New Thoughts on CD's as Archival Media
- I suscribe to the Langa List which is a technology newsletter edited by Mr.
Fred Langa a well know and highly respected technologist and technical
editor. The current newsletter has the below article on how long to expect
CD-ROM's to last. Since many of us are depending on CD's to archive our
valuable genealogical data, I though you would be interested in reading
what Fred thinks about them. You will to click on the hyper links to
understand the full subject. (I hope the links remain working as I can't
Please note that I have Fred's permission to include the one article
without change and retaining the hyper links, so if you pass this on,
please do so and keep it intact so as not to violate the copyright.
Regards, George Painter
1) Safe--- Or Sorry--- On CD-R
Some CDs, especially those made with the light aqua phthalocyanine dye
backed by a plastic-protected layer of gold metal foil, can last a long
time. Others, using bluish cyanine dye backed by unprotected aluminum foil,
can degrade fully ten times faster! And that's in normal circumstances. In
unusual settings, things can get *very* weird:
While flying on an airplane to Belize I read an article that shocked me. I
researcher had been to Belize and discovered that some of his CDs were
being eaten by a fungus. Here is an article describing his findings.
http://www.nature.com/nsu/010628/010628-11.html ---Richard Bray
Thanks, Richard! Maybe Symantec should include a can of Lysol in their next
suite of Norton Utilities.... Fortunately, most of us don't have to worry
about bugs *literally* eating our data. But tapes, floppies, and CDRs all
do have finite lifespans, and you should know what you're getting into when
you entrust your data to each medium.
Specifically with CDRs, the "sweet spot" in selecting a CDR type for any
given data storage task is the one that provides enough longevity to
accomplish the storage task with a comfortable safety margin, but not so
much as to needlessly raise the costs by paying for unnecessary longevity.
The article at
has all the info you need to become an informed CDR consumer.
You'll be able to identify the most common CDR types on sight, and also
pick the kind that's just right--- and least expensive--- for your storage
needs. Come check it out! And then join the discussion: What have you found
that works well for short, medium, and long-term backup? If you're using
tape, what steps are you taking to ensure long shelf life? If you're using
CD-Rs, what types do you prefer, and why? What sources do you use for
buying blank media? How long do you think your data will survive in
storage? Do you periodically refresh old backups by re-recording onto new
click to http://www.informationweek.com/forum/fredlanga and share your
Click to email this item to a friend http://www.langa.com/sendit2.htm
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