My classiccmp non-retirement :-)
Billy.Pettit at wdc.com
Tue Jun 28 19:41:08 CDT 2005
Jerome Fine wrote:
Almost everyone seems to expect that neither a CD-R nor a DVD-R (i.e. the
backup media we make for ourselves in single digit numbers) will last less
than 20 years and probably less than 10 years. I can't think of any media
that might be more reliable.
Count me as one does expect CD media, R or stamped, to last longer than 20
years. There will be outlying quality problems from many vendors and for a
variety of reasons. But the basic technology yields media that should be
good for multiples of 20 years. I've been in the labs in Eindhoven where
they can still read some of the original CD prototypes from the mid-70's.
As to your second point, about more reliable media: My CDC 160-A still
reads some paper tapes that I made in 1963. And I have no trouble playing
some of my grandfather's old 78's from the early '30's.
A friend in Atlanta has been copying over old wire recordings from the
30-40s time frame.
And of course, movies go back into the teens.
The point is it is not the media that is always the problem. Sometimes the
application sucks. Sometimes the industry use sucks.
Everyone has horror stories. Let me add another. Most of the weather data
collected from the early satellites has been lost by simple carelessness in
storing. Data that would help immensely in building weather models was
slowly and very expensively gathered for decades. Then stored in such lousy
environments that many of the tapes exist only in a powder form. Decades of
data useless because of mickey mouse budget cuts. Millions to gather the
data, but pennies to store it.
Sellam had the only answer I know: Constantly update your data to the
latest media. You normally gain performance, smaller physical size, and
greater reliability. And it is faster each iteration. Of course it is
expensive and time consuming. But think about the path that many on this
list have already taken: paper tape to cards to magnetic tape to hard disks
(several generations) to CDs to DVDs to Blu Ray?
All of my 160-A software would easily fit on a digital camera memory stick.
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