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Re: [semi-OT] Data archiving (was Re: Query on adding a USB hdd)

On Wed, May 23, 2007 at 10:49:51PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 05/23/07 20:17, Douglas Allan Tutty wrote:
> > 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.

> > 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.
> You've got bigger problems if you think that a CD-R will keep it's
> integrity for 10 years.

No.  I figure a CD is good for at least a year.  Every year, I
pull the two netinst cds from the bank, take an SHA hash and compare it
with the written notes, then run something like cdck on them.  So far,
my Woody CDs are fine.  Funny enough, so is my woody floppy set (the
whole shebang set of 20 floppies) on Maxell floppies; needed for my 486
that doesn't boot from CD or run an installer after woody's.

> Tape (using tar, and a media used by "large data processing shops",
> since they are supported for a LONG LONG LONG time, unlike that gee
> whiz specialized crap that NASA seems to love) or SCSI hard drives
> (in external enclosures so you can spin them up annually) formatted
> ext2 or FAT32 are what I would choose.

Would you use tar to make a tarball and put it on a hard drive formatted
ext2, copy as is to ext2 (changing ctime in the process), or forgo a
filesystem and write tar directly to the raw disk?  What tar format
would you use: GNU or Posix?

> FAT has been around for 26+ years, and ext2 is 14 years old.

Which is more resistant to bad blocks popping up after time in storage?  

> > 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.
> This is FLOSS.  Save the source on a separate disk with SHA512 hash
> codes.
> And text is *the* guaranteed data format.  Database backups should
> be text format extracts and "Office" documents should be in ODF
> format which is just zipped text.

Never heard of ODF, or is it specific to *Office programmes?
Personally, I save my latex as latex.  The origional contents are
plainly visible.

> > accessible?  Perhaps the time capsule would have to include a whole
> > computer and not just the archive media.
> Yes.  If by computer you also mean "the whole schmeer, including
> many tape drives" since it's common on Big Systems to backup a
> single database in parallel to multiple tape drive.

Computers keep getting smaller.  Computer could mean a little brick that
has an interface for the archive drive, the archive drive unit, and some
kind of user interface.  RS-232C has been around for ever; will it be
around for evermore?  If the backup medium was hard disks, then an
interface for the hard drive plus an enclosure for the drives if the
brick didn't have the pysical space.


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