Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Data backup and preservation

Gidday Fox & NF

This is quite a separate discussion/problem, IMHO.
One of which I am only too keenly aware as a computer consultant with about 40 years experience.

However, one can still buy SCSI cards. It is, and always was, a faster and better technology than either IDE (PATA) or SATA, just very expensive. I can still read the data off my SCSI drives, but transferred it all to other HDDs many years ago.

Every 3.5" external HDD (USB, FireWire, eSATA) I have pulled apart is really just a SATA HDD in disguise. You can always remove it from its case and plug it straight into a SATA port.

2.5" external HDDs have a laptop connection, and can be used bare as a second HDD in many laptops.

Of course, both of the above are short term solutions. Start talking in terms of even tens of decades, and the problem just gets worse and worse. Scanners are unlikely to go away. A modern film scanner is far better than anything available when film was the dominant medium! So chances are very good that there will always be technology that can read film. I am scanning images made over 80 years ago using some really weird format cameras.

I have dealt with the conversion of a 5 bit (Baud) paper tape database to a Dataflex database, because the one tech in Oz who could service/repair the tape reader was reaching retirement age ...

You are both right, and right to be concerned about these issues, IMNSHO. It is precisely why Adobe invented the DNG format for embedding and converting RAW files into a standard format. IIRC, Canon's own s/w no longer supports one of its earliest dSLR's RAW files.

The media on which such images (and a copy of their appropriate s/w) needs to be updated periodically in order to remain accessible.

When burning my backup DVDRs, I always burn a copy of Adobe's DNG Converter along with my images. I always embed the original RAW file in the DNG (DNG Converter can extract these easily). I also include a copy of the manufacturers s/w that can open and edit these RAW files. Most importantly, I burn a plain text file that explains how to use DNG Converter to extract the RAW files, and another that explains what sort of computer the files were made on, what OS etc. I include another plain text file that gives my provenance. Who I was; where I lived; when; what sort of camera was used to make the images - all that sort of stuff. Plain text files will be readable as long as there are computers.

Hope that this is of some benefit.

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Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
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