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[R]ish -- Long Term Storage

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Terry Pratchett

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to

Various threads involving this have suggested that good ol' printing and
paper is the best way. I considered this and thought: yes, wow, good
idea, buy a few reams of good quality paper, print everything out in a
good typeface for future OCR'ing and...

Hold on. For all the books, this'd involve a stack of A4 about 36"
high. Financial records: about 5". Letters? It'd be a case of taking
quite a few days to edit them down or printing off the whole lot, in
which case there's another 24" high. Misc stuff, short stories -- oh,
allow 4".

Already there's almost 6' of A4. That's got to be stored properly.
We've got a fair amount of room, but the storage stuff -- file boxes,
etc -- will add a few cubic feet to the amount. Then there's a
cupboard, open shelves wouldn't be such a good idea.

We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
which could fit on a CD.
--
Terry Pratchett

Peter H. Wendt

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Hi !

>We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of

>which could fit on a CD.

Banks and insurance companies (which are usually very concerned about
their "junk collections") store a lot on 2.6GB / 5.25" optical disks
(Write Once). The advantage is, that any changes to the original record
written can be tracked later on. However: the drives and media are not
cheap. And the long-term reliability is a good game of guessing.
But that's the same on magnetic tape / disks and CD-Rs. They *should* be
reliable for *at least* 10 years ... but what is 10 years ?
An pretty unimportant episode in time.

In the private area CD-R seem to be a good solution. Writers are going
cheaper (if they are IDE), the media-prices are down low in the meantime
... and if you have stuff to dislocate on a CD and don't look at it at
least once in the 10 years estimated lifetime of a CD-R ... it wasn't
worth keeping anyway :-)


my 2 cents worth

Peter in Germany


Emma

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Peter H. Wendt wrote:
<snip>

> ... and if you have stuff to dislocate on a CD and don't look at it at
> least once in the 10 years estimated lifetime of a CD-R ... it wasn't
> worth keeping anyway :-)
>

I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
advertising?

Emma
Remove TT to email me. Cheese messages welcome.

Peter H. Wendt

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Hi !

>> ... and if you have stuff to dislocate on a CD and don't look at it
at
>> least once in the 10 years estimated lifetime of a CD-R ... it wasn't

>> worth keeping anyway :-)
>>
>
>I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
>advertising?

Hmm ... the lab tests predicted a 200-years lifetime in most cases,
that's true.
But: these tests are a crude mix of forced (provocated) aging,
statistics, experience and Voodoo.
As for statistics, which can be used to proove almost everything and
experience, which includes human errors - the lifetime is *still* a
guessing game.
On conventional CDs it turned out that the transparent plastic carrier
(PVC) went through chemical changes over the years and gets yellow, the
damped alloy reflector layer peels of or darkenes - and the CD becomes
unuseable.

On CD-R it is not yet fully qualified how long the layer(s) may stay
unchanged and readable. There are different technologies and structures
currently in use. The lifetime has been qualified for the first
generation Write-Once medias: and the manufacturers guarantee a lifetime
of 10 years. Well knowing the facts I hope. (That's what I use as
minimum reference time).

OTOH: give a little kid 2 minutes with a screwdriver and the estimated
lifetime of *any* media drops to Zero. ;-)


Peter in Germany
(actually cursing about a CD-R which is not accepted by a server
CD-drive)


Mark Alexander

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
Once upon a time (Tue, 18 Aug 1998 21:45:10 +1000), Emma
<funky...@hotmail.com> told us:

>I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
>advertising?

Hmm - in some ways yes, in some ways no... :)

Good quality CDRs last 100s of years, (You gets wot you pays for :),
lesser CDRs _should_ last this long, but using them, and leaving them
under UV lights tends to fog the plastic and 'optical' parts quite
quickly (A heavily used CDR can only last a year - I killed my copy of
the NT4 beta when it was around in about 6 months by installing and
maintaining it on a few large networks :)

Another problem is that _unwritten_ discs don't last very long at all if
you're not careful with them - they are mildly photo reactive until
written... (I killed a batch this way as well) [1]

Otherwise, CDRs are _great_ (I use them a lot anyway) for long term
backups - I put a full backup onto CDR every month, and increment onto
floppy disc. The blanks cost me about £1:30 each if I buy bulk (for
medium quality)

HTH->HAND

Marky
--
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_/ \ | email/finger : mda23 (at) hermes.cam.ac.uk
[______]| http://pingu.chu.cam.ac.uk/~mda23 [Down 'til Oct 98]
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Mark Alexander

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Once upon a time (Tue, 18 Aug 1998 12:57:43 GMT), ma...@rcp.co.uk (Mark
Alexander) told us:

>Another problem is that _unwritten_ discs don't last very long at all if
>you're not careful with them - they are mildly photo reactive until
>written... (I killed a batch this way as well) [1]

The footnote here _should_ have been <EG>

[1] You learn lots about CDRs by creating beer coasters... I have gold
ones, and silver ones, and blue ones _and_ green ones :>

Georgie Forth

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Terry Pratchett wrote in message ...

>We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
>which could fit on a CD.

And so it should. Imagine cutting down all those trees to make the paper
when they could be made into wardrobes instead!

Georgie
--
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irc: CuteBeast \ / gfo...@bigfoot.com
\/ Public PGP Key available on request


Mark Alexander

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Once upon a time (Tue, 18 Aug 1998 14:25:02 +0200), "Peter H. Wendt"
<peterh...@gecits-eu.com> told us:

>>I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
>>advertising?
>

>Hmm ... the lab tests predicted a 200-years lifetime in most cases,
>that's true.
>But: these tests are a crude mix of forced (provocated) aging,
>statistics, experience and Voodoo.

<G> i.e. by giving them to post grad student, and telling them to break
them...

>As for statistics, which can be used to proove almost everything and
>experience, which includes human errors - the lifetime is *still* a
>guessing game.

It rather depends on how critical the data is you're storing on them of
course... :)

>On conventional CDs it turned out that the transparent plastic carrier
>(PVC) went through chemical changes over the years and gets yellow, the
>damped alloy reflector layer peels of or darkenes - and the CD becomes
>unuseable.

Yes - and now they 'supposedly' have a fix for the fogging in the new
readers, and new generations of CDs *will not peel* (hmmm - I wonder...
:)

>On CD-R it is not yet fully qualified how long the layer(s) may stay
>unchanged and readable. There are different technologies and structures
>currently in use. The lifetime has been qualified for the first
>generation Write-Once medias: and the manufacturers guarantee a lifetime
>of 10 years. Well knowing the facts I hope. (That's what I use as
>minimum reference time).

Assuming they have their usual '85% triple redundancy' this means they
reckon at leqast 85% of all discs will survive 3 times this long...

>OTOH: give a little kid 2 minutes with a screwdriver and the estimated
>lifetime of *any* media drops to Zero. ;-)

Kid - who said you needed a kid????

Marky

John Leith

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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On Tue, 18 Aug 1998 08:57:51 +0100, Terry Pratchett
<tprat...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>
>Various threads involving this have suggested that good ol' printing and
>paper is the best way. I considered this and thought: yes, wow, good

<Snip>


>Already there's almost 6' of A4. That's got to be stored properly.

<Snip>


>We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
>which could fit on a CD.

Another thing to remember is that apparently paper storage is the most
common cause of structural failure in buildings. People think its only
some paper, paper is light, we'll put it in the loft.

John Leith
--
jle...@iap.org.uk / jle...@technologist.com
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Peter H. Wendt

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Hi !

>The footnote here _should_ have been <EG>
>
>[1] You learn lots about CDRs by creating beer coasters... I have gold
>ones, and silver ones, and blue ones _and_ green ones :>

That's the purpose I use the ones I'd soiled - for one reason or
another.
After a while you have a nice sample of colours :-)

.... and after a while you will also notify colour changes on the part
of the CD-R not written until it stopped *and* you will learn about
tendencies of various brand CD-Rs to peel off the reflector layer after
the 10th or 20th glass of beer is placed on it ...

But serious: the differences between the various CD-Rs are significant.
The cheaper ones have much higher error-rates (on writing as well as on
reading the CD later), some are basically unusable for Audio (I use CD-R
to backup my old analog records) and some are not even recognized by the
writer (a Philips CDRW 3310 btw.).

Nontheless: you are shot dead if you *must* rely on them. Nothing
compares with a good, professional made CD-ROM. Copies of a software on
CD-Rs for mass-installation purposes are only substitutes - and
sometimes no good ones.

So I'm a bit indifferent about backing data on CD-R. If you back the
*entire* machine once a month - it might work fine, apart from the pile
of crap you get after some time (the no longer used CDs). And it is also
indiscutable if you have to backup around 6 - 8 GB of data and / or (in
my case) an entire network. I prefer 4mm DAT-tapes .... obvious
decision, eh ?


Again my 2 cents. FWIW


Peter in Germany


Tom Mailloux

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Terry Pratchett wrote:

<snip>

> We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
> which could fit on a CD.

> --
> Terry Pratchett

I can't argue with that, Terry. Which do you want, though? Convenience
or security?

Seriously, any backup will work if you make it seriously redundant.
Three or four copies is not too much for material that is not
replacable.


Tom
--
&not is spambane.

Tom Mailloux

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Emma wrote:


> I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
> advertising?

Probably. Since CD-R has been around less than 5 years, how would anyone
*know* what will happen in 200 years? Also, even if the media survives,
will there be working readers that far down the road. Hell, 200 years
ago we didn't even have ball point pens!

Stewart Tolhurst

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Mark Alexander <ma...@rcp.co.uk> wrote in article
<35e47b5e...@news.rmplc.co.uk>...


> Once upon a time (Tue, 18 Aug 1998 12:57:43 GMT), ma...@rcp.co.uk (Mark

> [1] You learn lots about CDRs by creating beer coasters... I have gold
> ones, and silver ones, and blue ones _and_ green ones :>

I use AOL disks that come free with magazines!! Much cheaper and they are
about as much use as a dead CD-R.

BTW there was loads of advertising when CD's first came out from Philips
the slogan of which was "Perfect sound forever". This is not true for a
number of reasons - Perfect - not exactly the current sampling rate/bits
allows a max dynamic range of 96 Db (not quite enough for an awful lot of
classical music) and a highest freqency of (about) 20KHz (I know we can't
hear above this but there is a lot of debate about how much supersonic
compents of sound effect the percieved quality)
Forever - aside from previously mentioned problems there was a number of
problems back in the early 90s when the ink used to print on some CDs was
found to become corrosive to alumium when it came in contact with certain
types of chlorine (specfically the one used to bleach paper - can you see
where this is going...). The paper case in which some Cds (mainly singles)
was stored caused the ink to react and destroy the reflective layer - and
you thought that gold CDs were a waste of time!

Stewart

--
Stewart Tolhurst
Remove everything from the . to the @ to email me!
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~musf0012/

Mark Alexander

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Once upon a time (18 Aug 1998 16:00:57 GMT), "Stewart Tolhurst"
<97344209...@brookes.ac.uk> told us:

>BTW there was loads of advertising when CD's first came out from Philips
>the slogan of which was "Perfect sound forever". This is not true for a
>number of reasons - Perfect - not exactly the current sampling rate/bits
>allows a max dynamic range of 96 Db (not quite enough for an awful lot of
>classical music) and a highest freqency of (about) 20KHz (I know we can't
>hear above this but there is a lot of debate about how much supersonic
>compents of sound effect the percieved quality)

The reason we can perceive imperfections in CDs which the data claims we
shouldn't is because the CD does store phase information very
effectively at high (~15khz) sampling rates (because the sampling rate
is too high) - i.e. It hits the 1/2 Nyquist rate [2] and screws up at
about 11kHz.

Now - while human ears are not very good at picking up phase shift at
low frequencies, but are remarkably good at this at high frequencies
[1]. This means that the stereo effect is lost above 11kHz, which is a
bit crap really.

If the sampling rate is adjusted to >35kHz, so phase is maintained up to
about 20kHz, then the sound quality is much better.

Marky
[1] Any biologists know why?
[2] Nyquist rate = Maximum frequency that can be reliably stored without
data loss - usually 1/2 the sampling rate (for CDs 44kHz). 1/2 Nyquist
rate is the maximum rate for which phase information can be reliably
stored, and as a rule of thumb is ~1/2 the Nyquist rate - i.e. 11kHz
for CDs.

Peter H. Wendt

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Hi !

>Seriously, any backup will work if you make it seriously redundant.
>Three or four copies is not too much for material that is not
>replacable.

... and you do a good work if you use different media:
- backup on Floppies
- backup on DAT tape
- backup on CD-R
- on a spare JAZ
- *and* print the whole stuff (Hope you have a good scanner !)

I once was confronted with a customers request which I first
misunderstood as a misplaced "1st of April joke": he had printed *all*
of his text files before he got a new computer - and now wanted to OCR
the whole stuff into e-readable form again.
I did not believe the truth of the situation until I visited him in his
office. 3 large, think and overweighted moving boxes full of A4-paper
.... =8O

[He bought an A4-scanner with automatic document feeder later. No idea
how long it takes him to get the stuff back into his new machine....]

From the point of long-term storage this wasn't optimal as well ... the
guy smoked - and ... well ... you probably remember the "Fahrenheit
451"-bit ....

Peter in Germany


Denise Connell

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
(snip re discussion re paper storage for later optical scanning)

> We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
> which could fit on a CD.

Try emailing folks at the British Museum and/or the Library of Congress
- they've got the same problem you do, only on a bigger scale. I
imagine the Librarians there have given this a lot of thought. Ook!

Denise
http://www.snapdragongifts.com
They got the library at Alexandria, they're not getting mine

John Klein

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Terry Pratchett <tprat...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote:

: Various threads involving this have suggested that good ol' printing and
: paper is the best way. I considered this and thought: yes, wow, good

: idea, buy a few reams of good quality paper, print everything out in a


: good typeface for future OCR'ing and...

: Hold on. For all the books, this'd involve a stack of A4 about 36"
: high. Financial records: about 5". Letters? It'd be a case of taking
: quite a few days to edit them down or printing off the whole lot, in
: which case there's another 24" high. Misc stuff, short stories -- oh,
: allow 4".

Usually I use old hard drives - a few smaller ones or one larger one. Just
stick them into the computer, copy all the stuff onto them, then
disconnect them and put them in a corner somewhere[1]. The hard drive formats
don't seem to change dramatically, so they'd -probably- still be readable ten
years from now. Of course, anything is going to be pretty much a crap shoot on
that particular score, since storage formats seem to go out of style in a mere
handful of years these days... unless you count tape backups, which have been
around since dinosaurs roamed the earth and people trusted politicians, and
are generally used by professional computer scientists working at ISPs to back
up huge amounts of data.


[1] My definition of 'somewhere': a locked, fireproof safe guarded by rabid
man-eating tigers.

Derek.Moody

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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In article <35D96946...@hotmail.com>, Emma

<URL:mailto:funky...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Peter H. Wendt wrote:
> <snip>
> > ... and if you have stuff to dislocate on a CD and don't look at it at
> > least once in the 10 years estimated lifetime of a CD-R ... it wasn't
> > worth keeping anyway :-)
> >
>
> I thought CD-R's lasted 200 years? Have I been suckered by false
> advertising?

Yep: My last batch only worked for 196 years and they had to be copied from a
set that were only 183 years old, the current ones are still OK but they've
only been going about 60 years so far... :-(

I have reason to expect acid-free punched cards or paper tape to last _much_
longer if it's kept dry.

(You'll need _three_ extra wardrobes though.)

Cheerio,

--
>> derek...@clara.net


Stewart Tolhurst

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to

Denise Connell <wit...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in article
<35D9B2...@ix.netcom.com>...


> Terry Pratchett wrote:
> >
> (snip re discussion re paper storage for later optical scanning)

<more snipage>
I believe that The Bodlian Library here in Oxford actually goes underground
over a fair part of the city. They've been a copyright library since the
year dot... It's quite bizzare when you think about it. No wonder then
that it can take some time for your books to arrive after you've requested
them!

Stewart

T Mark Hall

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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In article <01bdcada$72db5520$921b...@max1.public.ox.ac.uk>, Stewart
Tolhurst <97344209...@brookes.ac.uk> writes
In the long distant days when I installed computers, we usually set up
multiple systems, diskettes (labelled Green, Orange, Red and Yellow, but
referred to as "ORGYs") for day by day low level stuff and then a daily
tape for all the days work, weekly and monthly system backups, the
monthly ones always kept off-site. Having just had my office flooded by
a malfunctioning aircon system, I still recommend off-site backups. :-)
--
T Mark Hall
Wrestle poodles and win!

Patrick Dersjant

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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On Tue, 18 Aug 1998 19:19:18 GMT, mu...@lspace.org (Murky) created:

>In alt.fan.pratchett, Mark Alexander was seen to say...


>
>>Otherwise, CDRs are _great_ (I use them a lot anyway) for long term
>>backups - I put a full backup onto CDR every month, and increment onto
>>floppy disc. The blanks cost me about £1:30 each if I buy bulk (for
>>medium quality)
>

>Two questions: How much can one of these things hold?
> What software is recommended for <ahem> Microsargghhh!

Two answers:

About 650 MB sounds about right.

I wouldn't be able to give you sw recommendations - most writers ship
with reasonably decent programs., and almost all of them are written
for Microsargghhh in one spelling or another. Seems they sell more
that way <g>...

Patrick

Do you really need to know?

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to

Terry Pratchett wrote:

> Various threads involving this have suggested that good ol' printing and
> paper is the best way.

<snip the dtails of all the inches of paper...>

> We end up with something like a wardrobe, the actual written content of
> which could fit on a CD.

> --
> Terry Pratchett

Well... I DO have a half-a-bedroom I'm not using...and I'd NEVER read it
(specially since you'd be smart and SEAL it all, RIGHT, pTerry, OBE, sir?).
It would be perfectly safe. [1]

The Lone Lunatic (and part time storage admin)
Partner to the lone Scytheman

[1]And if you believe this, I've got some Real estate in Florida to sell you
:)

Do you really need to know?

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Just realized sumpin else: PTERRY USED A TAGG!!!!!!!!!

Isn't that a surprise :)

Lunatic again :)

Terry Pratchett

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
In article <35D9A4...@k2nesoft.com>, Tom Mailloux
<tgm&n...@k2nesoft.com> writes

>I can't argue with that, Terry. Which do you want, though? Convenience
>or security?

But how secure is said wardrobe? Not from fire, in the ordinary house.
Not, if it comes to that, from theft of contents, either. But a small
box of CDs is easier to keep safe.

Anywa, I'm probably going to end up with CD-R...lets dface it, I don't
*need* 200 year storage, just something with at least a ten year
lifetime. As the time approaches, it gets moved on to whatever is then
the flavour of the month...
--
Terry Pratchett

HORTER!!!!!

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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On Tue, 18 Aug 1998 17:52:00 +0200, "Peter H. Wendt"
<peterh...@gecits-eu.com> wrote:
> (I use CD-R to backup my old analog records)
Backing up analog records?
Never heard that phrase before. Interesting application of current
buzzwords to older technology.

Horter, who just makes tapes, dude (but would prolly copy to CD-R if
the cash were floating around, begging to be spent)
--
Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There is always one more bug.
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Jesus

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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In article <p8K$xBAbQb...@unseen.demon.co.uk>, Terry Pratchett
<tprat...@unseen.demon.co.uk> writes in alt.fan.pratchett

>Anywa, I'm probably going to end up with CD-R...lets dface it


It's not going to last 200 years if you do that to it.

Tom Mailloux

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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Terry Pratchett wrote:


> In article <35D9A4...@k2nesoft.com>, Tom Mailloux
> <tgm&n...@k2nesoft.com> writes

> > . Which do you want, though? Convenience
> >or security?
>
> But how secure is said wardrobe? Not from fire, in the ordinary house.
> Not, if it comes to that, from theft of contents, either. But a small
> box of CDs is easier to keep safe.

True enough. There are levels and varieties of security.

You might want to keep the financial stuff on paper, though. If your
bank safe deposit box (do they call them that in britian?) is large
enough, store a copy there as well as at your office. That should be
managable.

>
> Anywa, I'm probably going to end up with CD-R...lets dface it, I don't
> *need* 200 year storage, just something with at least a ten year
> lifetime. As the time approaches, it gets moved on to whatever is then
> the flavour of the month...

*nods* Go for it. Don't forget to make copies. Good luck!


Tom (who prefers a happy Terry working on more books, not woorying about
storage)
--
&not is spambane.

Barry Vaughan

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
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In article <p8K$xBAbQb...@unseen.demon.co.uk>, Terry Pratchett
<tprat...@unseen.demon.co.uk> writes
>In article <35D9A4...@k2nesoft.com>, Tom Mailloux
><tgm&n...@k2nesoft.com> writes
>>I can't argue with that, Terry. Which do you want, though? Convenience

>>or security?
>
>But how secure is said wardrobe? Not from fire, in the ordinary house.
>Not, if it comes to that, from theft of contents, either. But a small
>box of CDs is easier to keep safe.
>
>Anywa, I'm probably going to end up with CD-R...lets dface it, I don't
>*need* 200 year storage, just something with at least a ten year
>lifetime. As the time approaches, it gets moved on to whatever is then
>the flavour of the month...

You probably already thought of this, but just in case:
You should look into fire-safes, they come in all sizes
(from briefcase up to small wardrobe) and are rated up
to "really rather close to a nuclear explosion" in external
temperature while maintaining a 30-40C internal temperature.

Barry.

--
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves,
so thanks for nothing - Bart Simpson
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ba...@samael.demon.co.uk


Peter H. Wendt

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
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Hi !

>Backing up analog records?
>Never heard that phrase before. Interesting application of current
>buzzwords to older technology.

Oh - well - I could have used the term "digitizing them" but what the
heck ... I just wanted to make a "working copy" of my beloved vinyls to
use on a more regular basis than I did the past years. And most of that
60s and early 70s stuff is not available on regular CD. So it is a sort
of "Backup" - if not "preservation".

Main advantage against commercial CDs: the good old "scratchy-scratch"
noises, which give the incomparable feel of the old long-players, is
also preserved on these "backups" ... ;-)

>Horter, who just makes tapes, dude (but would prolly copy to CD-R if
>the cash were floating around, begging to be spent)

Had a vast of records on 1/4" studio tape running at 19cm/s on the TEAC
...
but CDs are more common today. And it is pretty hard to install a
reel-to-reel tape in a car. (Not to mention the problems occuring on the
attempt to change the tape while driving ....)

But we are coming off the topic. Just an side.


Peter in Germany


Peter H. Wendt

unread,
Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
to
Hi !

>Anywa, I'm probably going to end up with CD-R...lets dface it, I don't
>*need* 200 year storage, just something with at least a ten year
>lifetime. As the time approaches, it gets moved on to whatever is then

>the flavour of the month...

A good point. Since DVD-recordable (estimated 2.5 - 4GB) is on our
doorsteps we cannot know what is used in 10 years from today.
Laser-Holographic memory ? Maybe. Technology isn't static (luckily).

I would say CD-R is an acceptable nowadays compromise - and a solid
fire-proof safe somewhere in the basement a good investment anyway.
Why bothering with problems to come ? We're living today and waiting
for tomorrows technology won't help anyway.


Peter in Germany


Brett Dixon

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
to
In article <6rcidj$t6q$1...@camelot.ccs.neu.edu>, John Klein

<zar...@spammers.screaming.in.hellish.agony.ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
> Usually I use old hard drives - a few smaller ones or one larger one. Just
> stick them into the computer, copy all the stuff onto them, then
> disconnect them and put them in a corner somewhere[1]. The hard drive formats
> don't seem to change dramatically, so they'd -probably- still be readable ten
> years from now. Of course, anything is going to be pretty much a crap shoot on
> that particular score, since storage formats seem to go out of style in a mere
> handful of years these days... unless you count tape backups, which have been
> around since dinosaurs roamed the earth and people trusted politicians, and
> are generally used by professional computer scientists working at ISPs to back
> up huge amounts of data.

Of course, this is using oh-so-fragile magnetic media. Too much power
going through the place and it's useless. And we all want the survivors of
the nuclear holocaust to be able to read Pratchett, don't we?

John Leith

unread,
Aug 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/21/98
to
On Tue, 18 Aug 1998 15:40:31 -0400, Do you really need to know?
<jhe...@pathcom.com> wrote:

>Just realized sumpin else: PTERRY USED A TAGG!!!!!!!!!
>
>Isn't that a surprise :)
>

He's probably just trying to improve has AFPurity score. :-)

Barry Vaughan

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Aug 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/22/98
to
In article <35dd2ac0...@news.dircon.co.uk>, John Leith
<jle...@iap.org.uk> writes

>On Tue, 18 Aug 1998 15:40:31 -0400, Do you really need to know?
><jhe...@pathcom.com> wrote:
>
>>Just realized sumpin else: PTERRY USED A TAGG!!!!!!!!!
>>
>>Isn't that a surprise :)
>>
>
>He's probably just trying to improve has AFPurity score. :-)
>

Terry agreed a long time ago to use the [R] tag when
all of his articles were declared to be relevant to
Pratchett fans therefore simplifying the tagging.

David Goddard

unread,
Aug 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/23/98
to
Peter H. Wendt <peterh...@gecits-eu.com> writes in alt.fan.pratchett:

> >[1] You learn lots about CDRs by creating beer coasters... I have gold
> >ones, and silver ones, and blue ones _and_ green ones :>
>

> That's the purpose I use the ones I'd soiled - for one reason or
> another.
> After a while you have a nice sample of colours :-)

I still find, though, that it is far more *satisfying* to use AOL or
Compuserve free disks as coasters, although the CD-Rs are much prettier
(blue is my favourite by a long way).

Major use in *my* office for spoiled disks is to hang them up as mirrors
as part of the Early Warning System for when people sneak up on you.
This says a lot about my working environment (I fear the Big Cardboard Tube).

...


> Nontheless: you are shot dead if you *must* rely on them. Nothing
> compares with a good, professional made CD-ROM. Copies of a software on
> CD-Rs for mass-installation purposes are only substitutes - and
> sometimes no good ones.

We often chuck the latest build of our software on a CD-R to send out as
a bug fix (not that we have any bugs, you understand, just "issues").
Sometimes these are completely uninstallable on cheap CD-ROM drives.

> So I'm a bit indifferent about backing data on CD-R. If you back the
> *entire* machine once a month - it might work fine, apart from the pile
> of crap you get after some time (the no longer used CDs). And it is also
> indiscutable if you have to backup around 6 - 8 GB of data and / or (in
> my case) an entire network. I prefer 4mm DAT-tapes .... obvious
> decision, eh ?

On my home box I've got a QIC 80 tape device (everyone needs a bit of
legacy hardware) and it sucks badly - it's spoiled my outlook on tape
backup totally <g>

Dave

--
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Wanted: Original .sig

David Goddard

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Aug 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/23/98
to
Peter H. Wendt <peterh...@gecits-eu.com> writes in alt.fan.pratchett:
...
> but CDs are more common today. And it is pretty hard to install a
> reel-to-reel tape in a car. (Not to mention the problems occuring on the
> attempt to change the tape while driving ....)

I'm sooooo tempted to try and put an mp3 player in my car - a 6 CD
autochanger just isn't enough (not that I've got one anyway...)

Dave

--
David Goddard ~ Check my headers to reply by e-mail

If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

Mark Alexander

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Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
Once upon a time (Sun, 23 Aug 1998 19:40:57 GMT),
stephe...@bigfoot.com (Stephen Booth) told us:

>> What software is recommended for <ahem> Microsargghhh!
>

>I use Adaptech Easy CD Creator.

I use CDR-win.

>Incidentally unless you want to make a lot of cup mats and want
>to write at 2x or above speed you really have to have SCSI CD-R
>drive and a SCSI disk to act as a temporary area.

Hmm - IDE HDD -> SCSI CDR works at 4x with some slack for me - make sure
it's a UDMA IDE though...

Marky


--
___ | Bringing mini's to the Denizens of AFP since 13/8/98

_/ \ | Honoury Founder Member of the Guild of Non-Titanic Seers
[______]| email : mda23 (at) hermes.cam.ac.uk Tel: +44 7775 942624
0 0 | http://pingu.chu.cam.ac.uk/~mda23 [Down 'til Oct 98]

Mark Alexander

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Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
Once upon a time (23 Aug 1998 13:54:53 GMT), dev....@axfr.com (David
Goddard) told us:

{CDRs}


>Major use in *my* office for spoiled disks is to hang them up as mirrors
>as part of the Early Warning System for when people sneak up on you.
>This says a lot about my working environment (I fear the Big Cardboard Tube).

Ah - I've had to tune my floorboards :)

Terry Pratchett

unread,
Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
In article <6rp6vd$1i5$1...@axfr.com>, David Goddard <dev....@axfr.com>
writes

>
>On my home box I've got a QIC 80 tape device (everyone needs a bit of
>legacy hardware) and it sucks badly - it's spoiled my outlook on tape
>backup totally <g>

I had a tape drive which decided to eat tapes, so: no more tape drives.

And, I've now decided, no more backup that compresses (other than Zips)
your data. Something always goes wrong...always.
--
Terry Pratchett

John Leith

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Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
On 23 Aug 1998 13:54:53 GMT, dev....@axfr.com (David Goddard) wrote:

>We often chuck the latest build of our software on a CD-R to send out as
>a bug fix (not that we have any bugs, you understand, just "issues").

For any 'issues' we come accross I have made some 'UDF'[1] forms

>Sometimes these are completely uninstallable on cheap CD-ROM drives.

There is an issue on drives slower than 4 speed and faster then 24
speed[2] when using the gold[3] discs.

>On my home box I've got a QIC 80 tape device (everyone needs a bit of
>legacy hardware) and it sucks badly - it's spoiled my outlook on tape
>backup totally <g>

How long did it take you to manage to get it to do that for you?

John Leith

[1] Un-Documented Features.

[2]It has to do with the frequency of the laser used to read the disc
apparently.

[3] Phthalocyanine, I love the sound of that word.


--
jle...@iap.org.uk / jle...@technologist.com
AFP Code 1.0 AC d? S:+ a UP++ R--- F+ h+ p5- OS--: C++++ M- pp--- L+ c B+

Cn PT++ PU45- 5++(missed 3 episodes, bum) !X MT+ eV+>+++ r++++ y+++ End

Brett Dixon

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Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
> Major use in *my* office for spoiled disks is to hang them up as mirrors
> as part of the Early Warning System for when people sneak up on you.
> This says a lot about my working environment (I fear the Big Cardboard Tube).

My summer job gave out 3 foot foam tubes to everyone to help relieve
stress before we made a major move.

Amazingly, some people can make these suckers hurt!

--
Brett Dixon
AFPiance to the lovely Anejo.
(Who I truly believe is female.)

Peter H. Wendt

unread,
Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
Hi !

>On my home box I've got a QIC 80 tape device (everyone needs a bit
>of legacy hardware) and it sucks badly - it's spoiled my outlook on
tape
>backup totally <g>

I see. I had several of these little critters the past 10 years. None of
them worked reliably. The last one was a TR-1 Travan tape from Seagate
..... If I would get 5DM for every 15 seconds of continous cursing about
this piece of crapnology I were rich.
(Funny: I *could* have returned it ... but I didn't. Why ?)

To be fair & honest: I also have a HP Surestore 1533, which is pretty
picky about the tapes. The silly cheap Archive Viper 2/4GB I found in a
dumpster and repaired the broken connector pin takes virtually every
tape (except TDK audio grade) .... the expensive HP doesn't even accept
most Maxell or Sony tapes.

Is that fair ? Obviously.


Peter in Germany


Peter H. Wendt

unread,
Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
Hi !

>I had a tape drive which decided to eat tapes, so: no more tape drives.

Hahaha. Bon Appetit !

(Grunch, crunch, munch "Burp !" ... there goes your monday backup)

>And, I've now decided, no more backup that compresses (other than Zips)

>your data. Something always goes wrong...always.

Oh well. Apart from the disadvantage that *software compression* takes
longer to get ready with the stuff ... the error-rate is a bit higher.
But not very much. Most backup programs offer
- no compression
- compression for speed
- compression for size
where the latter ones take longer than the first one if the drive
doesn't support hardware compression (with own compression chip).

But why bothering with this stuff, since CD-R might be the better
solution.

"The only data that survived the crash are those which confirm that I
still owe the state some money ..."

Sez Murphy: "There is an inverse relation between the importance of the
data and the chance to get them back on a restore."


Peter in Germany


Peter H. Wendt

unread,
Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to
Hi !

>My summer job gave out 3 foot foam tubes to everyone to help relieve
>stress before we made a major move.

*My* job requires to have vomit bags and aspirin pills at hand - for the
customer - when we tell them what's left from their valuable data after
the crash they'd just experienced.
It is rather depressing seing a 45 year old IT-manager banging his head
against the wall again and again ... after the equivalent of 2.000 years
of manpower have gone down the drain.

(I insisted to switch to frog-pills instead of aspirin .... but only few
in the company got the joke ... Too bad.)


Peter in Germany


Anthony Frost

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Aug 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/24/98
to

> > but CDs are more common today. And it is pretty hard to install a
> > reel-to-reel tape in a car. (Not to mention the problems occuring on the
> > attempt to change the tape while driving ....)
>
> I'm sooooo tempted to try and put an mp3 player in my car - a 6 CD
> autochanger just isn't enough (not that I've got one anyway...)

You have of course seen http://www.chaos.org.uk/~altman/mp3mobile/
haven't you?

:-)

Anthony

--
"The moving finger writes, and having writ, backspaces a bit, deletes
the last word and replaces it with "unctuous", reformats the paragraph,
adjusts the font size, and adds a gigantic sig of a sleeping pussy cat
and a quote from a poem." - Omar Khayyam, on his second day on USENET.

Brett Dixon

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Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to

> Hi !
>
> >My summer job gave out 3 foot foam tubes to everyone to help relieve
> >stress before we made a major move.
>
> *My* job requires to have vomit bags and aspirin pills at hand - for the
> customer - when we tell them what's left from their valuable data after
> the crash they'd just experienced.
> It is rather depressing seing a 45 year old IT-manager banging his head
> against the wall again and again ... after the equivalent of 2.000 years
> of manpower have gone down the drain.

I think I'd just put a vending machine in for these items and rake in some
extra cash. Of course, I'd be the guy who gets nailed to the wall if that
guy's backups didn't run because the tape wasn't loaded correctly.

Of course, I also got blamed if the backups didn't run because the Unix
SysAdmins didn't set up the cron jobs right. Not sure why it was my fault,
I only know enough UNIX for simple stuff and didn't feel right learning
more on the expensive enterprise servers.


> (I insisted to switch to frog-pills instead of aspirin .... but only few
> in the company got the joke ... Too bad.)

I've always assumed Dired Frog Pills were more like a Prozac or similar
substance.

> Peter in Germany

Wolfgang Schelongowski

unread,
Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to
In <35E1B1E7...@gecits-eu.com>

"Peter H. Wendt" <peterh...@gecits-eu.com> writes:

>*My* job requires to have vomit bags and aspirin pills at hand - for the
>customer - when we tell them what's left from their valuable data after
>the crash they'd just experienced.

In the case below I'd suggest cyanide pills or arsenic.

>It is rather depressing seing a 45 year old IT-manager banging his head
>against the wall again and again ... after the equivalent of 2.000 years
>of manpower have gone down the drain.

An IT-manager who doesn't *ensure* that his valuable data is regularly
backed up (with copies moved to reasonable safe places) should be put
out of its misery. If local laws prevent that it is of utmost
importance to fire him immediately - do never ever let it into any
building of the company again lest he do more damage.

There is one exceptions to that, namely 'ultra vires' e.g.
1) The boss said "DON'T!!!!!"
or
2) The IT-manager has just started its job and inherited a cesspit.

However, lack of knowledge does _not_ count as 'ultra vires'.
--
Wolfgang Schelongowski Don't use my `From:', use my `Reply-To:'.
"You, sir, are _no_gentleman_," said Lord Rust.
"I _knew_ there was something about me that I liked."
-- Terry Pratchett, Jingo

David Goddard

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Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to
Anthony Frost <Vu...@kernow.demon.co.uk> writes in alt.fan.pratchett:

> > I'm sooooo tempted to try and put an mp3 player in my car - a 6 CD
> > autochanger just isn't enough (not that I've got one anyway...)
>
> You have of course seen http://www.chaos.org.uk/~altman/mp3mobile/
> haven't you?

Oh, yes - I wouldn't have had an idea as good as that on my own <g>

I'd settle for an mp3 walkman instead tho'

--
David Goddard ~ Check my headers to reply by e-mail

You know the oxygen masks on airplanes? I don't think there's really any
oxygen. I think they're just to muffle the screams - Rita Rudner

David Goddard

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Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to
Wolfgang Schelongowski <SKar...@LOCALHOST.ruhr.de> writes in alt.fan.pratchett:

> An IT-manager who doesn't *ensure* that his valuable data is regularly
> backed up (with copies moved to reasonable safe places) should be put
> out of its misery. If local laws prevent that it is of utmost
> importance to fire him immediately - do never ever let it into any
> building of the company again lest he do more damage.

Or just promoted, a la Dilbert Principle. The only risk in this
strategy is that he then becomes the cause of the ultra vires problem...

> There is one exceptions to that, namely 'ultra vires' e.g.
> 1) The boss said "DON'T!!!!!"

More often than not, the boss says "Yeah fine, whatever. However, you
must do THIS[1] first."

Dave

[1] And I mean THIS in the plural sense :-)

--
David Goddard ~ Check my headers to reply by e-mail

Warranty and guarantee clauses are voided by payment of the invoice.

David Goddard

unread,
Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to
I wrote in alt.fan.pratchett:

> Or just promoted, a la Dilbert Principle. The only risk in this
> strategy is that he then becomes the cause of the ultra vires problem...

^^
Not to say that all incompetent managment types are male <g>

--
David Goddard ~ Check my headers to reply by e-mail

Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself.

Mark Alexander

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Aug 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/25/98
to
Once upon a time (Mon, 24 Aug 1998 19:41:10 GMT),

stephe...@bigfoot.com (Stephen Booth) told us:

>Under what O/S. IME you can get away with IDE -> SCSI (so long
>as the IDE is UDMA) under NT 4 but under W95 it fails about 1 in
>3 (Data underrun errors).

98 and linux.

Failure rate of about 1 in 20 underr 98 (usually me being silly, like
starting something I was sure was on the other HDD which wasn't :)

Only ever burnt one CD under linux - guess I'll have some more reliable
figures when I get back to college and run the OTOS [1] more of the
time.

Marky
[1] One True OS

Wolfgang Schelongowski

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Aug 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/26/98