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Next: TCFS Format Specification Up: Tape Archiving Using the Previous: Authenticity


``We learn from history that we do not learn from history.''
-Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

In summary, the general framework that TCFS creates allows us to reduce the number of data formats we must understand. Furthermore, TCFS is a format that is specifically designed for long term storage, while most other formats are designed to optimize speed of access and space. TCFS is also intended to be easily reverse-engineered, so that when a future archaeologist finds a half-mangled scrap of magnetic tape (or whatever becomes the industry standard, such as holographic paper) she will be able to make sense of the data on that scrap, without requiring any of the surrounding context.

By moving all of our files to TCFS, it will become more economical for anyone to develop tools to help search and organize this vast amount of data. I prototyped a few such tools as part of this work. It is possible to build a single unified interface for all of the Labs' archival data. This not only allows easy access to all our old files, but simplifies maintenance. As a result, we hope that none of our data is ``stranded'' in some forgotten format on an unlabeled tape ever again.