BitCurator Version 0.8.4 Now Available

Hello everyone,
The latest release of the BitCurator environment (0.8.4) is now available on our release portal. Direct links and MD5 checksums can be found on the wiki, or you can follow the links below:

The BitCurator Virtual Machine – 2.5GB
The BitCurator Installation ISO – 2.2GB

This release includes a range of stability updates and bug fixes. Items of note:

– Floppy disk drive access restored. This had become disabled in the previous release due to a system update to the Ubuntu core.
– Installation bug preventing complete installation on laptops with certain types of webcams fixed.
– File system output in Excel format now includes file format identification field.
– BitCurator configuration file (in /etc/bitcurator/bc_report_config.txt) and supporting software module updated to simplify tuning of report file output. Additional documentation to follow on the wiki.

– VirtualBox additions updated to 4.3.10. Our updated Quickstart guide can be found on the release portal, or in the Documentation folder on the BitCurator environment desktop.

As with previous releases, this environment is built on a 64-bit version of Ubuntu and may be unstable on certain 32-bit host operating systems, or host hardware with less than 4GB of RAM. Please don’t hesitate to post here if you have questions!

BitCurator Webinar Series: Announcing a Second Session on Digital Forensics Metadata

Due to the interest in this topic, we have added a second session of this webinar to be held on Thursday, April 17th at 11:00am Eastern Time.

Join us for BitCurator’s monthly webinar series on applying digital forensics tools and methods to the preservation of born-digital materials in collecting institutions. The webinar will be held on Thursday, April 17th at 11:00am Eastern Time. You can register for the webinar at https://bitcurator-metadata-s2.eventbrite.com.

This month’s webinar will focus on BitCurator and metadata output, including the following topics:

  • Metadata produced by the image capture process
  • File system metadata
  • An overview of DFXML and export capabilities
  • PREMIS event system metadata
  • How BitCurator-generated metadata fits into your archival workflow

There are no prerequisites for this webinar; however, it is designed for users already familiar with the basic operations of the BitCurator environment. The webinar will be roughly one hour with 10 minutes for Q&A at the end.

BitCurator Webinar Series: BitCurator and Digital Forensics Metadata Output

Note: Due to a scheduling conflict with one of the presenters, this webinar has been rescheduled for April 9th.

Join us for BitCurator’s montly webinar series on applying digital forensics tools and methods to the preservation of born-digital materials in collecting institutions. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 9th at 11:00am EST. You can register for the webinar at https://bitcuratorandmetadata.eventbrite.com.

This month’s webinar will focus on BitCurator and metadata output, including the following topics:

  • Metadata produced byt the image capture process
  • File system metadata
  • An overview of DFXML and export capabilities
  • PREMIS event system metadata
  • How BitCurator-generated metadata fits into your archival workflow

There are no prerequisites for this webinar; however, it is designed for users already familiar with the basic operations of the BitCurator environment. The webinar will be roughly one hour with 10 minutes for Q&A at the end.

Bitcurator: Forensics for Collecting Institutions (Part 1 of 2)

Part one of two guest posts by Kari R. Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, Institute Archives and Special Collections. Cross-posted from the Engineering the Future of the Past blog (CC BY-SA 3.0).

We’ve been busy the past few months.  Take the blog silence for the quiet of busy beavers rather than the absence of activity!

Photo of BitCurator Project Sticker
BitCurator Project Sticker

As noted in the workflow diagrams, one of the tools that we are assessing both in terms of functionality and how it might fit into our workflows is BitCurator.  The BitCurator Team has lot of information on their project and wiki pages that you should read to keep current on this Mellon funded project.

Photo of the BitCurator in a Box. Includes two write-blockers, cables and cords, and BitCurator program on a USB drive
Photo of the BitCurator in a Box. Includes two write-blockers, cables and cords, and BitCurator program on a USB drive

The BitCurator Project is an open-source digital forensics environment in which collecting institutions can create and analyze forensic disk images of digital content, whether from a file server or from media.  Read this page on the BitCurator website for more specifics on the projects and the tools incorporated into the environment.

We’ve been testing versions of the BitCurator tools since version 3.0.  Happily, the project and team have been doing great work with adding tools, functionality, GUI, and reporting capabilities.  BitCurator 0.7.4 was released on February 2, 2014 and is the current version we are assessing.

As an activity of the Digital Sustainability Lab in the Libraries, there is input into the assessment from both the Institute Archives and Special Collections staff and from the Digital Curation and Preservation staff in the MIT Libraries.

The BitCurator team is fantastic and are very responsive to feedback and questions regarding how to use and implement BitCurator in your digital curation workflow.  For instance, at the recent DigCCurr Institute, CurateGear presentations it came up that there was a BitCurator in a Box that can be borrowed for formal assessment purposes.  We asked and after the most current release at that time we were mailed the box.  Along with a formal testing plan and required questions/ answers to return to the BitCurator Team, was a jumpdrive with the BitCurator install files and two write-blockers with accompanying cables and cords. It is all packed into a Pelican case for shock absorption and a cool factor.

The next blog post on this topic will frame our assessment and the issues and considerations that we are addressing.