U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Digital Film backup

RE: Digital Film backup

On Fri, 8 Jun 2007, Camden Hardy wrote:

Hmmm, I have some serious problems with the claims this company makes on
their website.

"Reliability of these [CD/DVD] disks has been questioned when looking at
whether the data would be recoverable using devices other than the original
authoring device."

This is simply not true.  CDs use the standardized ISO9660 filesystem
format, and DVDs use the standardized UFS filesystem.  Standardized.  Every
computer with an optical disc drive can read these formats.  A correctly
burned disc will have no problems being read by other CD/DVD devices.

"Storage of images at a resolution high enough to equal the resolution of
film is costly and prohibitive in terms of technology. The space required to
store all of these hard drives or disks would be greater than that used to
store the actual negatives."

A 25-pack of archival CDs from Light Impressions is $41.99, which comes out

There many other logical holes on this site, suffice it to say that they
really haven't made a strong case for using 35mm film as an archival storage
solution over digital.  They say things like digital storage is "unsuited to
a long-term archival function", yet they provide no further information: why
is it not suitable for long-term storage?  No data whatsoever to back up
their argument.  The entire website just seems to be one big FUD (Fear,
Uncertainty, Doubt) campaign to scare people into buying their services.

No doubt everything you say is true, Camden, but speaking as a relative lay person in the matter (and not really expecting to outlive digital technology, though I'd love to bury it), this thought does come to mind:

All else failing, a crude projector of light and lens could be rigged up to get an image from film (assuming in the benighted state envisioned we still have electricity) so some reading of the material could be made.

Having watched in the last dozen years as material after material becomes useless, or anyay obscured, somehow that analog approach seems more logical than it may deserve....

But now here's a really shameless question: It's so easy with a slip of the wrist or, as one fellow warns, a surge during a storm, to wipe out digital (although I realize your terabytes aren't hooked up to anything that could do that), is there some reason for not keeping whatever it is (data as well as images I assume) at least the most treasured in hard copy, say -- I think they're called phot-o-graphs, or like that, and text? (Not that I do, but I think I'd rather than some of these torments.)