27 August 2008

language archives on glass disks

Recently several constructed language forums have had messages from conlangers who lost precious data due to drive crashes or corrupted files, and discussions of how rapidly digital storage media become obsolete. If your mother stored her conlang on 8-inch floppies back in the 1970s you would have to find someone who collects and maintains obsolete equipment to read the data now, if the disks are still readable.

Hard drives, burn-em-yourself CD-R disks, flash memory – all these media have limited lifespans.

SFGate has a news item regarding the Rosetta Project's efforts to save data about the world's languages, most of which are endangered. They are using glass disks with data micro-etched on them.

"The groups say the Earth's languages are rapidly disappearing and they are concerned with the fragility of historical recordkeeping in a digital age."

Interesting and inspiring.

1 comment:

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