Friday, February 06, 2009

The Fragility of Information

Image: ezola

OhioLINK's recent failure and subsequent down time are a reminder of how fragile information can be.

I recognize the incredible advancement in information access and storage in the digital age, and I wholeheartedly embrace the advancement (in most cases). So, I'm no neo-ludite. However, I have written about a well-tested archiving technology--its called a book.

I went to Kent with Lowell Lybarger who, at the time, had some interesting ideas concerning the energy needed to maintain the massive data farms we're amassing. Specifically, he was concerned with how to create the energy, our depenance on non-renewable fuels, and the entire enterprise's sustainablility.

Is our current practice concerning electronic data sustainable? My guess it is not.

Below is an e-mail from Anita Cook, OhioLink's Dir. of Library Sys.

Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2009 07:52:52 -0500
From: Anita Cook

Really bad news this morning. The massive failure and the subsequent
rebuilding of a controller wiped out some key directories for the EJC, EBC, and DMC. In other words, these machines are up and running and you can search or browse the metadata for the EJC and DMC but no objects are attached to them.

This means no abstracts, no full text for the EJC and no digital objects of any kind for the DMC.

Ebooks is getting a "Service Temporarily Unavailable" message. It is suffering the same fate but is reacting differently.

The directories have to be rebuilt which is an arduous task. The engineers, after being up for 48 hours needed to get some sleep before they start this process, so they are sleeping this morning and will start this task later today. We don't know how long this will take.

The OSearch databases are up, but you will not get a link to full text since the EJC is down. You will get links to the Central Catalog though.

That's the news. Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.



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