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New Thoughts on CD's as Archival Media

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  • George Painter
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2001
      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
      guarantee that.)

      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
      http://www.informationweek.com/thisweek/story/IWK20010719S0003?section=opinion
      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
      media? Please
      click to http://www.informationweek.com/forum/fredlanga and share your
      knowledge!

      Click to email this item to a friend http://www.langa.com/sendit2.htm



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