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Re: Query on adding a USB hdd

On Wed, May 23, 2007 at 07:05:23PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> > It would be very nice if there was a universal cross-platform rw +
> > encrypt filesystem for archives.  Something that you could be confident
> > that you could decrypt and access in 10 years using whatever OS was
> > current then.
> tar is cross-platform, as is ASCII CSV.  PGP/GPG is also cross-platform.
> Problem solved?


I don't know if a generic tarball I make today will be readable by
whatever OS in 10 years, which is why I store a current install cd.  In
10 years, hopefully I can find a computer that will boot it.  

If I gpg a tarball today with whatever algorithm is current, in 10 years
that algorithm may be long cracked.  Will the gpg authors keep support
for it?  Perhaps.

I one relies on legacy hardware obscurity for off-site backup, what
happens in a disaster and all the legacy hardware is toast?  What if you
can't buy replacement ancient hardware to read those backups?   When I
was using OS/2, my backups were on QIC-80 IBM tape.  That drive is not
supported under Debian.  Luckily, OS/2 was useable enough to allow me to
transfer that tape data to a spare hard drive and OS/2 and Linux had
support for a few filesystems in common.

Taking archiving to the limit, what would a time-capsule for electronic
data look like?  If you assumed that the software to extract the archive
would be unavailabe, you could include the source but what about the
compiler?  How would you get the source off if the filesystem is not
accessible?  Perhaps the time capsule would have to include a whole
computer and not just the archive media.

I guess this is why banks still save paper.

Anyway, this has gone well off the origional topic.


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