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BYU professors lead research for new Millenniata disk

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A Springville company is introducing a new data storage disk that will protect your information for up to 1,000+ years.
Written by: Kristine Pratt

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A Springville company is introducing a new data storage disk that will protect your information for up to 1,000+ years.

The Millenniata disc, who's name merges from "1,000 years" and "data", is scheduled to be released September 1st of this year.

Most CDs and DVDs today last only 3-5 years, much to the dismay of nearly everyone that stores photos, family history, and information from their computer.

Initially Millenniata will be marketed to institutions with large archiving needs like the LDS Church, government entities, and libraries.  But it will be available in the retail markets as well for everyday home use.

So how did such a novel and seemingly necessary storage unit come to be?  Barry Lunt, BYU professor of information technology, went camping in an area of southern Utah known for it's petroglyphs.  Lunt said he always was under the impression the glyphs were painted on, but found the ancient inhabitants carved to the lighter rock below the surface.

Five years later when Lunt was trying to figure out a way to store digital pictures and music on a CD from his vinyl records, the Millenniata disc was born.  If carving information onto a disc would be possible, like carving a petroglyph, but using more long-lasting materials, you'd have a very valuable, long-lasting item.

In figuring out the right substances to use to make the disc long lasting, Lunt recruited BYU Chemistry professor Matthew Lindford with his background in materials.

And now that Millenniata is ready for marketing, potential buyers are seeing the necessity of keeping their data completely safe rather than worrying about the cost.  The need to distinguish between short-term "storage" and long-term "archive" applications, requires different approaches. In using a computer's hard drive for storage, files are constantly being saved, deleted, and overwritten by other files.  But as for portability, reliability and the ablity to store far more information than the traditional CD or DVD, Millenniata now comes to the forefront.

The Harold B. Lee Library on BYU campus is already seeing the advantage of the disc.  Digital Preservation Officer Chis Erickson says the collections in the library have now reached dozens of terabytes and all that information is managed on tens of thousands of CDs and DVDs that must be checked regulary to make sure all data is there.

No one expects the DVD to be a primary medium for storage in 1,000 years and other technological advances are on the rise globally.  But as for now, Millenniata is at the top of the storage pyramid.
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