Longevity of DVD-R and CD-R / 2-Media Hedge

Mark Firestone pdp11_70 at retrobbs.org
Tue Mar 15 05:55:33 CST 2005

I'm going to start putting all my cd-r stuff on single layer DVD.  By
the time I'm done with that, I might be able to afford dual layer disks
for my burner.  Then blue laser will be out...  Maybe I should just put
it on two serial ata 120 gig hard drives.  It might last longer between

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org
[mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Nico de Jong
Sent: 14 March 2005 22:52
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Longevity of DVD-R and CD-R / 2-Media Hedge

> Richard:
> > I think Pioneer and Verbatim buy their media from
> > the good Japanese companies, Mitsubishi, Taiyo Yuden, and Mitsumi.

I've had long discussions with an archival specialist here in Denmark on
topic of what media to use for what purpose.
The unanimous result was, that "archival copying" is a never ending job.
can always quarrel about the life of a media, but in practice this is a
fight about the emperors beard : it is useles.
The fact is, that the development of drives is so quick, that even if
_could_ save a tape or disk or CD or whatever for 30 years, you wouldnt
the proper drive, and even if you did, it wouldnt be supported anymore.
Let's go back 30 years; what were the dominant media at that time ? 1600
reel-to-reel tapes, 7.25 or 30 MB harddisk (IBM 2311/2314), and 8"
discs. Some of my customers _still_ accept 8" disks and reels for
In my experience, the conclusion is that the more "modern" the media,
shorter the life span, e.g. 5.25" floppies : probably late 70's to mid
Especially streamer tapes are a problem; some drives are only 1
backward compatible for writing, and maybe 3 or 4 for reading. As the
capacity doubles more or less each year, the horror scenario is that you
cannot read your own tapes after 3-4 years because of drive


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