Re: Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?

Subject: Re: Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 14:56:51 +0000

On Thursday, January 12, 2006, Dan Goldstein wrote;

> See

> Gerecke's numbers (five years for a _high-quality_ burnable CD) are
> scarier than what we've heard previously.

> In the case of digital images, magnetic tape might be the best bet.
> However, in the case of tech docs and uncompiled source code, why not
> back it up onto good old paper? Worse comes to worst, you can scan it
> back into digital.

Although the data has been redundant for some time, I just checked an
archived CD from early 1998. This wasn't high-quality media, but the
data was fully readable (at least, it all copied over onto my hard
drive and the number of bytes in the copy was the same as the number
of bytes in the original!)

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't regularly make new copies of
essential data (and so restart the clock), but I suspect the figures
quoted are for full reliability and that the chances are your data
would still be there well after the two or five years for regular and
high-quality media respectively.

As to whether to back up onto paper: that's something that won't work
for most of what I do. Most of my stuff uses styles to tag content and
so provide semantics and I've yet to see a paper copy that contains
the essential style tags. I also make extensive use of hyperlinks,
cross-references, and embedded hidden code - none of which would make
it through a print/scan cycle.

Of course, another reason for archiving to digital media is storage
volume. One CD (perhaps a few cubic inches including jewel case) can
store the equivalent of several cubic feet of paper.

Just my ramblings ...



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Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?: From: Dan Goldstein

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