[TriLUG] Safest long-term media
neilson at windstream.net
Mon Jul 13 10:43:55 EDT 2009
Steve Litt wrote:
> By the way, I keep [CDs] in a fairly dark place.
Yes. Dyes that can be written by laser light can apparently be bleached
by sunlight or less. With the exception of (now abandoned as obsolete)
Polaroid color prints, all color photography I've come across bleaches
out. The chemistry behind Polaroid instant color is astonishing. Hmmm...
a Polaroid print is maybe 15 megapixels or better. Should we resurrect
the Polaroid process for data storage?
Marks chiseled in stone last for millennia, as does metallic-oxide paint
on covered stone in the desert. Mosaic tiles and glass beads are fairly
permanent. Clay tablets when baked work well. Silver photography (if
properly stopped and fixed and rinsed) seems permanent if kept in the
dark; my grandfather's photos from 1890 are in fine shape. Faint or
erased ink on paper (or vellum or parchment) is readable through fancy
The instruction manual for the Antikythera Device was engraved on
bronze, and about 95% of it has now been read, by X-ray or nuclear
techniques. Long-term preservation of information without copying is
possible, but not certain.
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