IBM patented the idea of “aging” digital data last year:
A method, programmed medium and system are provided for a file system that provides for the aging of information and files stored thereon. Digital data stored on the aging file systems ages appropriately as would normal paper or photographs without the need for an external application. The aging file system uses a number of parameters depending on what type of digital data are stored. For example, parameters like ambient temperature, rate of aging, simulated type of paper or photo paper are selected and may be input to a filing system at configuration time. The aging file system also creates and stores digital authentication certificates to provide a unique certificate number based on the aged digital information.
Adorable! Like dipping your printed out 6th grade historical fiction writing assignment in tea so it looks like they had word processors in the 1700s!
Currently it is common practice to scan or digitize documents, books, images and other materials in order to store such materials on a computer system for record retention purposes and for subsequent access and/or print-out. As documents get digitized, they will be scanned and kept as image files that replicate the age of the book when scanned. However, in this instance, the book continues to age, but the digital image does not. The same situation applies to photographs.
…it is well established that aged originals, whether documents or images, are known to add value beyond the intrinsic value of the document itself.
Moreover, in other applications, for record retention purposes, it is necessary for institutions to save files for a certain period of time, but after the designated time period has elapsed, there is no more need to maintain the files. Typically, in such situations, the files are accessed one-by-one and deleted from a file system since they are unnecessarily taking up valuable storage space.
Thus, there is a need for a new kind of filing system that automatically and selectively ages files contained therein such that the files themselves are caused to age with time and are not maintained in their originally stored state. Moreover, there is a need to provide such an aging function to apply automatically to all files stored on the filing system without requiring a continuing user monitoring effort.
- Perfect for the ubiquitous digital nostalgia trend, but it should be instant
- Fairly certain there’s a better way to do a records retention schedule than fake-aging your digital documents
- Digital stuff has its own totally beautiful ways of rotting, thank you very much
Via the Archives & Archivists Listserv.