[APG Public List] Saving Our Data from Digital Decay
Jan_Tripp at comcast.net
Sun Nov 21 14:23:26 MST 2010
Years ago we used UUENCODE and UUDECODE to e-mail photos, spreadsheets and
other binary files. E-mail garbles binary files and this program worked
nicely to send the files. Today MIME works behind the scenes with your
e-mail program to do the same thing that UUENCODE did. You ended up with a
very long e-mail of ASCII characters representing a photo or spreadsheet.
Photographing or printing out the e-mail would do pretty much what the
German researchers are proposing, it seems to me. To recover the files, you
would scan/OCR the film/page and then decode the electronic file. A little
experiment you could try at home.
I would be curious, based on my experience, how large the microfilm archive
becomes. Representing a byte of information on paper or film has to take up
an enormous amount of real estate (even if you use a 4 pt font...) If any
one remembers IBM punch cards, you know what I mean. Microfilm may be stable
but I question how efficiently you can store large amounts of electronic
data on microfilm.
Of course in 500 years, my WordStar files will not be readable by anyone.
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