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Jun 17, 2019 6:10 AM ET

Newly recovered Ground Zero photos show why you should back up your CD-Rs now

iCrowd Newswire - Jun 17, 2019

When comedian and activist Jon Stewart gave an impassioned speech before Congress to seek ongoing aid for 9/11 first responders, it inspired Internet Archive software curator and digital preservationist Jason Scott to share something timely with the world as well: a newly discovered cache of photos from one of the workers who toiled away at Ground Zero, and who’d saved thousands of those photos on CD-R.

Jason Scott@textfiles

Today, Jon Stewart testified about the important of extending the 9/11 fund past 2020, to handle the health and welfare of first responders who went to Ground Zero and worked there, suffering greatly in the years hence. I’d like to add something to that discussion, something new.




Jon Stewart testifies for September 11 Victim Compensation Fund: “Accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber…I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry, and you should be too.”

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Jason Scott@textfiles

In the past week, I was handed a cache of 2,400 photos taken at Ground Zero from the end of September to beginning of October, 2001. They were taken by a worker who was there with a Canon Powershot G1, and who snapped away while toiling through the wreckage. pic.twitter.com/4PHDCJUeB6


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But Scott says he wasn’t actually able to preserve all of those photos, because of the way they were stored. And that’s not the only tragedy here:

Jason Scott@textfiles
Replying to @textfiles

The CDRs were absolutely falling apart. Some of the photos are already lost because the CDRs just tend to rot over time, and here, about 18 years later, that was asking a lot. Back up your old CDRs please.

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Jason Scott@textfiles

So, it would probably be useful to interview the worker who took all these photos, who walked around the grounds, who captured these unique images of Ground Zero from all over the space, showing the effort being done to clear the wreckage.

Except we can’t.

He’s dead. pic.twitter.com/eoNZqr3Ytl


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Scott is drawing attention to two plights at the same time — that of those brave men and women who worked to clean up after the towers fell, and that of the memories that they and many, many others believe they may have preserved on recordable discs. Discs which don’t actually last forever, as we’ve learned in recent years.

So now might be a good time to check on your photos, and back them up to something newer, better, and redundant — something that puts them in multiple places in case of failure.

If these photos move you, the photographer’s family asks if you might consider donating some money to a charity that supports first responders.

You can browse the whole photo album here.

Contact Information:

Sean Hollister

Tags:    Artificial Intelligence Newswire, Wire, United States, English