I purged all my 8" and 5.25"
> media and gear, and dumped almost all of my 3.5"
> stuff. I kept a few software items and some blank
> micro-floppies, but I fear it's a bit like putting lettuce
> into the fridge that you don't want to toss after making
> a salad. It's too good to discard -- I'll wait 'till it rots.
>
> I've already dumped the Sparq (!), Zip and Peerless
> gear. I have one Jaz drive left, and use it with fingers
> crossed since I only have one.

I still have functional 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drives (all my computers
have 3.5" floppies, you need them for emergency boot and recovery),
and two functional zip drives. No Sparq, Peerless, or Jazz, I never
did own any. I'm starting to think of cleaning out my 5.25" software
collection and using the drawers to hold CDs, but haven't done it yet
-- it'll be a LOT of work.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
!