In article <93122162041.MIN-LDGBa29809.bionet-news at uk.ac.daresbury> you wrote:
: [...lab notebook stuff]
: 3. No one has mentioned published encrypted summary data. Somewhere
: I read about (but have not personally seen) services which take any
: data file and produce from a large file a small "signature" which
: is published in the classified section of a microfilmed newspaper.
: Experts will testify that it is essentially impossible to produce
: a file which matches the signature and is not the original.
Am I totally misunderstanding what you say, or are you just describing
the function of CRC's ?? The combination a file's length in bytes and
its 32-bit CRC (cyclic redundancy check) is virtually unique and serves
to validate many software packages. This, in essence, is no different
to validating experimental records as original.
: What is needed to make computerized lab notebooks feasible
: is a similar service on the internet (maybe BioSci could offer it)
: where "signature" files could be publically posted and permantly
: archived in such a way that they could not be modified without
: the cooperation of many people (and no one could be certain that
: someone else didn't keep another copy somewhere). E.G. create
: a newsgroup for these files, and let anyone who wants to archive
What is needed to make data accessible is ISDN!!
The whole thrust of new developments is NOT to cart your precious data
around the world with you, but to make access to it via wide-bandwidth
communications channels feasable. What you need is a WORM at work as a
data repository and an ISDN link on your portable in order to get at it
from home or wherever you are working.
My hope is that this will all be affordable - otherwise we will have no
progress. I'm not saying that the 'Newton' or 'Active Book' are the
answer either. The essence of what I am saying is that the
communication channel itself is the expensive bottleneck. The
significance of systems like ISDN is that it is *designed* for digital
communication not adapted for it.
Many people (myself included) dialup via voice lines with ~2400 baud
connections to get at their data. This is obviously a severe
limitation but I have a *vast* array of information available in
comparison to what I could carry around on a portable. What *I* want
is an ISDN link so that files on the network are available to me as if
they were stored locally on the PC at home. This is quite practical
now (if a little expensive).
Dr. A.J.Travis, | Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute, | JANET: <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, | other: <ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK. | phone: 0224-712751