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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2022, 3:56 PM
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Default Digital Ark

TLDR...nothing for you here, move on.

If your really interested, read on.

Has anyone else put together or considered putting together a digital ark of data for after an event that takes down society? I am talking about digital documents, books, videos, audio, etc. for recovering or slowing down and stopping the knowledge loss and eventually helping to recover?

I have been working on this going on 15 years now and have amassed and categorized about 4TBs of this type of data that includes:
-180k+ books, documents, manuals, and how to videos
-200+ software packages, tools, OSs, etc.
-40k+ songs
-8k+ movies and shows

I have put this on two 2TB drives with protected redundant copies. This exists today.

I am curious if anyone else has done this and if so, what type of digital media did you put these on? I am currently using Seagate Portable 2TB External HDDs which have no magnetic resistance, IP rating, or drop resistance. This is the problem I am looking for assistance with.

It is time to move to more rugged storage with the following minimum requirements:
  • 2TB-4TB of capacity
  • Compatible with Windows 11 down to XP, and Mac
  • USB powered (i.e. no need for external AC power supply)
  • IP57 Rating or better
  • Drop tested to 1.2m (4ft) or better
  • Small enough to fit in your back pocket

I am currently looking at the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus 2TB SSD, and the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD as the leaders of the pack of what I can find, both of which are NVMe type SSDs. The Sandisk is unfortunately only IP55 rated.

I am not as familiar with the longevity of the SSDs over spinning disks and for me, speed is less important than long term durability.

Thoughts?

I expect to hear some naysayers about a digital ark so let me put this out there to keep this thread hopefully full of relevant and valuable comments. If you see a problem and have a solution not listed her, please speak up:
  • I am aware all storage mediums have a life span and the current best long term solution are M-Disks. These are just too small for this effort
  • I do expect degradation of data over time. However some of the data will still be good and of benefit
  • This will require power and computers to access and provide the information to the community. Good thing I am prepared to use left overs and scraps to put together power for the computers and network hardware, and rebuild and configure computers. The larger challenge I can see is retention long term, like 20-30 years+. By then I expect all salvageable computers, monitors, printers, etc. to be used up or beyond recovery. One option was printing out what was actually worthwhile and going back to printing presses for copies long term.
  • I intend to share this with as many communities as possible
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Old 08-11-2022, 6:42 PM
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I downloaded the whole of wikipedia. It's like, 40 gigs.
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Old 08-11-2022, 7:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapThyCat View Post
I downloaded the whole of wikipedia. It's like, 40 gigs.
Yep, that is a good one and have it, and the Survivor Library, the Appropriate Technology Library, and the Gutenberg Library, among others. Links below for those interested.

https://www.howtogeek.com/260023/how...rtips-reading/

http://www.survivorlibrary.com/library-download.html

https://villageearth.org/appropriate...-for-ereaders/

https://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest


Also keeping an eye on the Global Village Construction Set.

https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/w...nstruction_Set
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Old 08-11-2022, 7:23 PM
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I was randomly thinking about something like this the other day.
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Old 08-11-2022, 7:40 PM
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IP 68 rated storage? https://www.pcworld.com/article/3990...ted-drive.html

No experience, just looked.

Also, explanation of ratings at https://rainfordsolutions.com/produc...rds-explained/
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Old 08-11-2022, 8:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChief View Post
TLDR...nothing for you here, move on.

If your really interested, read on.

Has anyone else put together or considered putting together a digital ark of data for after an event that takes down society? I am talking about digital documents, books, videos, audio, etc. for recovering or slowing down and stopping the knowledge loss and eventually helping to recover?

I have been working on this going on 15 years now and have amassed and categorized about 4TBs of this type of data that includes:
-180k+ books, documents, manuals, and how to videos
-200+ software packages, tools, OSs, etc.
-40k+ songs
-8k+ movies and shows

I have put this on two 2TB drives with protected redundant copies. This exists today.

I am curious if anyone else has done this and if so, what type of digital media did you put these on? I am currently using Seagate Portable 2TB External HDDs which have no magnetic resistance, IP rating, or drop resistance. This is the problem I am looking for assistance with.

It is time to move to more rugged storage with the following minimum requirements:
  • 2TB-4TB of capacity
  • Compatible with Windows 11 down to XP, and Mac
  • USB powered (i.e. no need for external AC power supply)
  • IP57 Rating or better
  • Drop tested to 1.2m (4ft) or better
  • Small enough to fit in your back pocket

I am currently looking at the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus 2TB SSD, and the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD as the leaders of the pack of what I can find, both of which are NVMe type SSDs. The Sandisk is unfortunately only IP55 rated.

I am not as familiar with the longevity of the SSDs over spinning disks and for me, speed is less important than long term durability.

Thoughts?

I expect to hear some naysayers about a digital ark so let me put this out there to keep this thread hopefully full of relevant and valuable comments. If you see a problem and have a solution not listed her, please speak up:
  • I am aware all storage mediums have a life span and the current best long term solution are M-Disks. These are just too small for this effort
  • I do expect degradation of data over time. However some of the data will still be good and of benefit
  • This will require power and computers to access and provide the information to the community. Good thing I am prepared to use left overs and scraps to put together power for the computers and network hardware, and rebuild and configure computers. The larger challenge I can see is retention long term, like 20-30 years+. By then I expect all salvageable computers, monitors, printers, etc. to be used up or beyond recovery. One option was printing out what was actually worthwhile and going back to printing presses for copies long term.
  • I intend to share this with as many communities as possible

Good for you OP!

Sounds like you belong at the Data Hoarders on Reddit. SDD is supposed to lose data fairly fast if not plugged in regularly. Maybe a year...or less?

SD cards hold up pretty good. I was told they can last 10 years unplugged. Ive tested SD cards for 6 years unplugged and they were good.

HDD is good for maybe 6 to 10 years. The data has to be rewritten to a new part of the hdd disc. HDD lose magnetism over time.

I also do like you, just different material. I put much of it at the Internet Archive.

I also have an optical disc library. Work discs are on AZO dvd or BD-R and back ups are on M-Disc. LTO tape drives are useful, but can't swing the cost. Not as archival as M-Disc.

I have a fantastic 16mm film library. Just don't have $60k for a sound scanner. Can't get it done commercialy. Would cost a couple million $.. Plus a few of the films are a problem to get scanned commercially due to content.

Last edited by keepitlow; 08-11-2022 at 8:36 PM..
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Old 08-11-2022, 8:30 PM
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What's wrong with books? Probably better chance of reading them than keeping tech alive.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
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Old 08-11-2022, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastattack View Post
What's wrong with books? Probably better chance of reading them than keeping tech alive.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
Nothing, other than trying to take them with you if you have to move out in a hurry. And you cant have more than one person reading them at a time, nor leave a copy of the one you have behind.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:19 AM
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IMO it is TL so I DR all of it. OP has posted something along these lines before. Maybe someone else IDK?

I do have bootable Linux images on dvd, usb and spinning hd that my pdf info is embedded into. Boot and see regardless of whether any os is working or not.

I'll go back to pickin my banjo and find a willing guitarist to duel.

Good effort by the OP's library project and use of appropriate tech speak. Applause.
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-- Frederick Douglass --

“I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:23 AM
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Anything from paladin press if you can find are good sources and stuff with Ragnar Benson in PDFs.
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Old 08-12-2022, 4:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
IP 68 rated storage? https://www.pcworld.com/article/3990...ted-drive.html

No experience, just looked.

Also, explanation of ratings at https://rainfordsolutions.com/produc...rds-explained/
That looks like a good option, just hope they put something out with more than 1TB of storage. Carrying four of those is just asking to lose one I am going to ping them to see if they have anything in the pipeline.

Let me know if you find more!


Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitlow View Post
Good for you OP!

Sounds like you belong at the Data Hoarders on Reddit. SDD is supposed to lose data fairly fast if not plugged in regularly. Maybe a year...or less?

SD cards hold up pretty good. I was told they can last 10 years unplugged. Ive tested SD cards for 6 years unplugged and they were good.

HDD is good for maybe 6 to 10 years. The data has to be rewritten to a new part of the hdd disc. HDD lose magnetism over time.

I also do like you, just different material. I put much of it at the Internet Archive.

I also have an optical disc library. Work discs are on AZO dvd or BD-R and back ups are on M-Disc. LTO tape drives are useful, but can't swing the cost. Not as archival as M-Disc.

I have a fantastic 16mm film library. Just don't have $60k for a sound scanner. Can't get it done commercialy. Would cost a couple million $.. Plus a few of the films are a problem to get scanned commercially due to content.
Interesting points keepitlow!

I had never heard the term data hoarders before. Had to look it up. I delete things all the time, maybe too much some times. I am a known tyrant with the network storage arrays at work and am pruning this Ark every so often when I get the bug to work through one of the categories.

I did some reading last night after your post and found out about the differences between the spinning disk (HDD) vs an SSD type storage with regards to how the data is actually maintained on the devices. I knew about the magnetic aspect for HDD and that SSDs used NVRAM, just not the details about how the SSDs maintained a charge for the "gates" for each bit of data, learned something new!

Looks like both should be powered up at least once a year to keep them healthy, either lubed or to refresh the gate charges. Powering up an SSD that I am looking at would entail plugging it into a live USB port so would be much easier to do then the 12v for an HDD.

However. I am not seeing references to longevity issues that are drastically different between the two types of storage, at least since the second gen SSDs, we are on gen 3 and 4 now.

Given my intent is to carry these, and I need about 4TB of storage, an optical disk drive is not an option. And since this is for a post event situation where the internet is down, that is not an option either. Tapes are old school and were a pain in there hay day. Can't tell you how many LTO Ultrium 3 and 4 tapes failed read checks during annual recovery exercises. Some of them had only been written to once and then stored in a media cabinet in a controlled environment. I used that as justification to move to virtual tape arrays (HDD and SSD).

Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jager56 View Post
Anything from paladin press if you can find are good sources and stuff with Ragnar Benson in PDFs.
Looks like about 70 Paladin Press and 4 Ragnar Benson books, at least with those names in the file name
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Old 08-17-2022, 10:11 AM
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Guess it is kind of sad in our era / day and age that one can't "sale" this to another because it probably violates all kind of copy rights and such. I don't have the desire / time to put such a best of 2 TB's together but would love to have it all if SHTF. Now that solar is prominent and easily attainable its highly likely people will be able to charge devices in any future.
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Old 08-17-2022, 5:33 PM
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I keep a SDD with personal/family important stuff on it. Copies of important docs, photos, stuff like that. I just keep it locked in my desk at work. This is more of a "what if my house burns down" backup of stuff though, mostly anything on my laptop I backup there. I could use cloud stuff for the pics, but I'd rather not keep banking, medical records, etc. there. I know there's encryption services etc, but I don't care enough to look into it. Physical storage suits me for what I need.
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Old 08-17-2022, 7:39 PM
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I am going to pickup four 1TB Micro SD cards for now, given their ease of carry. Then in a couple years, check on the current stock of SSD drives like the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus 2TB, or the ADATA SE800 1TB that the Librarian listed.

In the mean time, I'll store them in some high EMI attenuation bags like the Nest-Z 50db emp bags to reduce the impact of an EMP or CME, water, and dust on them.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 08-17-2022, 7:49 PM
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Guess it is kind of sad in our era / day and age that one can't "sale" this to another because it probably violates all kind of copy rights and such. I don't have the desire / time to put such a best of 2 TB's together but would love to have it all if SHTF. Now that solar is prominent and easily attainable its highly likely people will be able to charge devices in any future.
So very true! However, I would strongly recommend any of you to capture the Survivor Library as it is free to download at any time with no signup --> https://www.survivorlibrary.com/library-download.html

You can buy it already copied to a flash drive, M-Disks, or even a spinning disk --> https://www.survivorlibrary.com/library-download.html

Here is a write up the (Survivor) Librarian did on his intent and what he expects on how it would be used after an event --> https://www.survivorlibrary.com/abou...e-library.html
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Old 08-20-2022, 9:49 AM
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Questions for OP;

How do you categorize your data for searches?

Do you keep pencil/paper handy to xfer data to people that have no electric sources?

You have portable sd card readers available to xfer data to a working computer?

Do you have a portable ability to power a computer du jour from a car battery?
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Old 02-09-2024, 11:59 AM
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I added a SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD to the mix so three complete copies, plus smaller focused 1TB versions. I rotate them through the computer (thanks keepitlow)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeuerFrei View Post
Questions for OP
1. How do you categorize your data for searches? - Folder structures for now. See attached Screenshot. Once I establish myself in a town and scavenge and build a function environment to host the data, I'll use a web based search engine to provide access to it. I have a couple of them packaged in the IT section of the Ark to include all the supporting pre-online validation OS's, email, DB, web, client tools, and other workstation and server packages.

2. Do you keep pencil/paper handy to xfer data to people that have no electric sources? - Nope. I am assuming this is sarcasm. I also don't provide food, wipe their butts or cut their food for them I can only provide so much.

3. You have portable sd card readers available to xfer data to a working computer? - Depends on what can be scavenged and what they have. Will figure something out.

4. Do you have a portable ability to power a computer du jour from a car battery? - I do at home, but the expectation is this will be far from my home as the area I am in will not be sustainable long term, so it will depend on what can be scavenged where I end up or along the way.

This is not a turn key solution. As I described in my original post, it will take work and adaptability. There will be limitations and challenges. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water because it is not easy

The questions are great but what are your solutions to the above?
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TheChief View Post
I added a SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD to the mix so three complete copies, plus smaller focused 1TB versions. I rotate them through the computer (thanks keepitlow)



1. How do you categorize your data for searches? - Folder structures for now. See attached Screenshot. Once I establish myself in a town and scavenge and build a function environment to host the data, I'll use a web based search engine to provide access to it. I have a couple of them packaged in the IT section of the Ark to include all the supporting pre-online validation OS's, email, DB, web, client tools, and other workstation and server packages.

2. Do you keep pencil/paper handy to xfer data to people that have no electric sources? - Nope. I am assuming this is sarcasm. I also don't provide food, wipe their butts or cut their food for them I can only provide so much.

3. You have portable sd card readers available to xfer data to a working computer? - Depends on what can be scavenged and what they have. Will figure something out.

4. Do you have a portable ability to power a computer du jour from a car battery? - I do at home, but the expectation is this will be far from my home as the area I am in will not be sustainable long term, so it will depend on what can be scavenged where I end up or along the way.

This is not a turn key solution. As I described in my original post, it will take work and adaptability. There will be limitations and challenges. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water because it is not easy

The questions are great but what are your solutions to the above?
I would not trust those small SD cards for long term storage if I were you. I have seen far too high of a failure rate to ever trust them for use in that way.
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Old 02-12-2024, 1:21 PM
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I would not trust those small SD cards for long term storage if I were you. I have seen far too high of a failure rate to ever trust them for use in that way.
I think FeuerFrei's question about SD cards was not for the storage of the library files but rather smaller copies of specific data. For example, if a farmer came to the library and wanted to take some of the files home they could use an SD card they had or one that had been scavenged.

The library copies are currently stored on both spinning disk and SSD drives, all 4TBs of it.
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