The Horror Of Digitizing The BBC Archive PORTABLE
Another choice is a USB device called the KryoFlux connected to a modern floppy drive (3.5" or 5.25"). This hardware solution utilizes a floppy head to read a floppy disk not as a bunch of data but the actual magnetic flux of the disks themselves. What this translates to, in the vast majority of cases, is a disk image that includes any copy protection, unusual write schemes, or trickery. Naturally it captures the full data of the disk as well, and this is likely overkill if you're digitizing a personal set of files, but it's good to know the option is there. Kryoflux boards are for sale at the Kryoflux site. Please note that the Kryoflux software license may cause legal issues if the resulting images are not intended solely for personal use, or the Kryoflux is intended to be used in any commercial or preservation/museum capacity. The personal use license had, in Mar 2012, an anti-compete clause in it, preventing the user from using any competing disk-imaging product or sharing any 'resolved' disk images created with the product, although the license was amended sometime around 2013 to make it somewhat more permissive. The commercial/museum use license for Kryoflux is rumored, as of July 2020, to still have all of these anti-compete clauses and media distribution restrictions in it.
The horror of digitizing the BBC archive
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Welcome to Pop \u2018n\u2019 Pizza, a newsletter highlighting what\u2019s new in pop culture and pulp fiction. This week, I\u2019m talking about ARCHIVE 81, Netflix\u2019s new horror series developed by Rebecca Sonnenshine (THE BOYS) and executive produced by James Wan (MALIGNANT, THE CONJURING). \uD83C\uDF55\uD83E\uDD64
I love the \u201CEvil Media\u201D subgenre. I\u2019m talking, of course, about horror movies and series in which there is a cursed or haunted piece of technology \u2013 the VHS tape in THE RING, the television broadcast from VIDEODROME, the Super-8 films from SINISTER, you get the idea.
Netflix\u2019s ARCHIVE 81 combines these two passions into a disquieting peanut butter & jelly sandwich of analog anguish and digital dread. Based on the found-footage horror podcast created by Daniel Powell and Marc Sollinger, the series follows Dan (Mamoudou Athie), an archivist charged with restoring and digitizing \u201Ca recently acquired collection of damaged videotapes.\u201D
The Internet first appeared long after I had received my Ph.D. in physics, and I was slow to use it. I had been trained in physical library search techniques: look up the subject in Science Abstracts (a journal itself now made defunct by the Internet), then go to the archived full article in the physical journal shelved nearby. Now I simply search the topics in the Science Citation Index (SCI), and then go to the journal article available online. I no longer have to go to the library; I can access the SCI and the online journals via the Internet.
Since 1992 research papers in physics are posted on an Internet archive, arxiv.org, which has a daily distribution of just posted papers and complete search and cross reference capabilities. It is moderated rather then refereed; and the refereed journals now play no role in spreading information. This gives a feeling of engagement and responsibility, once you are a registered member of the community you don't have to ask anyone's permission to publish your scientific results.
Initial impressions of an Internet-free life from my Facebook friends were of general horror. The Internet plays a crucial role in our personal lives: my friends said they would be 'lost', 'stressed', 'anxious' and 'isolated' without it. They were concerned about 'No 24-7 chats?'; 'How would I make new friends/meet new people?'; 'How would I keep in touch with my friends abroad?'; 'I'd actually have to buy things in person from real people!'. We depend on the Internet as our social network, to connect with friends, strangers and to access resources. Sitting at my computer, I am one of the millions of 'nodes' making up the network. Whilst physical interactions with other nodes in the network is largely impossible, I am potentially connected to them all.
Consider the award in 2006 of the Fields medal (the highest prize in mathematics) for a solution of the Poincare Conjecture. This was remarkable in that the research being recognized was not submitted to any journal. In choosing to decline the medal, peer review, publication and employment, the previously obscure Grigori Perelman chose to entrust the legacy of his great triumph solely to an Internet archive intended as a temporary holding tank for papers awaiting publication in established journals. In so doing, he forced the recognition of a new reality by showing that it was possible to move an indisputable intellectual achievement out of the tradition of referee gated journals bound to the stacks of university libraries into a new and poorly charted virtual sphere of the intellect.
The seemingly insurmountable task of digitizing the world has been accomplished by ordinary people. This results from the happy miracle that the Internet is that it's unmoderated and cheap to use. Practically anyone can post information onto the Web, whether as comments, photos, or full-blown Web pages. We're like worker ants in a global colony, dragging little chunks of data this way and that. We do it for free; it's something we like to do.
At the simplest level, the Internet expanded our already capacious, triangulated nervous system to touch the nerves and synapses of a changing and chaotic world. It transformed our collective capacity to forage for the nourishment of our imaginations and our curiosities. The libraries and archives that we had only dreamt of were now literally at our fingertips. The Internet brought with it the exhilaration and the abundance of a frontier-less commons along with the fractious and debilitating intensity of de-personalized disputes in electronic discussion lists. It demonstrated the possibilities of extraordinary feats of electronic generosity and altruism when people shared enormous quantities of information on peer-to-peer network and at the same time it provided early exposure to and warnings about the relentless narcissism of vanity blogging. It changed the ways in which the world became present to us and the ways in which we became present to the world, forever.
The simultaneous availability of different registers of time made manifest by the Internet also creates a continuous archive of our online presences and inscriptions. A message is archived as soon as it is sent. The everyday generation of an internal archive of our work, and the public archive of our utterances (on online discussion lists and on facebook) mean that nothing (not even a throwaway observation) is a throwaway observation anymore. We are all accountable to, and for, the things we have written in emails or posted on online fora. We are yet to get a full sense of what this actually implies in the longer term. The automatic generation of a chronicle and a history colours the destiny of all statements. Nothing can be consigned to amnesia, even though it may appear to be insignificant. Conversely, no matter how important a statement may have appeared when it was first uttered, its significance is compromised by the fact that it is ultimately filed away as just another datum, a pebble, in a growing mountain range.
Whosoever maintains an archive of their practice online is aware of the fact that they alter the terms of their visibility. Earlier, one assumed invisibility to be the default mode of life and practice. Today, visibility is the default mode, and one has to make a special effort to withhold any aspect of one's practice from visibility. This changes the way we think about the relationship between the private memory and public presence of a practice. It is not a matter of whether this leads to a loss of privacy or an erosion of spaces for intimacy, it is just that issues such as privacy, intimacy, publicity, inclusion and seclusion are now inflected very differently.
Paul Ginsparg's arXiv.org archive transformed the literature of physics, establishing a new model for communication over the whole of science. Far fewer people today Â read traditional journals. These have so far survived as guarantors of quality. But even this role may soon be trumped by a more informal system of quality control, signaled by the approbation of discerning readers (by analogy with the grading of restaurants by gastronomic critics), by blogs, or by Amazon-style reviews.
What it has changed for me is my use of time. The Internet is simultaneously the world's greatest time-saver and the greatest time-waster in history. As a time-saver, I'm reduced to stating the obvious: the Web embodies practically the whole of human knowledge, and most of it's only a mouse click away. An archive search that in the past might have taken a week, plus thousands of miles of travel, can now be done at blitz speeds in the privacy of your own home or office. Etcetera.