Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Information)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Paul Lerret
reads a book in the USS Harry S. Truman's library (ca 2002)
photograph by
Photographer's Mate 2nd Class H. Dwain Willis

I work with a gal that loves the printed page. She likes to have all of her work on a sheet of paper, especially any reference material.

So, ...

She has stacks of folders in huge file cabinets, map cabinets full of maps and deep shelves full of technical drawings, and plans galore, all over her office ; - )

Well, ...

The nice lady is running out of space, so she will be purging her files in the next few years.

A Sandisk-brand USB thumb drive,
SanDisk Cruzer Micro, 4GB (ca 2010)
photograph by

Thumb Drives
The Universal Serial Bus Flash Drive (USB Flash Drive) was invented in early 1999. It was first offered in 8 MB. At 500 pages of text per Megabit (MB) that works out to 4000 single-sided sheets of paper or 80 low resolution images.

Now a days, you and your family can purchase 4 to 256 Gigabit flash drives.

Just so you know, 1 gigabit equals 1000 megabits, so a four gigabit thumb drives holds 2,000,000 pages of text or 40,000 low resolution images.

Now, I'm going to stop here with one more piece of information about jump drives. They can last at least 10 years with the possibility of working for close to 100 years.

Wikipedia - USB Flash Drive

Wikipedia - Universal Serial Bus

Micro SD Card, 1 CHF coin , and SD Card (ca 2016)
photograph by
Clément Bucco-Lechat

SD Cards
Secure Digital is a format introduced in late 1999. Currently it has four families, the Standard-Capacity (SDSC), the High-Capacity (SDHC), the eXtended-Capacity (SDXC), and the SDIO. These cards come in three sizes, original, mini, and micro.

SDSC cards can hold up to ??? of information, and SDHC cards can hold up to 32 gigabit of information. SDXC cards can hold up to 2 terabit of information while SDIO cards are used to attach the electronic device to support cameras, global positioning systems, FM tuners, and many others.

These cards can last up to five years.

Wikipedia - Secure Digital

Hard Disk Drive
with cover removed (ca 2004)
photograph by

Hard Disk Drives
Developed in the mid-50s, the first hard drive was the size of two medium refrigerators and stored 3.75 megabytes of information.

Now-a-days, hard drives can be had in sizes of 14 terabits and can last for around 250 years.

Wikipedia - Hard Disk Drive

Disassembled Solid State Drive (ca 2014)
photograph by

Solid State Drives
All I have to say, ... They only last two years in storage.

Wikipedia - Solid State Drive

The Trail to Kalam Lake (ca 2013)
photograph by
Talha Malik

By now, you probably know where I'm going with this information.

And, ...

You would be right.

Trade Offs
First, paper is bulky and can be difficult to properly store. Plus, it is flammable, can be damaged by insects, and it takes knowledge to access.

Second, electronic devices are small but require electricity to access. They can be damaged be power surges, extreme heat, moisture, and other ravages.

Third, no matter your information storage device, including your brain, every device has its pros and cons.

Which One?
Like your food storage, you need to make an assessment

First, ... What are your needs? Are you looking for the basics, then a few books would be fine with some training or practice to cement your knowledge. If you're looking for depth and breadth then you will need the important and critical knowledge in paper with the remainder and backup of the paper in electronic storage devices.

Second, ... What are your resources? Do you have some money then you can buy multiple forms of the information, like compact disks with thumb drives with SD cards with an external hard drive and two devices to access the information, like a laptop with a solar panel and a mobile phone with a card reader. If you don't have excess money then you might request the local library to purchase all the anthologies for Backwoods Home magazine.

Third, ... What events are you and your family planning to survive? Are you planning for a winter storm, hurricane, tornado, or other short-term event then you probably only need copies of all you family's important documents that are normally stored in a safety deposit box. If you're planning for a long-term wide-ranging event then you and your family are probably going to need an extensive base of knowledge. A base of knowledge that would fill a small local library with books, floor to ceiling and wall to wall.

Lastly, ... How long? Because if it's a multi-generational event, you and your partner are going to have to start a school to teach your children and the children of your friends how to read all those books, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and other written material.

Wikipedia - Digital Permanence

Wikipedia - Print Permanence

Wikipedia - Preservation (Library and Archival Science)

Wikipedia - Disk Storage

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