The Campaign to Preserve the Sacred Artifacts of the Life and Work of The Divine World-Teacher Adi Da Samraj

What are Checksums? Why we use them

A checksum is a digit representing the sum of the correct digits in a piece of stored or transmitted digital data, against which later comparisons can be made to detect errors in the data. The process of digitizing archival materials (video tape, audio tape, photographs, scanned manuscripts, etc.) produces thousands of files of various sizes and formats. It is important that each of these files is preserved perfectly, digit by digit, bit by bit, byte by byte. Any change that takes place, even in a single byte, constitutes possible corruption of the original. And this corruption can and does happen over time. Just as with physical objects, digital objects can deteriorate or “rot”. So, it is very important that we find a way to track any change or corruption that may occur. And if corruption is detected the file or digital data needs to be restored to its original form. Utilizing checksums makes tracking data changes possible We have developed a program that calculates a checksum for each of the files stored in the Sacred Archives. These checksums are saved in the Archives Database system. Once a year the program is run on the files, calculating the checksum at that time. If a file has changed, even by one byte, over that year the newly calculated checksum will be different than the original checksum retrieved from the Archives Database for that file. Since every file is backed up in triplicate on digital tapes, if any file corruption is detected by comparing checksums, a copy can be restored from tape. The checksum for the restored copy can also calculated, and if it is the...

Uncompromising Quality is Key

We have spent significant time and effort researching and seeking professional advice to make sure that the playback and scanning equipment that we use is of the highest quality. We use industry professionals to maintain and service the equipment. Getting the best quality digital copy of every photograph, manuscript page, audio tape and video tape is our top priority, and that is exactly what we are doing. In addition to the equipment needed to play the tapes and scan the photographs and the manuscript pages, we are using high quality computer systems and enterprise class software to capture and store the digital media produced during this...

14 Video Tape Formats

Over the more than 60 years of Bhagavan Adi Da’s Divine Life, technology made great advances. Video tape recording was invented and progressed from reel-to-reel to cassette, from analog to high-definition digital. With each advance, the video play-back and record equipment changed, the tape formats and sizes changed, and the quality changed. As a result, the Sacred Archives has video tape recordings in 14 different formats. Each video format needs its own playback equipment (mostly no longer in production) and each has its own unique challenges for the Archives digital preservation...

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