Digitality

What does it mean to have your data in digital form?

Blog after my own long-now heart: The Ten Thousand Year Blog

A weblog on longevity: The Ten thousand year blog. Because Digital Lasts Forever…. or five years, whichever comes first. Topics: archiving, records preservation, digital records, digital longevity, and on and on. Like I just said… can someone 100 years from now access recordings you make as easily as I can read those letters from the 1920s and 1930s? ….I gotta skedaddle right now, but I’ll be back to surf deeper into David Matteson’s site.

P.S. What is the long now? It’s the long view, the 10,000-year view. When everyone was talking about all the programming needed to fix the Y2K problem, Long now was talking about adding a 0 in front of the current year to fix the Y10K problem. So this year is 02006. Go to the Long Now Foundation site for more. I first heard the “forever/5 years” quote from Stewart Brand’s book, The Clock of the Long Now.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on March 18, 2006 in • DigitalityLongevity
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Rest in Peace, CDs

SFGate.com: R.I.P. CDs Consider the alternatives to compact discs: iPods, satellite radio and hours of free or cheap digital music to download legally. Begone, bright discs and pesky cases! Begone!

Does this mark the beginning of the end of Red Book Audio CD? How will this affect make-it-yourself recordings of your family stories, your oral history?

This article points out that CDs are on their way out. The article lists 10 reasons (new music sources, how good old hissy-tapes of rock n roll sound compared to clean sound, Satellite Radio, online music, etc.) why CDs are on the way out.

I don’t care as much about the “let the market decide how I get my music” aspect as I do about the potential for longevity of CD Audio, the format. It began in the early 1980s (I remember getting my first CD player in 1985), so it’s had a good 30 years to get established. Hm. I’d thought that with the pace of change, that 30 years’ longevity beats out the “digital last forever or 5 years, whichever comes first” rule. What I want to know is whether ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 30, 2005 in • DigitalityLongevity
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Rarities Online

Library Journal: Digitizing special collections and putting them online, a process that marks a golden age for libraries. No longer are collections limited by physical access available only to a few.

Indeed, digitization, high-speed connections, and suites of powerful new tools that allow students and researchers to interact as never before with collections are breaking them free from their climate-controlled exile and putting valuable special collections at the center of exciting new partnerships among librarians, faculty, students, and technicians. It’s still early—but already the results are remarkable.

At Columbia, initiatives like the Columbia University Libraries Digital Program bring together librarians, faculty, and technicians to create cutting-edge digital representations and research tools.

With opportunities and benefits, the challenges remain: acquisition ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 01, 2005 in • DigitalityOnline Oral History Collections
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A new way to stop digital decay

The Economist’s Technology Quarterly on a virtual computer that can “read” all previous media and software formats, preserving dgital media into the future.

“Digital media lasts forever, or five years, whichever comes first.” Here’s an example of how a wonderful digital preservation project ran into that 5-year wall:

In 1986, for example, 900 years after the Domesday book, the BBC launched a project to compile data about Britain, including maps, video and text. The results were recorded on laserdiscs that could only be read by a special system based around a BBC Micro home computer. But since the disks were unreadable on any other system, this pioneering example of multimedia was nearly lost for ever. It took two and a half years of patient work with one of the few surviving machines to move the data on to a modern PC (it can be seen ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 12, 2005 in • DigitalityLongevity
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So Long, Minidisc?

Engadget highlights a Minidisc discussion forum thread that speculates on the future of the MD format, based on Sony’s corporate doings (or un-doings, or corporate restructures)

Is it finally the end of the road for the oft-maligned MiniDisc? It certainly seems that way, judging from the recent activity at the MiniDisc Community Forums. Though not exactly a hotbed of anti-MiniDisc activity, one member points out that at Sony’s recent corporate strategy meeting there was no mention of the format, and it was also a no-show in the company’s annual report, other than as an example of a dying format.

If MiniDisc is going to be abandoned, it’s sad. 15 years is the lifetime of the product cycle, according to the post that kicks of the speculation on the MiniDisc Community Forum thread. The small size and convenience and sound quality for field recordings has so ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 05, 2005 in • AudioAudio: HardwareDigitality
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Digital Recording: Here to Stay.

A discussion of digital recording issues posted at the Tape transcription Center (of Boston).

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 10, 2005 in • Digitality
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