Long Lost Star Wars Short Is Finally Found

Black_Angel_1980

Fans of the Star Wars series are no doubt excited by the recently released teaser trailer for next year’s blockbuster ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’ Yet, white-knuckling through a year wait is nothing compared to the nearly three decades that die-hard fans have anticipated ‘Black Angel,’ Lucas’s famed long-lost short that briefly saw silver screen action in 1980.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas commissioned ‘Black Angel’ to be paired with ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in theaters. The 25-minute fantasy epic was the directorial debut of Star Wars‘ pioneering set decorator Roger Christian.

After it screened in cinemas, it suddenly vanished. For years, no copies could be located. The film only existed as a rumored relic in fanboy conversations. Well, until recently.

Christian says that he had an original negative and print copy of the film, which he kept at London’s Boss Film Studios. But the studio went bankrupt in the 1990s while Christian was out of town on a shoot, and ended up tossing out his belongings. When he began writing his upcoming tell-all book Cinema Alchemist, Christian inquired with Fox to see if they had any copies left.

He learned that all of them had been thrown out as well after the film elements’ storage facility, the former UK studio Rank, had shut down in the same decade. The Lucasfilm Archives couldn’t locate their copy either. Christian assumed the original elements of the film were lost forever.

Keeping Your Own Masterpieces Safe & Sound

Few fans aside from film buffs know Lucas himself was a frontrunner in digital cinematography, challenging the supremacy of film in the late ‘90s, with ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.’

His seamless blending of digital footage with that captured on film was so successful that Lucas went on to film its sequels completely in digital format, ensuring no other films were lost. However, the archiving technology that could have prevented ‘Black Angel’ from disappearing hadn’t been developed yet.

How Black Angel got lost and then found is still unknown, but its journey is a clear case for shooting digital and careful archiving are necessary to protect your own footage.

To ensure your own films don’t make fans wait as long as ‘Black Angel,’ DIGISTOR offers Professional Video SSD drives, which have up to 480GB of capacity for the most reliable way to capture uncompressed video.  Recording digitally also makes easy access to multiple reliable storage drives essential to capture and early archiving stages of footage. For video crews that use multiple cameras on each shoot, DIGISTOR offer multi-packs of SSDs to handle the even larger amounts of footage.

Related posts:

Blu-ray continues to wow data center users

blu-ray_data_center

Blu-ray has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past year, thanks largely to its value as a cold storage platform. Organizations with intensive data center demands are turning to optical media as a platform for data archiving. Blu-ray sits head-and-shoulders above other optical formats, providing a combination of capacity, scalability and durability that will meet the needs of many businesses. Facebook has been at the forefront of this movement, taking major strides in the development of data archiving solutions built upon Blu-ray.

Most larger operations are beginning to see their data archiving demands increase dramatically. As more companies rely on data centers to process massive volumes of incoming information, they may struggle to cope with data that no longer serves an immediate purpose but may need to be retrieved at a later date. Perhaps no other business exemplifies this as well as Facebook. TechTarget reported that a single sysadmin must oversee as many as 20,000 servers, on average. Altogether, the social media giant has hundreds of thousands of servers running in its hyperscale data centers.

It’s no wonder that Facebook has so many servers at its disposal when one considers how much information is coursing through its data centers. As CNNMoney explained, the social network’s user base has uploaded more than 400 billion images since the service went live. Those rates have shown no signs of abating, either, as approximately 350 million images are added to Facebook every day.

Blu-ray offers durability, affordability
Many traditional archiving methods are not up to the task of accounting for this surge in data. Often, they cannot provide the degree of scalability or affordability needed to support a large operation. Facebook technicians recognized this problem and subsequently looked to Blu-ray as a viable alternative.

“Blu-ray discs offer a number of advantages versus hard drives,” CNNMoney stated. “For one thing, the discs are more resilient: They’re water- and dust-resistant, and better able to withstand temperature swings. … Because the Blu-ray system doesn’t need to be powered when the discs aren’t in use, it uses 80 percent less power than the hard-drive arrangement, cutting overall costs in half.”

The ability to reduce energy consumption rates with Blu-ray cannot be overstated. Data archiving is a critical aspect of data center operations, enabling businesses like Facebook to transfer rarely accessed data to less active servers. The problem with keeping these files on active servers is that the associated software must also be running to make them available to users. That would be pretty inefficient considering only 8 percent of images uploaded to Facebook account for its traffic, according to CNNMoney.

If organizations fail to make effective use of their data center assets and unnecessarily leave servers in an active state, they will consume a massive amount of energy. This will have a dramatic effect on a business’s bottom line as it must allocate a large chunk of revenue toward paying utility bills. By embracing Blu-ray as a platform for cold storage, companies can efficiently archive data and lower their energy usage.

Make smart choices when it comes to data storage
With today’s information-focused business environments, no data can simply be discarded, even if it shows no immediate value. At the same time, it’s important that businesses approach data storage needs with an eye for efficiency. Continually running active servers to host unused information will hurt an organization in the long run. Implementing data archiving solutions designed around cold storage will help companies strike the right balance between availability and affordability.

Blu-ray is quickly establishing itself as the ideal platform for these types of archiving efforts. This media format is both extremely durable and easily scalable, helping data center operators to address their cold storage needs without putting the integrity of their data at risk or making further expansion impossible.

Related posts:

What makes your Industrial SSD most vulnerable?

power-loss-ssd

Unlike volatile RAM, a well-made SSD is meant to look after itself and your data. That means the ideal state for your industrial SSD is actually powered up! In fact, apart from any abnormal environmental stresses, such as exposure to static, extreme cooling or heat, your industrial SSD is designed to self-maintain for many years. But if a powered up state is optimum, and powered down doesn’t create any wear and tear, when is your SSD most at risk?

Getting from one state to another is when an SSD is its most defenseless.

While the drive writes very quickly, an unexpected power loss creates a moment of intrinsic risk for flash storage for two main reasons:

  1. SSDs perform more read/ write intensive tasks than HDDs: Because an industrial SSD is responsible for more complex internal data management and housekeeping, at any given point in operation, your SSD is likely performing vital tasks. With complexity comes risk, and it’s imperative that the SSD’s designer thoroughly design in what should happen in the short period of time in which circuits can still respond to controls.
  2. There can be billions of bytes in an industrial SSD: Many getting accessed faster than the speed possible by a spinning disk hard drive. All of this action must be managed when the industrial SSD system changes states.

This means an SSD must use a wider range of power control schemes to protect against possible power drop offs during the write operation to the NAND Flash.

How to get it right?

Designers of high-quality industrial SSDs understand that some data corruption is possible when power is interrupted – despite the best efforts of the SSD’s manufacturer.

But the key to creating a reliable and durable industrial SSD goes beyond design, to testing: Applying variable types of power disruptions at any times in the SSD firmware.

A top-end industrial SSD has been designed and tested to make the difference between how much data in your SSD is corrupted and whether the SSD itself is usable when the power comes back up.

If you’d like to learn more about Digistor’s industrial SSD solutions, call our sales team at 1(800) 816-1886.

Related posts: