Friday, September 23, 2005

Sept 23, 2005

The digital Dark Age. The Sydney Morning Herald. September 23, 2005.

Article about digital preservation, the possibility of losing digital information, and the digital dark age. The computer is the most dramatic record keeping system since the invention of printing. The concern over the obsolescence of hardware and software systems, which may cause a problem in reading digital information. Emulators may help read the information. The State Records Authority of New South Wales, Australia, has created a strategy for preserving the information, called Future Proof. It includes conservation, conversion, and migration of information, plus retaining the original equipment (which is a major effort with considerable problems). The answer may lie in a combination of solutions, including keeping a hard copy of the information.

More information about Future Proof is available at their website:

The ten strategies are:

1. Take a planned approach

2. Build partnerships

3. Build recordkeeping systems

4. Use recordkeeping metadata

5. Move records through new formats, media & systems

6. Manage the media

7. Use technical standards

8. Practice data management

9. Retain equipment/technology

10. Use viewer/player technology

Copy Your Digital Photos Onto Film. Mark Goldstein. PhotographyBLOG . September 19, 2005.

Press release about a laboratory that copies digital images to film. Copying to the latest standards is difficult, and current media may not be readable in the future because of hardware or software problems. With this system, “the picture is systematically reproduced in colour and resolution to the analogue image.” The capability of the recorder is 11 million pixels; the customer can send their images to the lab for copying.

[The blog responses at the end are interesting to read as they discuss digital preservation.]

Toshiba Develops 30Gb Dual-Layer HD DVD-R Discs. September 21, 2005.

Toshiba announced a 30GB dual-layer HD DVD-R (recordable) disc which extends the capacity of optical discs. The disc is based on the same structure as current DVDs, with bonding of two layers, organic dye, and a spin-coating process for spreading the dye on the discs. The manufacturers will start tests next month to verify the disc compatibility. They hope to finalize the specifications by year end.

Too Much ETL Signals Poor Data Management. Ken Karacsony. Computerworld. September 5, 2005.,10801,104330,00.html?source=NLT_DM&nid=104330

When a system uses extensive extract, transform and load (ETL) processes, it is a symptom of poorly managed data and a poorly developed data strategy. IT staff are maintaining more databases that recreate or move data between systems. Much of this is redundant. The best way is to create a single, sharable database for each major area and design the database to meet the needs of its users. Since information is a organizational asset, it doesn’t belong to just one group or department. So databases must be designed for both the producers and consumers of the data. The entire organization must be involved in defining the relationships and attributes. “The database, and not the application, is the center of the universe.”

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