Disk Essays

Very Long-term Backup

by Kevin Kelly, Long Now Foundation Board of Directors

Paper, it turns out, is a very reliable backup medium for information. While it can burn or dissolve in water, good acid-free versions of paper are otherwise stable over the long term, cheap to warehouse, and oblivious to technological change because its pages are “eye-scanable.” No special devices needed. Well-made, well-cared for paper can last 1,000 years easily, and probably reach 2,000 without much extra trouble...

The Rosetta Disk Story (or How to make a Rosetta Disk and back up civilization)

by Alexander Rose, Long Now Foundation Executive Director

Back in 01998 the idea was put forward that a modern Rosetta Disk might be made using micro-etching technology. The disk would have as many translations of the same text as possible, all etched into metal that could last for thousands of years...

Care and Feeding of Your Rosetta Disk

by Laura Welcher, Director of The Rosetta Project

Congratulations Rosetta Disk Owner! You are now the caretaker of an archive of 1,500 human languages, carefully crafted to last for millenia -- an intentional Rosetta Stone that could serve as the key to deciphering written records that our civilizations leave behind...

The Rosetta Disk

Fifty to ninety percent of the world's languages are predicted to disappear in the next century, many with little or no significant documentation.