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707 comments

Flag to (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777007)

all stupid flaggers in blogs.

The article is right. It's a problem. RIAA will be happy...

Re:Flag to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777118)

Oi! Yes, you! Tell me what has happened to SCO?

but something is missing... (5, Interesting)

KingRamsis (595828) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777008)

the speed in which the CDR is burned sometimes it makes a difference, for the highest reliability I think 1x is the best.

Re:but something is missing... (5, Insightful)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777070)

I've always wondered if this is actually true or not.. I have yet to see any actual evidence to back up this claim.

It doesn't really matter how fast the reading laser moves along the media, so why would it matter how fast the recording laser moves?

Re:but something is missing... (5, Informative)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777106)

If you burn the CD at slower speeds, the laser has more time to burn better pits in the media.

Re:but something is missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777130)

Because the recording laser has to impart sufficient energy to the CD-R pthalocyanate or whatever to convince it to change chemically, whereas the reading laser just needs to bounce off it?

How about a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777009)

RAID?

Just about every solution is an endless blackhole of money to keep that data around. Hey, there's always tape ;)

------
Free your mind [gortbusters.org]

simple (3, Informative)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777011)

Take multiple backups and atleast have one backup on high quality CD-Rss not the 25c a piece ones.
Keep upgrading your Harddisk from time to time and backup data from old HD to new one.

Re:simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777157)

A higher price does never mean higher quality.

Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777012)

Strange all of my disks DO work - even after 3 years.

Re:Crap (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777127)

HAHAHAHA! Ferrari's fucked up. Their F1 cars break down and Schumacher was just lapped by Renault. World domination by French engineering!

Happened to me (2, Informative)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777013)

Almost all of my no-name disks are dead after 3 years. Some of my verbatims are dead to. Hard disks at 1/gig now seems cheap compared to my dvd writer and 20c per gig disks. My bet is those optodisk-RW will be dead in two years.

I have seen this! (1)

Dweebs (528178) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777018)

Man, finally a study that backs up my suspicions.

I have had many a music CD go and then blame it on scratches or whatever.

I wonder how this compares to DVD-R?

--Dweebs

A little history... (3, Interesting)

technix4beos (471838) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777111)

Back in the eighties, when regular CD's were first introduced that could be read by a standard computer (pc, mac, etc), the discs were fairly thick, and consisted of (iirc) from top down:

disc label
protective coating
data layer (usually pressed)
protective coating

Then at the end of the eighties, I don't recall exactly what year, but it was adopted by various cd makers till eventually all, the price of CD's dropped dramatically, almost in half.

The reason for this was the fact that the top protective layer was removed from the manufacturing process, leaving just the thin disc label and it's material to protect the data layer, barely.

I want to clarify that I'm talking about regular PRESSED cd's manufactured in bulk, and not dye layered ones, but the point is the same in both cases. By removing the top protective layer, it allowed manufacturing of CD's to drop in price dramatically.

I'm positive there have been other cost cutting measures used for dye layer CD's that the manufacturers have adopted over the years, such as cheper dyes that are affected faster due to exposure to sunlight, and so on.

It's not just about scratches or dye, but about the overall picture here. The manufacturers WANT to have built in obselesance. This gives them a nice steady flow of income when one has to contually burn his media archive every 2 years.

Food for thought anyhow. I thought I'd post about what I saw in the eighties, in case it was relevant.

That makes me wonder (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777148)

Perhaps those unprotected CDs can be protected somehow? For example, if I covered the unprotected side with a thin layer of lacquer or some other coating, would it help the CD remain readable for a longer time?

I'm feeling curious if other people tried something like this and what their results were.

To make them last longer... (2, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777021)

treat them like a mushroom and keep them in the dark.

I have many CD-R discs that are still quite readable despite being 4-5 years old. On the other hand, I've seen a disk erase itself in less than a day when left in direct sunlight, and many disks will slowly degrade at light levels found in most human-occupied spaces.

Re:To make them last longer... (4, Informative)

sabNetwork (416076) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777053)

>treat them like a mushroom and keep them in the dark.

RTFA. That's what they did; they kept them in a closed cabinet for two years in their original packaging. Some brands were toast after two years.

The fact that your CD-R discs appear to be readable after 4-5 years isn't a useful data point. These guys used CD analyzer hardware (CDA-3000) to check the quality of the discs. CD's have error checking and the damage may not yet be noticeable to the end user until later.

Re:To make them last longer... (1)

xpurple (1227) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777056)

I concur, the discs that I've kept in dark places tend to last much longer.

The only times I've had any real problems though is when I leave them in my car on a hot day (even in the dark), or carry them around in my backpack (to get scratched up).

Macphreak! [macphreak.org]

Re:To make them last longer... (1, Funny)

Chundra (189402) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777150)

treat them like a mushroom and keep them in the dark

And feed them lots of shit.

floppy disks (3, Funny)

fredopalus (601353) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777023)

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of floppies.

Re:floppy disks (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777031)

Floppies are even worse.

Take a new floppy. Write a file on it. Put the floppy in your pocket. Drive 10 min to your workplace. Try reading the file and it's corrupt already.

Re:floppy disks (1)

inaeldi (623679) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777064)

I think the solution to this is obvious: write out the entire binary stream on paper and store that in a safe in a vault in a bank in a deserted town on the moon.

Re:floppy disks (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777140)

I know y'all seem to be joking, but for those interested in the subject, here's a link to the Art Materials Faq [google.com] from rec.arts.anime.misc.

You'd be surprised what a large variance there is from archival quality acid free paper, to the junk you can buy at the drug store. :-)

Re:floppy disks (1)

khold (164649) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777149)

I know your post was intended to be humorous, but I have 5 year old floppies that I can still read the data from.

Who cares (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777025)

Who cares about this?

What I want to know is why SCO [sco.com] is down?

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777039)

i'm scratching my ass all day...
WTF happend?

WHAT HAS HAPPENED AT SCO!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777094)

I mean even The Inquirer [theinquirer.net] is intrigued!!!

Something big is happening. Maybe the collective stupidity and arrogance of SCO execs reached a critical mass and the whole company just imploded into a black hole of stupidity. Or may be their IT staff is in open revolt. Go, SCO geeks, go!

Blah, physical backups (2, Funny)

fredrikj (629833) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777027)

Just put your stuff on an FTP site and let the world do the backup for ya.

Re:Blah, physical backups (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777045)

Oh come on. If you are going to rip off a quote, at least give credit where credit is due...although everyone here already knows who said it. :)

Re:Blah, physical backups (2, Informative)

gunix (547717) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777067)

The distributed internet backup system is anotherway for people that does not have quite as important (important for the rest of the world) data as Linus.

http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~emin/source_code/d ib s/

But remember, sometimes you don't miss the things that were lost after a crash... if you don't, then you are a happy person!

Re:Blah, physical backups (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777097)

Or put it in your Kazaa folder and give the filesi maginative names like "horny young teen sex party.mpg", etc... You need to maintain a porn name real name table though in case you'll need the backups again. :-)

Use floppies! (1)

oogoliegoogolie (635356) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777028)

All of mine from the 80's and 90's still work.

Re:Use floppies! (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777062)

Every single old floppy of mine that I've picked up has been damaged, some to the point where they no longer format (Track 0 bad - Media Unusuable).

The ones that do work, and manage to make it through a format, have at least 100kb of bad sectors on them and usually fail upon insertion to the target floppy drive.

Maybe I just used to buy cheap disks, and now I'm paying for it..

Re:Use floppies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777085)

that's unlikely.. I've had hundreds of floppies from the 80's and 90's that I've tried to back up onto cd.. The problem that I ran into was that almost all of them had taken damage. They were name brand and stored in a temperature controlled environment and still all damaged. Floppies are really bad after a few years.

BAckup to CD-Rs? Use HD's instead (2, Interesting)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777029)

Just backup to harddrives.

I'm using Araid99-1000 [synetic.net] units in my computers, and backup is just replacing the slave drive (even while the computer is on and running).

The price for say, WD120mb drives are so cheap now that it is probably close to the cheapest, safest and most accessable backup format available.

Re:BAckup to CD-Rs? Use HD's instead (1)

putaro (235078) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777071)

Backup to harddrives are the way to go, but mirroring is not a complete solution. How many slave drives do you have? If you deleted a file a week ago and find just find out today do you have a way to recover it?

Re:BAckup to CD-Rs? Use HD's instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777091)

ive got one of those things and its awesome. i picked up a bunch of 80GB 5400RPM drives for not a whole lot more than equivalent tape media!

we literally dropped this system in place of our old DDS drives and never looked back. makes recovery a snap as i can just pop the drive into any old machine and its ready to go!

Tape Drives (5, Insightful)

nilstar (412094) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777030)

Well - if you recall tape drives were the "big thing" in backup about 5-10 years ago. I have looked at 10 year old tape backups & they work just fine. Maybe we need to trust good old reliable tapes. Or the other (faster) solution would be external hard drive backups.

Re:Tape Drives (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777058)

Tape drives are fine and dandy if you want to pay $5000 for a 20/40GB DLT streamer.

I'd rather buy a proper IDE RAID [3ware.com] (not some software based HighPoint-RAID you find on mobos these days) for $300, 8 drives (4 active, 4 hot spares). That's about 160 GB fully redundant drive space for you for $1000.

Alternatively I might buy storage space from a reliable hosting company (any suggestions?) and backup my stuff over the network.

harddisk rack back-up (4, Interesting)

Ragnagnor (682349) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777032)

Just do what I do : buy a rack, install in front of your machine (under the DVD or CD-RW or somewhere) and back up all your important data (or your entire harddrive) to a separate harddisk. Prices on smaller models (40-60 gigs) aren't all that steep, and most people I know have trouble just filling up their 'small' 20 or 30 gig drives. A spare 60 gigger rackdisk will keep you satifsied for a long time... Alternatively you could also just buy an external fire-wire or USB harddisk, although I don't really have all that much experience with those kind of devices.

Re:harddisk rack back-up (4, Funny)

B747SP (179471) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777132)

most people I know have trouble just filling up their 'small' 20 or 30 gig drives.

With respect Sir, most people you know don't download nearly enough pr0n.

Re:harddisk rack back-up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777159)

I think you're just trying to be funny, but sex addiction is no laughing matter. I got addicted to the porn on the net and almost lost my house when I piled up tons of credit card debt (mainly for passwords to porn sits) and fell victim to several dialer programs. As a result, I jacked off two, sometimes even three times a day and was slipping, unknowingly to me, towards a total moral bankruptcy.

Looking back, I believe that there is something about exposing a young, developing mind to pornography that ingrains it and opens the door to an unhealthy obsession. It is hard to describe feelings and passions I struggled with, but I'll try to give a glimpse of the war that was taking place inside.

I was determination to leave pornography behind me and a million times I made the commitment to never return. The craving for pornography had become my master. When the desire for pornography called, I would have to answer. It was as if my mind was sucked into a fog of desire so that the only thing I could think about was getting my 'fix'. When that fog would over take me, it did not matter where I was or who I was with, I began to look for an opportunity to withdraw and enter into that pornographic fantasy world again. I could never break away for more than a few weeks. It was as if there were chains on my mind. I could only go so far before I would be pulled back. I can remember one time when I was reading my Bible and suddenly the fog of desire seemed to engulf me. I put down the Bible and began my quest to obey my desires.

I became very frustrated. I wanted to get this out of my life, but pornography was in control. I would binge on pornography for days or weeks at a time until I was so sick of it I couldn't stand it any longer. Then I would face the real world again and feel ashamed of what I had become. I did not feel worthy of God's grace and I felt like God had rejected me. Eventually I would repent and begin to seek God again. I would begin to grow spiritually and feel like I was making great progress. I would feel like I had overcome my addiction. Then the desires would return and the next thing I knew, I was jumping headfirst back into pornography again. My spiritual life was a roller coaster ride. I would seek forgiveness, commit to never go back, I would see strong growth in my life and then I would fall and sink down into the mire again. I felt so polluted that I would run from God. Because I felt like God was angry with me, I would drift farther away from Him until one of life's events would drive me back to Him. Then I would start the cycle over again and each time it got harder to come back to God. At one point in my life, I was so distant from God that I did not actively attend church for 2 - 3 years.

Pornography is not a desire for sex. It is a pollution of sex. It is like comparing an apple to a rotten apple. It is a corrupted version of what God created as good. Sex was created by God to be enjoyed in the design of marriage. Sex alone cannot provide true intimacy. It is only a small piece of the amazing institution of marriage. When pornography pollutes the gift God created, it becomes harmful. Like a rotten apple, pornography gives a rotten-sweet aroma that can be deceptive. In reality, pornography barely resembles the gift of sex it attempts to mimic. When a person consumes it, the sweet fades into desire to fill a craving that can't be satisfied. We can get to the point we are sick of it and therefore temporarily cease from desiring it, but it doesn't satisfy. This is why the progression is always to hard core pornography. Because it can't satisfy, it gets harder to get that same fix and the need for harder and harder porn is almost always the result unless there is some restraining factor in your life.

After almost 3 years without any relationship at all with God, I began to see the emptiness inside. I hated what I had become. After all the deception, lies and secrecy, I didn't know who I was anymore. I was driven by this obsession and I was lost in the tangle of hypocrisy I had created. It was at this time I changed employers. I was placed on a project that did not require me to begin for several days. I was at the lowest point of my life, so I decided to take a walk in a wooded park near work to pray. I spent several hours there and I tried to pray, but I had grown so hard and so distant, that I didn't feel like God was listening and that He was a million miles away. I sorted through my thoughts and tried to express them to God. I can remember asking God why I could not gain control of any area of my life. I left for home feeling like I didn't accomplish anything. The longing in my heart drove me to return to the woods again. The next day, I returned to the park and spent several hours trying to pray but spent most of my day sorting through my thoughts and longing to change. I came back the next day as well. My heart ached for God. I wanted to have a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ and not that up and down lifestyle that frustrated me for the 20 years that I had been trying to leave this addiction.

This day would be the day that my life would change. For the first time in my life, I was actually broken. I realized that my life desperately needed to change and that I was powerless to change. I realized that all my life I had been committing to change, but my problem wasn't commitment, but a need to surrender. I realized that my commitment had to be based on a heart that was surrendered to Christ and dependent on Him to equip me to overcome. Without 'Christ who strengthens me' my commitment was meaningless. On this day, as I continued in prayer, it was as if heaven opened up and God poured His power into my soul. Words cannot accurately describe what I saw that day. It was as if God poured Himself into every fiber of my being. I felt the desires fall like chains from my mind. I had been set free. It was as though I was experiencing God's word flow through me. My mind felt like it was overflowing. I am not a charismatic or experiential type Christian. This entire experience was completely foreign to me. Though I knew it was real, I still had to test it to know for sure. When I left, I got a concordance and a Bible and began to do word searches to see if the passages that came to mind could be found in scripture. I was amazed to find some of the passage almost verbatim. Two of scriptures that had the greatest impact on me was found in Romans 4:5, "to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness". And Isaiah 61:10, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness". What an amazing Savior I have. My forgiveness is freely given and I became righteous because I was ungodly and trusted in Christ who died for my ungodliness. Because I trust and surrender to Him, God covers me with His salvation and wraps His righteousness around me like a robe. I walked away a free man. Free from the chains that bound me and free from my debt to God. I was cleansed by God and not by my own efforts. The because I don't have my own righteousness ( which falls short of God's requirements ), but I have God's righteousness, I have the right and the privilege to walk with God and be 100 percent justified and I have the confidence that God accepts and loves me. Even after all this time, I am still drawing out what I experienced that day. I searched and began to memorize scriptures. I began to prove what God has shown me through His word. Personal experiences mean nothing unless it complies with God's word and changes our life by directing us to the upward call of God. I saw first hand the grace of God and it has changed my life. I am now satisfied completely and my marriage is better than I ever imagined possible. My marriage did not reverse directions over night, but when my life was changed, I was equipped to lead my family into the direction God is calling us. After several months, God began to deal with me to get things right with my wife. I knew this meant I had to open up my closet of skeletons and confess what I had been doing all those years. I wrote my story out from beginning to end and sat down with her and shared it. Finally all the questions she had were answered. She had already seen the drastic change in my life but this was a necessary step toward healing. It was a tearful time and it was hard for me to open up and let her see into the world I had carefully protected for so long. It still took a lot of time to heal the wounds, but the benefit was and is well worth it. What is ironic is that our relationship has more satisfaction now than all the fantasies ever hinted toward. Porn can try to mimic the physical, but it is only a mirage. Real intimacy satisfies the emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical needs of a marriage. Pornography robs a marriage of all these areas and saps the life out of a marriage. It may give the illusion of satisfaction, but over time it deceptively drains the life out of marriage. If sex is all a person focuses on, there can not be intimacy. Pornography, like a fermented apple, may seem make a man drunk with its rotten-sweet taste, but over time it will become a disease. The strength of this disease is blindness to reality and a loss of understanding as to what true intimacy is all about. Another problem with pornography or anything that takes place of the good that God has designed for us to enjoy is that it can't satisfy. You can gratify yourself, but you can't satisfy yourself. Only God can satisfy. By gratification I mean that you can fill your desires to the saturation point, you may even get to the point of being sick of your desires. You can get to the point where you quit desiring, but you can't satisfy yourself. God is the One who satisfies. It is God who gives us to drink from the river of His pleasures when we trust under the shadow of His wings. (Psalm 36:8). No one was created to be self-sufficient and no one can be fulfilled outside of God's will. When we try to fill the void in our lives with anything other than the God who created us, we are forcing a square peg into a round hole. You can make it fit, but you can never fill in those gaps. It's the same way with God. You can never fill the spot God designed for Himself. You can fill your life with pornography and any number of other things, but you can't fill in the gaps. You can cover them over, but the empty spaces will always rise to the surface as the memory of the pleasure fades. When the pleasure fades, you will either feel the emptiness or you will be driven to find something new to cover it up again. If a person gets to the point when they grow weary of chasing pleasure, they will either seek God or be overcome by their emptiness.

Maybe that is where you are. Maybe, like me, you are sick and tired of chasing for something that will fulfill the longing. How many times have you said, after this fix, I will be satisfied? Or after this, I am going to change my life. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? God does not hate you and doesn't reject you. It is important to realize that God loves each person and declares the value of your soul to be greater than the whole world. God also said He will judge and avenge every sin. For those who believe on Jesus Christ, God already has avenged our sins. That is why the Bible says "it pleased the Lord to bruise Him (Jesus on the cross)". It pleased God because it paid the debt to sin so that each one of us can have forgiveness through faith in Christ. Without receiving this gift of forgiveness, we are still under the condemnation of our sins. Only God can forgive sins and He did so by satisfying His justice and avenging the sins by the shedding of His own blood. He took your judgement by dying in your place. When you surrender your sins, lifestyle and failures in exchange for His righteousness and holiness, the Bible says that you become the righteousness of God in Christ. You become as justified and righteous before God as Jesus Christ, not because of anything you have done, but because of the completed work of the cross of Christ.

When a person accepts Jesus as their Savior, God literally puts His Spirit within us and transforms our lives from the inside out. No longer will you be driven by your desires, but you now have the option to be led by the Spirit. If this is what is missing from your life, I encourage you to allow Jesus Christ to take your sins and transform your life. If you want God's free gift of forgiveness, just say this simple prayer. These are not magic words, this is a guide to putting your focus on surrendering your life to Christ. Praying and surrendering by faith is what is important. Faith is simply putting your trust in Christ and proving your trust by acting on His word. By faith, say this prayer:

Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive my sins. I give you my sins, failures and lifestyle and by faith I receive your righteousness into my life. I open the door of my heart and invite you in. Please be my Lord and my Savior and I will serve you with my life. Amen.

If you said this prayer or if you want to give me any feedback, feel free to contact me. I keep all emails confidential with the exception of flaming, insulting messages. For everyone else, all messages are confidential and I have follow up material that you may benefit from. I also have a prayer list for those who have contacted me as well.

Email me at no_porn@exchangedlife.com

Re:harddisk rack back-up (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777155)

And if you house burns up/blows away/turns into Jello then what do you do?

Easy backups (4, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777033)

Simply buy twice the number of drives you need, and do an rsync between the two sets now and again. For added safety, get a friend with broadband and store the second box there. Then you are safe from fire, theft, drive crashes etc, with minimal effort to keep the backup up to date.

Storage conditions? (4, Interesting)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777034)

I've got a whole load of burned CD's that I created up to about 5 years ago.. and on varying quality of media, and a lot of them aren't any problem.

I suppose storage is the key thing, keep them in a dark cool place will help them last just that bit longer (unless you have a case of those little bugs that like eating the data layer).

Although they are of a similar tech, what about DVD recordable disks? I've got plenty of those now... but if I keep doing what i've been doing over the years and backup my backups onto newer media then I'm not too worried.

Just my $0.02

Re:Storage conditions? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777109)

(unless you have a case of those little bugs that like eating the data layer)

Whoa, you're giving geeks a reason to take a shower, now!

Re:Storage conditions? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777154)

Guess it's too much effort to read the article.

The CD-Rs were stored in a humidity controlled closet away from light sources. Still most of the CD-Rs were unreadable in under two years. Clearly storage conditions are not a factor.

More of the article should be translated. (4, Insightful)

xanderwilson (662093) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777036)

This doesn't tell us much. It's almost a teaser. "Are you going to die tomorrow? The answer may surprise you. Stay tuned for News at 11." I have some CDRs that stopped working within days and others that have lasted over 4 years now--same brand from the same spindle even. I wonder if the full Dutch article gives specifics or if they found _any_ CDs that were still working fine after twenty months. The teaser seems to suggest that they're all terrible. I do know that I get fewer duds now that I use Toast than I did when I used "Easy CD Creator." Beyond that, I don't know anything that makes a difference. CDRs stop working. DVD-Rs are crazy fragile. Hard drives fail. Paper burns. Maybe my data wasn't supposed to last forever. Alex.

Re:More of the article should be translated. (2, Informative)

teejie (97299) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777103)

The Dutch article doesn't say much more. They basically just want you to buy the magazine...

Nothing more can be translated (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777124)

The translated article is short, because the original one was short too. I just glanced over this translation, but I think it was complete.
I fear that If you want more information, you should buy the magazine itself.
No, I am not going to buy it. I have broadband.

Re:More of the article should be translated. (2, Informative)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777125)

The part they translated from the online article is pretty much all the substance there is in it. The actual results and further information aren't there.

The last paragraph of that:
In the September issue of PC Active, that will be in stores on 22 August, the shocking results are described in detail. Besides the possible causes of losing data over time we also a give a number of valuable tips to preserve the data on a writeable CD for the future. On the free cd-rom there is also a program to discover the state of a cd-rom for yourself.

So the info is in the paper version, and I don't have it.

Re:More of the article should be translated. (1)

radi0man (191807) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777160)

Not a perfect translation, but this is roughly what it says:

Valuable data on CD-r isn't always safe for a long time. Our test shows that data on a CD-r can become unreadable in two years. Chances are that if you use certain brands of CD-r, valuable personal data gets lost.

As you as a reader of PC-Active probably already know, we have done numerous CD-r tests en plublicized the the results. Those already showed that new CD-r's were sometimes less than standard quality. We have saved the 30 different brands that we tested for two years in the original casing in a closed cabinet.
For the article 'CD-r ROT', we've tested those discs again with a professional CD-analyzer that looks at the state of every bit on the CD-r.

[pictures here]

In the picture you can see the same CD-r. On the left are the results of the of the test in 2001 and on the right the results of the test in 2003.
The colors indicate the seriousness of the faults in the order of white, green, yellow and red. This represents 'good readable' (white) and 'unreadable' (red).
The test shows that several CD-r's had become completely unreadable and that on other CD-r data had become partially unreadable. Data that had been put on the CD-r 20 months ago had become unreadable. This happened to CD-r's of well known and less known manufacturers.

It is often assumed that CD-r's are usable for at least 10 years. Some manufacturers even claim a century. Our test shows that there is a lot of crap on the market. We've seen CD-r's that never should have been on the market. These were possibly from dumped shipments.
It's completely unacceptable that CD-r's become completely unusable within two years.

The shocking results can be found in the PC-active of September. Besides the possible causes of the loss of data, the article also gives some valuable tips on how to secure the data on a writable CD for a long time. The free CD-rom includes a program that will allow you to inspect the state of your own CD-r.

I am not suprised (1)

brokencomputer (695672) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777038)

I am not suprised by this. It is easier to scratch CD-R's than CD-ROMS. I have corrupted many CD-R's just by scratching the CD on the CD tray itself. In addition, CD-R's are written with ink(as opposed to plastic CDROMS) making it much easier for them to go bad.

pile of rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777040)

I have been using them for over 5 years now... no problems what so ever, but hey I didn't buy the cheepy CDRs you know!

I have a few. (1)

AchmedHabib (696882) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777043)

I have/had a few website backups. They are about 4 years old. One day I thought it would be fun to see what they looked like, but I was unable to mount any of them. I tried another machine to see if it was just the drive, but the other machine could not read it. Well I don't really need the data on them. But I guess you can't rely on them for storing your financial data.
So I guess I have to rethink how I am going to store those pictures from my new digital camera. I guess one have to copy the CDs from time to time.

Well I'm safe! (1)

Joel Carr (693662) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777044)

It's a good thing I make nightly backups using PaperDisk!

http://www.paperdisk.com/

And people would laugh at me with their CD backups. We'll look who's laughing now!!

---

CD life (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777046)

I have had many CD's that have worked for 5 + years. These are the ones that I only use every once in a while and are kept in jewel cases. The ones where I just burn like say a driver for a network card on a computer that is not on the network yet or other things sneaker netted over I could care less about. My backup for my data that I really need/want is on my Nomad Zen. But I do have several CD's that are pretty old and the data is fine. These articles are pretty small, so I would not put much faith in them. Now if someone else did a truely scientific stufy on them and found this (charts and all) I could possibly pout more faith in it. To those who thing it should be possible to mistreat a cd and expect it to be readable, you have GOT to be kidding!

Re:CD life (1)

cpoch (673846) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777135)

I'm in the same boat. I've had a CD burner for over 5 years now, and have not seen any high quality discs go bad, except for getting scratched. However, I've seen those cheap, plain silver surface only discs go bad from the top reflective layer starting to peal in about 18 months. I lost most of a relatively unimportant backup to those discs. That's why I will only buy discs with a heavier duty top surface now.

I stored the discs that started to peel on a spindle in a dark closet when they weren't in use. I think that part of the problem may have been scratches on the top surface that over time allowed the top layer to pull apart. But it also seems a little suspicious that I could have scratched 7-10 CDs in exactly the same way.

I still have some of the plain discs left, and I intend to put CD labels on all of the remaining ones to give them some extra protection. Anyone else have similar experiences?

Take care of 'em (2, Interesting)

munch0wnsy0u (619737) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777048)

This article is quite inconclusive in my mind. There is nothing in it that describes the care given to the cds for the past 20 months (what cases, if any, they were in, the amount of light and heat they were exposed to, etc.) Also, there was no mention of the quality of the media they were burned on, nor the speed at which they were burned. Too many variables are introduced in the article to fairly say that cd media is not a viable backup alternative. It seems like decent advice to burn slowly and simply take care of your cds, they would last much longer.

Cheap brands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777050)

I've had cheap brands of CDs (you know, the ones where a 200 pack is $30 normal price, free after rebate) actually get holes in then after many reads. I've also had ones that have warped. I have had the best luck with the name brands. However, the best cheap/free after rebate brands, in my experience of getting them free every week at OfficeMax:

1. Kypermedia - a very nice product

2. E3 works - never had one fail

3. Iomation

And the worst possible: ValuDisc

Only proves yet again... (1)

anonymousman77 (584651) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777054)

That researchers will say anything to get published.

Have any of you ever had a CDR become unreadable for any reason other than scratching it? I sure haven't, and I've used CDRs on a regular basis for 5-6 years now.

Re:Only proves yet again... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777144)

I've never had a CD-R become unreadable... but i have had corrupted files on many many discs i've burned. Now (for data) i rar with a recovery record then burn that to a disc for safekeeping. You might consider going and digging up some old discs and seeing how much of the stuff on there is still uncorrupted.

What else is P2P useful for? (1)

node159 (636992) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777057)

P2P the ultimate backup medium on the cheap. Why pay when people will back it up for you for free!

Hell I guess that's why all my DVD's, CD's, home made porn, and scanned images of my squashed face end up being backed up to. And all it costs you is bandwidth and a RIAA law suit :P.

What a deal!

About backup (1)

PzyCrow (560903) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777059)

Has anyone tried to create a P2P backup solution? Like a gigantik P2P-RAID with cryptated data.

Sounds unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777060)

I have some CDR-disks from early 1996, several from 1997-2000, and a huge pile from 2001-today.

None have shown any sign of damage up to date.

Maybe its my cautios way of storing them, I just leave them in the spindles after burning, 50-55 per Box. No direct sunlight, but surelly some indirect one.

Something to think about (1)

zeth (452280) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777077)

This is really something to think about.

I have lots of CDs with photos and other things that I really don't want to be destroyed because of a 'flawed' media.

Is an harddriver safer in a long run than CDs? Or is the only safe thing a RAID solution? Printing each photo on paper is not an option though.

Karma Whoring (2, Informative)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777078)

Since it was already taking 30 seconds to feed me the page, I might as well copy what I got..


CD-Recordable discs unreadable in less than two years
Posted by Dennis on 19 August 2003 - 14:33 - Source: PC-Active


The Dutch PC-Active magazine has done an extensive CD-R quality test. For the test the magazine has taken a look at the readability of discs, thirty different CD-R brands, that were recorded twenty months ago. The results were quite shocking as a lot of the discs simply couldn't be read anymore:

Roughly translated from Dutch:

The tests showed that a number of CD-Rs had become completely unreadable while others could only be read back partially. Data that was recorded 20 months ago had become unreadable. These included discs of well known and lesser known manufacturers.
It is presumed that CD-Rs are good for at least 10 years. Some manufacturers even claim that their CD-Rs will last up to a century. From our tests it's concluded however that there is a lot of junk on the market. We came across CD-Rs that should never have been released to the market. It's completely unacceptable that CD-Rs become unusable in less than two years.


On the image you can see the exact same CD-R. On the left you see the outcome of our tests done in 2001. On the right you see the same CD-R in 2003. The colours indicate the severeness of the errors in the following order; white, green, yellow and red whereas white indicates that the disc can be read well and red indicates that it cannot be read.

For those of you who are interested, the original Dutch article can be found here and in the September issue of PC-Active. Please discuss this subject in our Media Forum.

Backups? (1)

the uNF cola (657200) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777081)

Do backups to a raid system. Even IDE raid with only mirroring, just throw the data there every now and then.
And don't use it too often for regular usage if you can help it.

By backing up to it and unmounting it once a night, you run less chance of corruption due to power outages, kernels going nuts.. generals going nuts... :)

Sorry.. too much strongbad. I guess this is where I'd mumble something under my breath. gah!

Don't take it too seriously (5, Interesting)

tgv (254536) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777082)

The online summary of the article says literally: "Uit onze steekproef blijkt dat er veel rommel op de markt is. We hebben cd-r's aangetroffen die nooit op de markt hadden mogen komen. Het gaat daarbij mogelijk om afgedankte partijen."

Or, rather literally translated into English: "Our sample shows that there is a lot of junk on the market. We have found cd-rs that should never have been for sale. Possibly it concerns rejected batches." Which suggests to me that the correct heading of this article should be: CD-Rs are like everything else: you get what you pay for.

Unanswered Questions (5, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777086)

What speed was used to write the CDs?
Were they all stored in the same place?
Were they all burned by the same CD burner?
Were they all burned from the same source (a single CD, hard drive, network, etc.)?

30 CDs sounds like an epidemic, but since they were all burned at the same time twenty months ago, there could be a lot of other reasons why all of these discs would go bad. If they were all burned at the same time, then they're effectively talking about one batch, regardless of how many different CD-R brands were used in that single batch.

Does the Dutch article cover this or is this just a scare story?

This is not surprising. (5, Funny)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777087)

The data layer of a CD-R consists of cynanide or phthalocyanine organic dyes. However these dyes have a orientated electric charge like water molecules.
Take now into account earth's rotation and its magnetic field. It induces an albeit very slow movement of the molecules - the data layer degradation. The same effect causes btw certain currents in the Pacific oceans. While the movement is very slow and in the case of the ocean not very important, it does cause damage after a certain amount of time in the case of a CD-R. You should remember that the scale of the information storage units on a CD-R is in the nanometer range. The information is just "washed away" in an entropy-like effect.

However, you can slow this movement down. The molecular movement in the data layer is directed. So it can be reversed to a certain degree just be placing the CD-R the other way around. So, all you have to do is to mark the position of the CD-R in your rack exactly. And reverse it's position every month or so. This can increase to the lifetime of a CD-R about 150 percent. More can't achieved (in normal environment) because electric machines like your computer etc. create their own electro-magnetic fields. And the effects of these varing fields are much more difficult to negate.

BTW: the 100 percent wrong place to store your CD-Rs is on the top of your CRT.

Re:This is not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777105)

Yeah, and never ever put a magnet on your coasters.

Rdiff-backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777088)

Just test it:
http://rdiff-backup.stanford.edu

Remote incremental backup system over ssh with recovery points management. (GPL'ed Python script)

Not really... (1)

zero0w (572225) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777092)

Well I am not sure the 2 year limit applies to every brands of CD-Rs out there. I for one knew some of the CD-Rs are of better quality out there. Another thing is the burning speed could be crucial: 1x recording might be a bit conservative (actually for many CD-writer nowadays 2X/4X is the minimum writing speed) but any burning speed > 12x tends to produce C1 or C2 error sometimes. I personally choose a writing speed of 8X most of the time.

Flash memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777093)

Things with moving parts are always prone to failure. I have had excellent luck with the 512MB flash drives - they still have a lot of space, they can be random rewritten, and there are no moving parts.

Now this might be radical thinking, but . . . (1)

droleary (47999) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777095)

This is shocking, and makes me wonder how should I backup my data, photo and music collection.

How about more than once every two years for a full backup? And given that hard drives are already commonly storing two magnitudes more data than a CD can, in two years we'll all have said goodbye to our CD-R anyway. But I have a feeling people around here will still bitch when Apple removes them from their line, while the PC shops will still be shipping that damn floppy.

FUD! That's what they said about my floppies. (1)

SilverSun (114725) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777100)

And it is true that 40% of my 3.5'' floppy discs are not readable anymore, but I have copied them to CD years ago. And I will copy my CD-Rs to blue-ray, or whatever comes next. In reality, who the fuck cares is the CD-Rs are still readable in a few years. This is true for my private stuff as well as the CD jukebox we use at work.

And BTW, two years is just rediculous. I have CD-Rs older than that and they still install debian. When it comes to audio or even DivX video, it's not even a serious problem if there are a few unrecoverable read errors.

Cheers.

Offsites (4, Insightful)

Michael Ross (599789) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777102)

Don't forget to have one or more off-site backups (encrypted in case they are stolen). I keep one off-site backup (on CD-RW) in town, at a friend's place, and swap it for a fresh backup every time I visit him. (Be sure to offer to do the same for your friends.) An out-of-state backup gets refreshed every time I visit my folks.

It's peace of mind knowing that if, heavens forbid, anything catastrophic were to happen to your place of residence, or if burglars were to take your computers and disks/tapes, then you would at least not have completely lost all of your critical data.

You get what you pay for. (5, Informative)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777104)

Mitsui Medical [mediasupplier.com] CD-Rs, for one, are specced for 100 years lifetime.

FWIW, I can't remember having a single CD-R go bad. I've had some scrathed ones which took a while to read because the reading drive slowed to a crawl, but I got the data nonetheless. I even recently found what must have been one of the first CD-Rs I've ever burned. Must have been from around '96 or '97, it had my backup copy of Duke Nukem 3D on it, among other stuff, and everything read fine (the disc was a Sony CDQ-74CN).

recording speed (1)

loxosceles (580563) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777107)

Looks like they didn't account for different recording speeds.

Slower recording speed = more reliable, though there are still bad cds that'll go bad quickly no matter what you do.

My CD-R's work fine. (1)

zachjb (221132) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777110)

I have some Verbatim CD-R's, both data and audio formats, from 1999 that still work to this day. I don't know what brand this study used, but I haven't had a problem with Vertaim or any of the other "expensive" CD-Rs.

My CD backups all still work... (1)

BlackBolt (595616) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777116)

I've been burning CD's for years at work, and I still often use the earliest ones, the ones with drivers and old files on it. They ALL still work. But just in case, I'm gonna use this article to requisition a new backup device. [apple.com]

There's fungus among us. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777119)


I have perhaps 8 Sony CD blanks that apparently were attacked by fungus. I kept them because maybe they can be analyzed to understand what went wrong. We never bought Sony CD blanks, the blanks came with CD-RW writers.

Since we don't buy Sony writers any longer, and never bought many, I can't say if that is an ongoing problem.

Anyone else having problems with the quality of Sony products?

NIST probably knows, but don't ask (2, Insightful)

bezuwork's friend (589226) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777123)

About a year ago I attended a DVD conference. We got a tour of NIST where they were doing reliability testing of various brands of DVDs.

I found it odd, though, as they said they couldn't tell the public their findings. This point stuck with me, but I forget the exact reason. Perhaps it is simply that it would influence the market? Wouldn't make sense to me: the taxpayer probably put up the funds for the tests and the public and the market would both benefit from the results. Maybe NIST got some industry money to do the test with the condition that the results be kept secret.

Anyway, it would seem they probably have done the same for CD-Rs.

Crap CD-Rs? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#6777128)

That's because you're using hastily slapped together plastic/aluminium/dye sandwiches from the infamous Coaster Manufacturing Company - CMC Magnetics, and the other shit brands. They're cheap for a reason folks - the same thing happened with floppies.

Try decent discs. Two words: Taiyo Yuden [t-yuden.com] - the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to be able to read the data in five years - accept no substitute.

Don't believe me? Track some down. Burn on them. Put them side by side with a crappy CD-R. Spot the difference. Test them. Notice that with many drives you'll get zero C1 errors. Test them in a week. A month. A year. Notice that if kept right, and they don't deteriorate suddenly, they should still be C2 free in twenty years.

Crappy media has crappy quality control, and thus tends to fail quickly. This isn't news, it's just the way it is.

Silver CD-R's (1)

zachjb (221132) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777143)

I wonder if this Dutch study used those cheap CD-R's that have the silver front and no brand name anywhere on the CD itself.

Not surprising, and not new (5, Informative)

petrilli (568256) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777153)

I used to work for a company in Austin, TX whose speciality was optical drives (not CDs, but WORM mostly), and one of our customers was the National Archives. This was when CD-Rs were just coming out, and the NA was interested in a cost/benefit analysis of whether or not they could replace their expensive 14" WORM systems with cheap CD-Rs.

The first thing to understand is that WORM systems, true WORM systems, not the Magnetic-Optical pseudo-WORM systems, are built on ablation of material in the disc itself. In other words, you burn holes in the disc revealing a lower layer that is reflective. In the case of most discs, and Kodak especially, they were gold on the reflective layer for long-term stability. Various tests of accelerated degradation were performed in both climate stabilized and non-stabilized situations, and at worst, the discs were stable for 100 years before any error correction was necessary.

We decided to perform the same kind of evaluation of CD-Rs, and found that brand varied greatly. The best were stable for 3-4 years, the worst only 6-8 months if the climate changed dramatically. In addition, UV exposure had a radical impact on the life-span of the disc. Further research found out that the problem was the natural instability of the organic dyes that were used in the disc layers.

Basically, if the disc wasn't perfectly sealed (look at the work done in the referenced article, and how it starts at the edges), oxygen would get in and react with the dye, which would change it's characteristics relatively quickly. It doesn't take much before the dye structure collapses, and data becomes unreadable after a short period. While I suspect the dyes have gotten better over time, they're still organic last I knew, and still subject to degradation by contact with air. Quality control is the only thing that will get you anything here, and I suspect even the best dye-based discs can't make it past 20 years unless exposure to UV is totally eliminated.

What Kodak had developed was what they called "Century Discs", which were basically scaled down WORM discs, but in CD-ROM format. They were gold inside, non-reactive, and well made. They did, however, require a very expensive writer because they needed more power than a CD-R drive could ever hope to provide to force the burn away the spots. They were, however, readable in a normal drive.

That's just my experience, but everytime I've seen an organization talking about "archiving" on CD-R, I have issues with it. It's fine for "backup," where the data cycle is shorter, but true archival purposes (for example, financial data), it won't cut it. You either need to use WORM, or tape. Tape is, however, subject to problems over the cycles as well, witness the failing properties of 9-track tapes written by NASA in the 1970s (heard first hand, not sure where to find it written up). Linear-write systems are better than helical.

Just a few thoughts, but this is not an easy issue. You have to understand what you're storing, and how long it has to be readable before you consider an actual medium for storage.

On the Contrary? (1)

MankyD (567984) | more than 9 years ago | (#6777161)

Having owned and used a CD writer since about '96, I've got quite a selection of backups and music cd's from over the years.

A cheap highschool student, I was always on the lookout for the cheapest CD-R's I could find - no name brands and auctions on ebay. I'd just like to point out that, contrary to this article, almost all of the old CD-R's that I have still work, unless I scratched them or dinged them up pretty bad. I don't seem to have any problems with decay.

Maybe I'm just lucky?
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