Compact Flash temporal life span

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Rich Fife, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Rich Fife

    Rich Fife Guest

    Does anyone know how long a flash memory card will hold it's data if it's
    never rewritten? If I save data to, say, a CF card will it still be there
    100 years from now?

    I know they have a limited number of rewrite cycles, but this would be
    simply writing once and leaving it alone in a safe deposit box or something.

    Thanks in advance!

    -- Rich Fife --
    Rich Fife, Apr 27, 2004
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  2. Rich Fife

    gsum Guest

    The spec. for Kingston Memory CF is 10 years data retention so,
    no it will probably not be there in 100 years.

    Its interesting to speculate what the best medium would be for
    100 year data retention. CD/DVD are no good as they oxidise,
    tape falls apart and film goes mouldy. Anyone know the data retention
    specs for HD and MD?

    gsum, Apr 27, 2004
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  3. Rich Fife

    Rich Fife Guest

    You guessed what I'm after...

    My dad has some data that he wants to have around for a long period of time
    and we're speculating on how to go about it.


    -- Rich Fife --
    Rich Fife, Apr 27, 2004
  4. Rich Fife

    druidh Guest

    Err - how about learning how to carve in stone? Some very old "content"
    available that way - and you don't need any special kit to read it.
    Alternatively, there are some very good dyes which have survived form
    pre-history if kept in the dark . . .

    Some dyes are very good - especially of kept in the dark.
    druidh, Apr 27, 2004
  5. There is lots of information and research on this topic -- not
    restricted to photography, of course. Google is your friend, you
    should find plenty to browse and read.

    As someone else mentioned (or at least implied), it's pretty well
    accepted that many of the media types will last longer than the
    hardware and software to read them. For example, data on 9-track tape
    lasted a long time (though it did have it's problems eg
    print-through). But you'd struggle to find a way to read one today.

    There really is no long term solution that doesn't require ongoing
    maintenance. Once in a while, you're going to have to copy your data
    to a different media. Personally, I have files that first existed on
    8" floppies, and have been moved to 5" floppy, 3.5" floppy, 1/4" QIC
    tape, DAT tape, and CD/DVD. And you might have to change file format,
    such as converting lotus-123 or quattro-pro files to excel format.

    As I recall, I have read that this has been a problem for NASA. They
    have data on older media in older formats, and don't have the
    time/budget to convert it all to newer media and formats, so much
    gets lost.

    Anyway, accept that you'll have to do occasional maintenance, pick one
    or two media that seem good for some length of time, and use them.

    Terry Orchard, Apr 28, 2004
  6. Excellent data retention, but low data density, and only full manual
    "drives" available :).
    It seems to be a fundamental issue facing all users of digital data. Data
    archiving/retention technology isn't up to centuries of storage - you need
    to pay attention and refresh the media periodically. I think tape is
    probably the best option for long term storage, but people would be well
    advised to restore and re-backup at 10 yearly (or thereabouts) intervals.

    Mike Brodbelt, Apr 28, 2004
  7. Rich Fife

    Sherry Guest

    Acid-free paper in a fireproof safe.

    Sherry, Apr 28, 2004
  8. Rich Fife

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Sadly these two seem to have the best longevity and even they
    are not immune to wear. Air pollution and acid rain have done
    for a number of carvings while the best animal skins (vellum,
    parchment) seem to have a useful life of about 1500 years.
    The inks run a bit less. Many medieval manuscripts have flaking
    ink. In some cases acid ink was used (oak gall inks) and those
    have, over time, eaten the underlying vellum or parchment.

    But for short term storage (300 years or so) I'd bet on a good
    black and white Xerox on acid-free paper. For color I'd go to
    mineral dyes, but I don't know if any are available for the
    printers we use.

    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Apr 29, 2004
  9. Rich Fife

    Stuuder Guest

    In a hundred years there won't be a device to READ the CF, kinda like beta, 8 tracks,
    maybe vinyl records might work, they seem to have stuck around for a long time, or
    something like the dead sea scrolls............:)
    Stuuder, Apr 29, 2004
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