You just answered your own question!
Originally Posted by tkamiya
Historians would kill for the most everyday of records from some time periods. That's why I sometimes photograph very unloved 1960s buildings - they may be considered ugly and old-fashioned now and about to be demolished, but go back to the '60s and the general public felt the same about 1890s buildings. Now we mourn their loss while demolishing what the people of 2060 may well regard in the same way. The more images and written works we as a civilisation produce, the better the chance that some of them will survive. That's also why I sometimes just shoot street scenes which at first glance have little artistic merit - they're still a record of that moment on that day.
However, expecting any single media to survive for centuries is a bad idea. I still have 5.25 and 3.15 floppy drives but wouldn't like to guess how much of the data on those disks is still readable. Within the last twenty years we've seen formats come and go (Minidisk for example) regardless of their actual utility. The market is now rigged to have people lust after whatever's new and shiny, never mind whether it's an improvement over what they already have, change for change's sake seems to be the order now.
They can claim that it lasts a million years, who's going to prove otherwise? That is a load of old tosh claiming that, when It cannot be conclusively proved.
Even if they could, at what cost? Certainly it will be more than we are prepared to spend when we will never 'in a million years(') see the benefit of it. Its like buying the Saudi oil reserves for your own car, when will you ever use it all?
Turn-about is fair play.
Originally Posted by Ric Trexell
Film, in the form of 2x2 transparencies, killed the popular glass lantern slides.
The film killer is the point in time when all of us dinosaurs pass on.
I meant to ask what kind of equipment will the user need when this comes to market?
Originally Posted by lxdude
Right now, this probably takes a laboratory full of scientific equipment. The consumer, not even a technician for a government agency or a conservator in a museum, is never going to want to use bare lasers and optical microscopes with digicams mounted in the eyepiece. They are not going to like having cables running, haphazardly over their table tops. They are going to want a box that has a power cable and a data cable coming out of the back, a little slot in the front panel and a couple of buttons to control the thing.
Ideally, they are going to want one box that will read and write the data. I can't imagine anybody buying two devices, one to write data and another to read data.
I suppose, if it's possible to use an already-existing film scanner, it would be possible to read the data with equipment that the user already owns.
This all begs the question of software. Who's going to write it? When will it be available for a given operating system?
What format will this data be written in? Who owns the software that decodes it? Will the user be at the mercy of the manufacturer to read his own data if and when software updates change that format?
I am often called upon to rescue data that other people have stored using now-defunct software that can't be used anymore.
I had one guy who was going on a business trip to a trade show and all the information that he needed was saved using Microsoft Works. Current versions of Microsoft Word usually don't support Works files. As I came to find out, neither do many other programs support them. It took me a good chunk of an afternoon to find a program that could read it. (Neo Office, IRRC.) If I didn't find that program and help the guy get his data out of that archaic format and into something that he could use, his business might have been sunk!
Yes, these little, glass slips will last a gazillion years but will we be able to read the data off them 25 years from now?
I just can't imagine that some multimillion dollar company betting the farm on some technology that hasn't been proven and that they don't have any guarantees that they will have software that can read back their data after 25 years.
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To address some of the comments on here about this, and my reason for posting it is to find out your views on this new technology. Compared to CD/DVD's, this is supposed to be a lot longer lasting. Yes, it only has 40 MB of storage, but that will no doubt be improved to something higher. As with anything the price will come down I assume. As much as I love film, I'm finding it to become so expensive that in a few years I will not afford it no matter what I prefer. I would hope that some of my pictures, especially of family will be around for at least 100 years. My old Kodachrome slides will probably do that easily as some are 50 years old now and look great. If I go to digital 100% some day, (and being 60 years old I know that I will only be a digital photographer for about 20 years at most) I would like to know that I can back up my shots to last for years after my death. Right now there doesn't seem to be anything out there in the digital world that will last for 100 years that a simple scratch will render useless. Ric.
Roger are you making a comparison with RA4 prints? If so I hadn't realised that we had got to the point where an inkjet print from a colour neg scan or straight from a digital card might be the better bet if I want my grandchildren to see what life was like in beginning of the second decade of the 21st century.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
Huh? I really don't understand how a new digital memory technology has anything at all to do with the future of film....the two seem totally unrelated?
I suppose the underlying assumption is that long term image archiving is digital imaging's Achilles Heel and that this new storage technology solves that issue.
Originally Posted by BradS
None of this matters, the world is going to end this year according to the mayan calender.
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