Digital archiving tools

Joachim Thiemann joachim.thiemann at
Sat Mar 12 12:45:23 CST 2011

On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 13:25, Shoppa, Tim <tshoppa at> wrote:
>> Friends don't let friends store their archives on a media that requires physical contact
>> with a read/write head.
> As a data point: All of bitsavers fits on 27 DVD-R's.
> [...] but I still don't trust
> anything but Gold CD-R for longer term use.

By curious coincidence, one of my labmates just asked me for some
original data from my Master's thesis, and luckily I have that data
backed up on CD-R - from 1999 (Maxell gold-coloured CD-R74, if that
makes a difference).  Tar.gz files, and still reads fine 12 years
later on a modern machine (Mac mini) without special hardware or

I didn't plan on those being long-term storage, just as a snapshot in
case my HD crashes taking all my work with it.  Of course, I still
have some C64 floppies from the 86-90 timeframe that I can read - but
that requires either well-kept original hardware or specialized HW and

However, joining this with the discussion of recovering from flash, I
believe that while not ideal as long-term storage medium, data on CD-R
can probably be recovered by digital archeologists long after a
consumer grade cd-rom drive deems it unreadable, provided no grievous
harm has been done to it.  It might take some effort and specialized
knowledge and tools, but it's probably easier than recovering from
magnetic media.

Joachim Thiemann ::

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