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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't Write Me Off: The Resurrection and Retrieval of Data



Well, don't write off the mag tape just yet.  IBM and Fujifilm just announced a record in Magnetic Tape Density which will continue to make it one of the most efficient ways to archive that old data.

We've got data.  Oodles and oodles of data.  What are we going to do with it all?

"These new technologies are estimated to enable cartridge capacities that could hold up to 35 trillion bytes (terabytes) of uncompressed data**. This is about 44 times*** the capacity of today's IBM LTO Generation 4 cartridge. A capacity of 35 terabytes of data is sufficient to store the text of 35 million books, which would require 248 miles (399 km) of bookshelves"

Interestingly, we've started to reach a problem with becoming digital pack-rats. 

When storage is cheap and the digital artifact created is expensive in terms of the time and energy required to produce it and the legacy that it just won't be made again quite like that -- archiving things makes sense. 

Lately I've noticed companies like PhotoBucket and Ning quietly deleting "older" videos and artifacts and when my students who are graduating, go to email those beautiful efolios to their scholarship committees, we're finding videos that won't load!

For me, I want a permanent solution so my students may permanently build a lovely efolio for their life -- right now, we're moving to Weebly, however, it is still built upon the many links they've used for projects like Flat Classroom and NetGenEd.  Additionally, I use those old videos to instruct and teach my current students based upon past work. I'm literally losing the fodder for my courses.

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