[Foundation-l] Long-term archiving of Wikimedia content

Pharos pharosofalexandria at gmail.com
Tue May 5 04:24:46 UTC 2009

On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 12:02 AM, Tim Starling <tstarling at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Samuel Klein wrote:
>> They wouldn't take up proportionally more space in etching than they
>> do on screen.  So an extra 10-20% overall.  They would probably make
>> the process a bit more expensive, but still to this scale.  an
>> illustrated encyclo may well be worth twice as much.
>> Let's see what the Rosetta folks have to say.   I can think of a lot
>> of people, not least those who have one of the early Rosetta disks,
>> who would love an  archival etched copy of Wikipedia + Commons thumbs,
>> which might cover some of the early costs of trying this out.
> I can tell you what the Rosetta folks would say: they would say that
> they paid $125k to Norsam for 5 prototype discs, and that we are free
> to do the same. Norsam have developed this technology at great cost
> and expect a commercial return, regardless of who's paying them.
> <http://www.internetnews.com/storage/article.php/3771051/Storage+That+Really+Lasts.htm>
> Personally I think it would be a waste of general funds, since I don't
> expect we'll see the end of civilisation any time in the next year or
> two. Maybe if there was a directed grant, it would be appropriate. Or
> we could have a small investment fund aimed at paying for such an
> archive in 20 years or so, when the process will be cheaper.
> By the way, it's FIB etching, not laser etching, and the discs are
> nickel-coated silicon, not plain nickel.
> -- Tim Starling

If we or anyone were to go this route, wouldn't microfiche in a sealed
plastic container be a lot cheaper and more practical to mass-produce?

See the section on preservation through moisture-tight containers:


My personal plan for saving civilization is through intrinsically
worthless plastic jewelry, kind of like this idea:


Make these cheap pendants colorful, make them collectible, let people
string dozens on a necklace, and soon you'd have thousands of copies
of books floating through society that can never be lost.

Wow, I can't believe they let us post this stuff on foundation-l :)


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