Dolder & 2014/III

ArchivistaBox Dolder and Version 2014/III

Egg, 14th March 2014: Joy abounds! In Switzerland, the two little words spoken by former Federal Chancellor Adolf Ogi in 1992 when congratulating Claude Nicolier on becoming the first Swiss citizen in outer space, have become something of a bon mot. Joy abounds at Archivista GmbH not because our ArchivistaBoxes are suddenly being used in outer space, but rather because with the ArchivistaBox Dolder 2014, we are now able to offer a hardware-based ArchivistaBox costing considerably less than the 1998 Archivista software. In this blog entry, we briefly describe how and why the ArchivistaBox Dolder came into being. The new Version 2014/III is being introduced together with the ArchivistaBox Dolder.

From the Raspberry PI, via Cubietruck to the 64-bit ArchivistaBox Dolder

Last year, when creating the new ArchivistaBox Albis III based on the Raspberry PI, we succeeded in running the entire range of ArchivistaBox facilities from a single micro-computer. The unit is capable of scanning 200 pages per minute, but in respect of text recognition, the micro-computer may be regarded as somewhat sedate. Single-page recognition with Tesseract takes more or less one minute. In 2013, on the firm’s 15th anniversary, there was therefore no ArchivistaBox Dolder like the one we’d been able to create in 2008.

But as we all know, postponed does not mean abandoned and so it was that we ordered two Cubietruck computers for a short period of time. These are, of course, a good deal more expensive, but they incorporate more efficient hardware. Instead of the 512 MB offered by the Raspberry PI, the Cubietruck provides 2 GB (2048 MB), and a 2.5-inch hard drive can also be connected.

The tests were/are however somewhat sobering. Although applications (e.g. Office) start up very swiftly on Cubietruck, text recognition continued to take about one minute per page. Network performance on a 1 Gbit connection rarely exceeds 7 MB/second (even at 100 MB it would only be around 10 – 12 MB/second), whilst the Intel SSD drive, which with ArchivistaBox under 64-bit is capable of around 230 MB, operates on Cubietruck at about 35 – 40 MB/second. In other words, although Cubietruck is certainly quicker than the Raspberry PI, an ArchivistaBox Dolder based on the Cubietruck is unlikely to be any quicker than the 32-bit model developed in 2008. Less or even no joy would have abounded, had we introduced a new ArchivistaBox not able to operate faster than the 2008 version.

However, we struck lucky with the manufacturer of the old ArchivistaBox Dolder. For more or less the same conditions as with Cubietruck, a 64-bit hardware with 2 GB RAM is available which, based on an AMD DualCore, works very economically for a 64-bit compatible processor. When exposed to load (including hard drive), consumption lies between 8 and 12 Watts (for the entire unit, not just the CPU). By comparison, the Raspberry PI requires 3 -4 Watts and the Cubietruck 6 – 9 Watts, making any advantages over the ArchivistaBox Dolder extremely small indeed. Performance-wise, the new fanless ArchivistaBox Dolder puts the ARM representatives to shame; single-page text recognition takes just 4 – 5 seconds (with a single CPU) with the new ArchivistaBox Dolder. Quite frankly, the new ArchivistaBox Dolder is much quicker than the first ArchivistaBox Eiger that we brought onto the market in 2005.

The new ArchivistaBox Dolder weighs around 600 grammes. This is clearly more than the ArchivistaBox Albis III, but at around 600 grammes (including power supply and hard drive) the new box is still a lightweight. In all other respects, the ArchivistaBox Dolder behaves like a grown-up ArchivistaBox with 64 bits; even ArchivistaVM is included. It is priced at 360 Swiss francs, which is significantly lower than the Archivista software price in 1998 and therefore smashes the 2008 Jubilee Offer. The price of the ArchivistaBox Dolder is (and remains) at the level at which the purely virtualised ArchivistaBox Dolder (with no hardware) has been for a number of years. And so, for all the above reasons, we really can now say – joy abounds! The new ArchivistaBox Dolder is available in the Shop – effective immediately.

ArchivistaBox Version 2014/III

The new ArchivistaBox 2014/III contains all the updates added in recent weeks by ArchivistaVM (restoration of backups, Explorer in RAW files). In addition (provided the API Module was purchased) the flag ‘frm_Laufnummer=2’ allows direct export into the ANSI format from the WebClient. In addition, the ArchivistaBox 2014/III can from now on be booted using a Windows-formatted stick in order to test a release prior to bringing it into full operation. The extensively updated ArchivistaBox Manual is also now available (initially in German). New scanners and drivers are also now available for the 2014/III version.