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Monday, January 24, 2005

Spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what to replace my NEC DVD drive with (this thing just won't write faster than 2.4x, though it is supposed to be able to write on DVD+R at 4x (not that that's any big deal anymore). I have upgraded the drive's firmware. Upgraded Nero. I dunno. Anyway, I'm getting to a point with all these digital files that I really do have to either buy a tape drive, or at least get a faster DVD writer so I can make two copies of important files. Probably should do both. The tape drives are pure backup material, i.e. when both DVD media go bad, you can still restore from tape. Slow. But if everything else fails... the most reliable (as far as I can figure).

Zeroing in on plextor drive: px-712A, or Pioneer DVR-108

Another thing I see, is that when they say that a DVD can be written at 16X, what they usually mean is that given certain type of media, the drive may eventually hit 16X, and possibly only if you are completely filling the disk.

Dual layer seems to be the big thing now, though I don't think there is actually any dual media out there. I find that pretty funny. Now there is some pretty tricky stuff. Two layers, heated differently... whatever.

I got to the pont where I was actually reading about the different timing and writing methods: Z-CAV vs. P-CAV. Good night nurse.

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I should have mentioned: I have an external 120 GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive which I use the windows backup utility on as a backup devise now. The DVDs are more or less for stuff that I OFFLOAD that I will need to get back to at some time to save space on my primary HD. I thought that TAPE was MORE ARCHIVAL than a HD, but maybe I'm wrong there as some comments have suggested.

- - -

From what I've read so far, it seems that when you are using digital media, nothing really is archival.  Not in the sense that a negative carefully processed and taken care of is.  I have been trying to find a site that rates DVDs in terms of how long they think they will last.  It is more complex as Jeff noted because there is no saying that there will even be machines around to read the things even if they do last.

I began with computers before DOS, with the Kaypro which ran CPM.  I suppose it is still possible to find a Kaypro around to read some old floppy from that machine, but I wouldn't count on it.

One possibility is that you get a film recorder, and actually store your RAW files in an analog format.  I doubt if anyone is going to do that (sort of a reverse scanner process).

Another possibility is the Brett Weston method, when you learn you are going to die, supposing that you have enough time and strength, just take all your digital stuff out to the beach and start a big fire and toss it in so that no one can use those originals to make prints with.  Wouldn't matter that much in the digital age since you can take a flatbed and make a good reproduction of one of his prints. 

Ansel lost quite a few negatives when his darkroom caught on fire.  That may have been in the pre-safety film days.

I suppose for me, my main concern is that I don't lose a digital negative while I'm alive.  No kidding folks, but this is how I make my living.  If nothing else, I'd like to be able to have these files around long enough to make prints from while I still have a few teeth in my head.

11:37:02 AM