How long will your files last? How about 1000 years? by Phil Rhodes

Posted: 05/26/2013 in Uncategorized

Posted by Phil Rhodes on May 26, 2013 • 


(…) “Although it isn’t intuitively true, recordable DVDs are, when you think about it, a photographic medium. This is illustrated nowhere better than in a situation I encountered a few years ago which, if you’ll forgive the reminiscence, makes the light-sensitive nature of optical disc storage pretty obvious. In fact, you can try it yourself: leave a DVD-R disc on a windowsill for about a year, partially covered in a sheet of paper, and witness the fact that the part of the disc that isn’t obscured ends up looking silver, like an industrially pressed disc. Entertaining a thought though this might be for proponents of extremely long exposure photography, it doesn’t help much when your DVDs are likely to become unreadable if you leave them in a place that’s too bright, or too warm, or if you happen to walk past the cupboard and sneeze.

With file-based recording systems now de rigueur, approaches to backing things up are in notoriously short supply. LTO tape systems, as a complex electro-mechanical arrangement, remain expensive, and almost everyone I consulted in the preparation of this article had experienced problems with the reliability of recordable DVDs and other optical media.”

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