Microsoft successfully archives Warner Bros. 'Superman' movie on a piece of glass

VBKing

TS Enthusiast
Just about anything beats tape/reel when it comes to durability.
Glass has one bad quality. It can break (I.e. Stored in an earthquake zone??? Clumsy handler...).
If tape/reel ever broke, you splice it back together and lose a second or two.
If glass breaks, well, get the broom, dustpan and wastebasket out.
I understand quality on glass lasts longer than tape, but maybe a clear PLASTIC would be an even more durable option than GLASS (if possible). Plastic probably costs less to produce too.
 

mancebo K6LJM

TS Rookie
True but if you want it to be an archive would you want it to be rewrite able? Personally I would want it to stay the same without fear of corruption of any kind .... guess it's' just a matter of your personal taste ....
No.. An archive is just that. It's a place for non-transient information, so you would def want it to be permanent. You're correct.
 
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mark kram

TS Enthusiast
Glass has one bad quality. It can break (I.e. Stored in an earthquake zone??? Clumsy handler...).
If tape/reel ever broke, you splice it back together and lose a second or two.
If glass breaks, well, get the broom, dustpan and wastebasket out.
I understand quality on glass lasts longer than tape, but maybe a clear PLASTIC would be an even more durable option than GLASS (if possible). Plastic probably costs less to produce too.
It looks like Microsoft is using a piece of fused quartz for storage. Fused Quartz is a type of glass used in the electrical production industry. It can withstand high temperatures and makes a great insulator. It has a higher breaking point than fused silica, because of the crystalline structure of quartz. Fused quartz is used to make microscope slide, disks and covers. For technical details see attached.
https://www.microtonano.com/TSB- type-GE-124 fused-quartz.php
https://abrisatechnologies.com/products-services/glass-products/quartz-fused-silica/ge-124/
 

Cats Paw

TS Rookie
The big news here has nothing to do with consumer use. It's a candidate for LONG term storage. It's nice that the media is extremely stable but they haven't, and in the long run can't, dealt with the obsolete cycle.

YEARS ago the gold standard for archival storage was mylar tape. It was nearly indestructible but very low density. However it had one advantage that nothing that replaced it has - you don't need any equipment to read it. A human being could "read" the holes in the tape and recover the contents using nothing more than their eyes and a LOT of time. Once punched tape (and the even older punched card) were replaced we began the cycle of replacing media and the equipment used to process it over and over and over.

Fast forward a bit and in the 1990's NASA admitted that they had reels and reels of data from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs that they could no longer read. Two problems - one the media was degrading and, drum roll, they no longer had any tape drives that could read the tapes.

We've seen that happen repeatedly. The entity, whether NASA or your cloud service, will bend to the drive for higher and higher density storage which means they must transfer all the data sets to the new media before the old equipment disappears. That, coupled with the massive data sets that are being generated, makes the data migration process more and more expensive every decade.

So the glass storage will eventually face a similar "wall" - demands for more storage and therefore a change in media. Will we ever have an "Ultimate Universal Forever" storage media (and the equipment to recover it)? Probably not before we have anti-gravity and warp drive.