Backups [was Re: Is tape dead?]

ethan at ethan at
Tue Sep 15 14:32:27 CDT 2015

> Pictures and movies can be original work - perhaps not for you,
> certainly mostly not for me (I have a few original pictures, but only a
> few), but I know graphic designers and photographers who have probably
> produced at least a gigabyte of original pictures each by now.  And
> people into video production....

I have a HD video production rig that goes out to some geek events and 
I've used it in the past at stuff. The data generated is around 5GB per 
hour (H264 1080i)

A few years ago I bought a BD-R drive from Samsung, and recorded 3 copies 
each of all the video from a few events that I wanted to put on the shelf. 
I verified the media was the metal stuff not the dye stuff (one is HTL, 
other is LTH, can't remember which is which.) 6 months later all of the 
BD-R discs were unreadable. I blamed the drive, RMA'ed with Samsung and 
confirmed with a friend on his Pioneer -- nope, the media somehow lost all 
the data. Memorex branded, was what you could find commercially local. The 
thing is a lot of it is rebadged Ritek and other vendors. Data lost. Not 
thrilled, and not sure I can trust that format after that issue. I did buy 
some Verbatim BD-R media but haven't used it yet. Pretty much keep 
everything on power consuming heat producing spinning disk.

I've heard some horror stories with tape as well.

When I worked at NASA the powderhorns we had originally had some tape 
drive that was like $100,000 each but really I guess was made from SVHS 
VCRs. STK literally had two drives on site all the time as the ones that 
were swapped in that week when two would fail. I think they converted it 
over to an IBM tape, can't remember what the SVHS based thing was but it 
was single reel spooled out into the deck, probably 9840 or something.

I would cut multiple tapes of anything you care about!

Ethan O'Toole

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