Letter to the Editor

Microfilm has a 1,000-year life, according to the Image Permanence Institute. Thus, it is hands-down the best media to archive with.

Digital files can be archived using an optical character, reader-friendly font using the Roman alphabet, Arabic numbers and a lot of punctuation—256 characters worth—where each character represents one byte and is readable by both machines and humans. The same strip of film can include the analog images, if applicable, of the adjacent code field.

Unless the sun goes out, the only technology needed to read this digital archive is a lens and a person.

Does this sound like it needs to cost taxpayers $130 million to do and take until 2004 or 2005? [ "Kodak, Lockheed Martin go analog" FCW.com, March 15, 2001]

Ed Rummel
Electronics engineer
Short Hills, N.J.
Member, Film-based Imaging Association

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