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05-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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@ imtheguy
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You need to get out and read more brother. 100 year archival DVDs and 300 year archival CDs have been out a long time. I do realize they likely pulled those numbers out of their butts but same as you did with your "Odds are...20 year" guess.
The biggest German computer magazine c't made elaborated tests with CDs and DVDs about 3 years (I think) ago. The results with very high priced ones, labelled "for archiving purposes", were absolutely shocking. Their recommendation was, to check the signals and structure of any valuable DVD at least every 6 months with programs dedicated to this purpose (and special DVD readers as well), and as an additional test read in every file once. At the slightest measurable degradation of signals you should immediately make a copy. They said with the special archiving disks this point was reached averagely after 2 years, with standard DVDs earlier.

They also recommended to create valuable disks (or an image prior to burn) using programs like dvdisaster, to improve the likeliness a bad DVD maybe restored completely.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvdisaster


Last edited by RKKS08; 05-01-2012 at 10:12 AM.
05-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #17
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How did they test and with which burner, program and burnspeed did they used?


I've disk that still work fine after 2 year, not sure how old they really are but between 5 and 7 years.
You just need to store them correctly and burn them well.
05-02-2012, 07:43 AM   #18
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I used to keep photos on DVD as well as a back up drive, but have stopped lately due to the impractical nature of a DVD being smaller than many of my camera memory cards.

I now have a slightly different approach, I have several back up drives, one of which I keep in a safety deposit box.

The bigger issue aside from backup, and safe storage, is that the file format might become non supported in the future. That can be a disaster, as the British government found out, when they archived a ton of documents only to find the storage medium was no longer supported by newer computers, and could not be read.

Changing software support and storage formats are much more of a risk these days than loss of data.
05-02-2012, 09:06 AM   #19
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JPEG and hopefully DNG will become standard legacy formats so doubt we will have a problem opening them over 20 years.
By that time we could most likely convert them to format that is the new standard.
It's not like one standard will replace the other in an instance and that all support and such will be dropped, there will be a transition of several years at least so you got time to convert what's needed.

05-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #20
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How did they test and with which burner, program and burnspeed did they used?
I'll have a look whether I can find the report somewhere in my archive. However, I am sure disks with bad test results will not be for sale any more. Tests made by c't usually have a big impact on the European market (and in some cases in the past, even on the US market), and no company can risk to neglect it.
05-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #21
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Most think that storing data (photos) digital is short live because of the ethereal nature of digital. One push of the button and it is all gone. They also think because you can touch a printed photo or DVD/CD that it can last much longer. The truth is just the opposite. Digital data stored on the net has the potential to last the lifetime of the human race (possible beyond but that is speculation) and any physical stored item is temporal by there nature making them morel. It is the incorporeal aspect of archiving the digital information that give the possibility of near immortality or latest for a human lifetime.


Let me explain. You can store your information on a backup hard drive or in a locked box in your house but if your house burns down/somehow is destroyed this information is gone forever. You could put in a “safer” place like the safe deposit box at the bank but that to can be destroyed in the same event as your house. Some will say that is not likely (and it is a lower order then just your house) but I have personally seen just that happen.


If the information is stored on your computer and is backed up with something like “Carbonite” for example or even just Flickr then something would have to take out a large part of the globe for the data to be lost. At that time you will probable not care about the data. As long as someone pays the bill the data will be safe. As the cost of storing data continues to fall data that is being stored now could end up in some place like the library of congress that future generations will be able to see. Things like file formats that are as common as JPG or TIFF will be supported forever because the code to read them will be so small even if they are not a format the is still in use computers will still read the old formats for historical purposes.


It is because I have seen so many lose everything that I now have my data were I can get it any place I go and know that it is safe.


DAZ
05-19-2012, 01:22 PM   #22
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As a recently retired Librarian with over 30 years professional experience, thus spanning the digital revolution in libraries, the potential format incompatiblity cited by several members is a real concern. If by some fluke you found a 5.25 inch floppy with important data where would you find a drive to read it? This was a common size not many years ago. How about an 8 inch floppy? Again, in use not long ago. And if you found the drive how many old programs used unique file formats?

While digital imaging is new enough that the sort of problems I mention above are at this time unlikely, the periodic refreshing of DVDs, i e, copying them to a fresh medium, is the sort of task that few casual shooters are likely to do. How many casual shooters even print their shots? Ever copy shots from their hard drive (which will fail sooner or later) to DVDs or a cloud backup system?

When their computer fails they will probably lose an important record of their lives. No pictures of growing children. Family celebrations. Pictures of parents now gone. This is a dismal prospect for the records of a people. We today take pleasure in seeing pictures of generations past, not just our own but those of strangers. These pictures give a flavor of the times, the dress, what Main Street looked like. Imagine a Ken Burns special without the family snapshots.

We decry the shoe box full of prints and negatives; at least given reasonable storage (no attic, no basement) this analog medium will be "readable" indefinately. I have prints about 100 years old which are in excellent condition, and negatives my father shot and processed in the mid 1930s which are printable today.

My point is that while we knowledgeable photographers are concerned with the archival problem with analog and digital media, most folk aren't. Many of the images we cherish from our or our parents' childhoods exist today because someone tossed those drugstore prints and (if we're lucky) the corresponding negatives in a shoebox which ended up on the closet shelf.

We need a digital equivalent to the shoebox, a simple regimen which the folk with the P&S cameras can and will follow. Otherwise I fear we will lose an important part of our cultural history.
05-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #23
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Much of what you say grhazelton I agree with but I would like to address some parts.


As to the part about digital formats. There is realty 2 parts here. The first is the electronics hardware. This is a big problem. This will become unrecoverable as the hardware ages. The hardware as you pointed out will become harder and harder to get and the stranded of DVD today will be replaced by some new hardware. This will mean that what is on the hardware will need to be pulled off and put on new hardware before it is lost. This is because the data is dependent on the hardware it is stored on. When the hardware is gone so is the data.


The data itself is not dependent on the hardware as it can be in more then one place. Standards like JPGs have become so ubiquitously that programers will be writing programs to read them as long as there are computers. 90+ percent of the photos on the internet are JPGs. Even if a new standard replaces it so much is out there that programs will still have to read them. In this respect digital photos can be viewed forever. This may not be the case for every standard but for the big ones it will.


As for not remembering to back things up that is one of the great things about the cloud backup systems. They scourer the hard drive looking for any file not backed up. This all happens in the background with little to no user input needed other the setup. When something happens (and I mean when the inevitable happens) the data can be recovered from just about anywhere the new computer resides.


As for always being able to view the old analog negative this may not be the case for long. Not because the negatives may fade (this is a problems but possibly not the biggest problem) but because they to are hardware based. It is already getting harder to get them printed. Enlargers are going the way of the buggy whip. Scanners are a digital hardware solution for interfacing with analog data but as more data is originating as digital data the need for them like FAXs will decrease until they to become a rare specialized item.


I decry the shoe box because almost all of them get lost. It is only by happenstance that we are lucky to have one survive. Almost all of the history is lost this way. But the new shoe box is here. It is in things like flickr and the other online sites that our descendents will see the history like what was in the old shoe boxes of yesterday. When I stop to think about that last line it kind of scares me more then the old shoe box in way the shoe box never did.


DAZ

05-19-2012, 10:28 PM   #24
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Didn't a cloud data storage site just get shut down because some of it's users were storing stolen data and all the data has been effectively lost even to the legitimate users? My concern with cloud storage is that it can be as ephemeral as what it is named after. If the company suddenly decides to close the doors, what happens to your data?
I would treat cloud storage as a convenience if I needed to access data from several locations, but to depend on it as a back up is, I think, not the best.
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05-20-2012, 06:12 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAZ Quote

"As for not remembering to back things up that is one of the great things about the cloud backup systems. They scourer the hard drive looking for any file not backed up. This all happens in the background with little to no user input needed other the setup. When something happens (and I mean when the inevitable happens) the data can be recovered from just about anywhere the new computer resides. ...."

DAZ
This is assuming that the user has bothered with using cloud backup or storage. In the case of the casual shooter, the case I was addressing, I fear this is questionable. Cloud systems do cost. I use BackBlaze, which is about $60 per year. A bargain. But how many folk using P&S or phone cameras would realize the value of such a service, since it isn't "free?" Recovering the data takes either a long time via DSL, or purchasing a hard drive or DVDs or such from the service. Time and money....

And Wheatfield voices a real concern:

"Didn't a cloud data storage site just get shut down because some of it's users were storing stolen data and all the data has been effectively lost even to the legitimate users? My concern with cloud storage is that it can be as ephemeral as what it is named after. If the company suddenly decides to close the doors, what happens to your data?
I would treat cloud storage as a convenience if I needed to access data from several locations, but to depend on it as a back up is, I think, not the best.
My first website was on Geocities.
Oops, it's gone "

And there's the rub. We are urged to have redundant back-up systems, to store a backup set off-site, to update media as technology evolves. How do we do this with cloud backup? Use several different providers in the hope that at least one will survive over the long run? And if we're concerned about conserving our cultural history, will our descendents pay the bill for cloud storage?
05-20-2012, 07:59 AM   #26
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Storage: data is in only one location. If the data is only on one cloud system then this is not backup.


Backup: data is in at least 2 locations. If a copy of the data is on a cloud and a copy is on the local hard drive then this is backup.


The point of a backup is not that the backup is as fast as the local copy but that it can be recovered. Recovered is the imperative point. If the backup is lost the local copy can be upload to a new backup. How many backup copes is up to your comfort level. The only issue I am trying to make is that a local backup is not much safer the a local copy. One event can result in the loss of both copes.


Sites that are for backup like “Carbonite” encrypt the data so even they don't know what the data is. If it should go away my data is not gone (it is on the local hard drive) I just have to get a new backup provider. The need to have access to data from more then one location is not the same as backup. Having that data on some place like Geocities or flickr is so that it can be accessed but this is not backed up. As many don't have back (but should) something like flickr may end up becoming a backup or the shoe box. The old shoe box was not a backup just a storage location.


As for keeping the data after we are gone will they keep the old shoe box? Most did not but online data storage is is getting cheaper all the time. I think the cost to our descendents will be so low they will not notice the cost. The bigger question is will the copyright laws allow them to be used?


The OP was about storage and the thread evolved into storage/backup and longevity as they are connected. It is with threads like this that the awareness of these issues can come out and all learn from others.


DAZ
05-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Didn't a cloud data storage site just get shut down because some of it's users were storing stolen data and all the data has been effectively lost even to the legitimate users? My concern with cloud storage is that it can be as ephemeral as what it is named after. If the company suddenly decides to close the doors, what happens to your data?
I would treat cloud storage as a convenience if I needed to access data from several locations, but to depend on it as a back up is, I think, not the best.
My first website was on Geocities.
Oops, it's gone.
Completely agree. I use Dropbox, so everything is in the cloud, but it also physically resides synched on both of my computers as well as a backup drive.
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