"Digital microchip, good for thousands of hours of recording"
What... the... f-ck???
Are we talking about some super high-capacity memory chip, like multiple microSD chips joined together? In 1997?
Also, how come the recording is shown as "snow" or "white noise"? If it's digital and the camera had failed to work or was blocked from working by the aliens, there should be nothing in the bitstream at all - snow/white noise, which is an analogue phenomenon, takes a massive toll on MPEG-based recording.
How did the book describe this fabled microchip?
Why are you here if you haven't seen the movie yet?