FAQs

Q?

Discs are supposed to last 100 years, why shouldn’t I use the disc you sent me the data on as my main data source ?

A.

Nothing Digital is truly archival as it does not survive by accident.

We strongly recommend that you make copies of the information and keep it on three different forms of backup eg.  CD/DVD disc, portable drive, Server or Hard disc and tape.

Optical Media (CD/DVD/BluRay) is subject to delamination, scratching, pitting and normal wear and tear, it is not meant to be forever, it is a transport medium at best. It is true that aging tests show media last extended periods, it real life we see discs failing after hours.

tbc

Q?

Why use Microfilm? Isn’t that old technology?

A.

Microfilm being an analogue medium is inherently more stable than anything digital.

Where the application has to guarantee the data being there in 30plus years, is subject to litigation or is of great value to the community we still include a microfilm backup.

Typically this for engineering drawings, medical and legal records.

Whilst we don't generally make microfiche anymore we still output 16mm/35mm film, aperture cards and diazo or vesicular duplicated.

Frequently we make a master film only which goes off to storage and a digital version for day-to-day use.

Most of the films we create come of Kodak Digital Archive Writers but we still have several staff filming Newspapers, Minutes and Genealogical Records.

 

When is Microfilm a better alternative than Scanning?

Depending on the number of users that need to view an Image and the acceptable time in which that Image may be located will help decide whether Microfilm or Digital is a better choice. Other factors such as distance between sites or users will also influence any decision.

In general Microfilm performs better in archival, single use and low retrieval situations. However, Microfilm is a very quick way to process large quantities of documents and if prepared properly can out perform a digital solution in a short time scale.

An example is cheque processing. As microfilmers are generally faster than scanners, you could create a backup of your documents, process and check the film quicker than you could scan and check the same documents. The proviso is that only one person at a time could view this information, but as it is only for backup this may not be the main concern.

 

Q?

I have a multi function device (MFD) Can’t I use that for document imaging?

A.

Yes, you can use a MFD and the newer ones produce good images. For day forward scanning they can work fine and meet all your requirements.

However, here are some reasons why they are not so good for back log processing and higher volume work.

  • They are generally not double sided and have to feed the document twice
  • Generally you can't mix document types and sizes
  • Multi-feed detection is not always present
  • Auto crop, auto deskew, auto rotate is not normally an option
  • Output is generally only PDF, when sometimes you need TIF or JPG
  • They are not designed to handle the daily workload of a dedicated document scanner.
  • Need to be setup to produce 300dpi images so you can do OCR later
  • Integrated software from the Vendor is an expensive option
  •  It is a multifunction device meaning your scanning is mixed up with someone else's printouts
  • Your documents get mixed with others when they need to photocopy something.
  • Other people have to wait for you to finish scanning
  • The machine is not ergonomically designed for someone to stand in-front of it for hours at a time.
  • There is no security or confidentiality because of the location of the printer and lack of control of where the documents are sent

 

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