[clug] Any Public Service organisations using Linix desktop and Open Office?

Andrew Janke a.janke at gmail.com
Sat Jul 5 01:33:09 GMT 2008

> Archivists talk in much bigger numbers than that.  Look, I can go to the
> British Naval Archives and read stuff from the 1700's.  The Vatican archives
> go a lot further back.  This is a seriously big issue that no-one has really
> addressed.  Well, lots of people are working on it...  Hey, you should know
> that, the NLA digitised the papers of Edmund Barton from 100 years ago.  But
> those papers are still readable by anyone without expensive equipment.

Amusing side note regarding archiving.  In my case we often do work
for Pharma in BioMed research (generally automated medical Image
analysis).  This means that there is an onus on us (or them if we hand
all the data over) to keep not only the data but to be able to
reproduce the processing that was done on it for up to 40 years.

I happen to know that in most pharma companies given their typical
choice of OS simply buy a machine for processing data (and a redundant
copy) and then simply store it along with the data and a custom
written manual when they are done with it. This then means that if you
ever get to see such a storage facility at somewhere like SKB over in
Harlow (UK) it is like stepping back in time! :)

In our case what we/I tend to do (given that research labs typically
are short on space) is build a custom virtual machine in which the
processing is done.  Granted I cannot guarantee that such a VM will
run 40 years from now on whatever hardware is available but there is a
fair chance. As for data the cheapest option seems to be to just keep
migrating it to newer spinning disks. You simply cannot rely on tape.
In some research labs that I know of they have banked on MO drives....
 Amusing now that they have shelves and shelves of 512MB 1024MB 2048MB
and 5GB MO's as time has marched on.  And typically all with various
filesystems.  erk!

Andrew Janke (a.janke at gmail.com || http://a.janke.googlepages.com/)
Canberra->Australia +61 (402) 700 883

More information about the linux mailing list