Archiving Projects-- TAPE vs. DVD

Shane Hathaway shane at
Fri Feb 10 11:05:37 MST 2006

Michael Torrie wrote:
> I think it is important to remember that all forms of media should be 
> reviewed and renewed on a periodic basis.  You shouldn't rely on a tape 
> holding its data for 30 years, but rather verify the tape every year and 
> every so many years transfer the data to a new tape (maybe even a new 
> format).  In this way you should have indefinite data longevity. 
> Additionally having redundant archival copies of your data is the only 
> way to really be safe.

Agreed.  Note that this contrasts with analog preservation techniques. 
If you have a valuable sculpture, you do everything to keep the 
molecules in their original form.  But if the thing you're preserving is 
digital, you should instead rely on replication or error correction 
combined with migration to fresh media.  It's a quite different way of 
thinking, and it's not obvious to most people.


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