[SATLUG] OT: a typical grad student question

toddwbucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Thu Mar 27 22:22:17 CDT 2008

sometimes I come up with these crazy anthropological questions...I think
that this one might be of some interest to you guys...
recently I had to go through the hassle of learning how to update my
bios without the aid of a 3.5 floppy drive and it occurred to me that
there might one day be the need for a digital archaeologist.  So I
googled it and came up with this old (circa 1993 dawn of the
Internet...damm I feel old) wired
article...http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.05/1.5_archaeology.html ... the article basically notes that the abundance of obsoleted archival media and that in the future this data may be of interest to social scientists.  My question is this, has there been any study in which various forms of archival media life spans were tested under variable environmental conditions?  Basically a future archaeologist who comes across say a DVD or 8mm video tape at a particular archaeological site.  For purposes of the argument lets assume that it resides in a sealed time capsule and that its been there for say 300 years.  What is the likelihood that the data on the DVD or 8mm tape would survive?  
one final question, in part this question touches on another...given
that google is said to keep everything, Is this true? it seems to me
that this is true and it is also true that the amount of data on the
Internet is growing exponentially the it stands to reason that they will
eventually run out of archival space. (Finite resources and all) How is
google addressing this issue? Do they eventually destroy old data to
make room for new or are they hoping that eventually technology will be
able to address the problem though more efficient use of resources (i.e.
building better archival storage which allows for greater data density)?
I suspect that the answer is the latter?


More information about the SATLUG mailing list