archival cd-r - really true?

Doc Shipley doc at
Thu Mar 9 10:47:35 CST 2006

John Allain wrote:
> Looks like the list has decided that MAM-A's are the best archival 
> meduim available.
> If somebody knows better, please speak up.  $1.50/ea seems cheap
> when compared to retail gold CR-R's when they were available.

   I'm not sure this will be a popular view, but *nothing* is a good 
archival medium if it isn't maintained.

   I and several other listmembers have done a lot of transcription for 
entities - mostly University of Texas in my case - who scrupulously 
archived, double-archived, and preserved critical data.  Then at some 
point they scrapped the hardware needed to access their prescious tapes. 
  Or lost the backup/restore application used to make the archives. Or, 
or, or....

   My real-world job is for a company who specializes in data management 
and data protection, and we put it to our clients as an axiom.  All 
archived data needs to be tested and migrated on a frequent (3-5 years 
max) basis.  I've never seen anything on CC that implies we should 
follow any different principle.

   My point is that in no case should you rely on the quality of your 
medium to preserve historical data, and which meium and which format you 
use should be (within reason) a matter of current convenience and 
accessibility. You'll be migrating it before that medium is obsolete or 
likely to expire.

   Nothing says you can't keep the original sets and the original 
equipment and tools, but that information should frequently be copied to 
whatever your environment currently handles.  I have a lot of DOS and 
UNIX OS and applications stored as original media and as "dd", Teledisk 
and Winimage backups on 4mm DDS1 tape.  I'll be keeping all that, but 
I'm also migrating it all to ImageDisk, dd, and mktape sets on DLT-IV 
and DVDR.


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