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Tech Helproom


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Longevity of storage systems


Muergo

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On another thread there was a discussion about which way to backup precious items such as photos etc.

An article published in "Science" assessed that Vinyl discs would last over 100yrs if kept reasonably, but pressed CDs last 35yrs, burnt CDs 10yrs, and most worrying, solid state memory also less than 10yrs whereas hard discs should last over 50yrs.

I was reminded of this by the recent recovery of the Air France Data boxes, the investigators said that the older "black box" based on tape has still been recovered and downloaded after over 3yrs whereas the latest solid state boxes were unreadable after 18months which is the case in the current investigation. In both cases there was sea water penetration into the boxes.

I am not suggesting that these extreme conditions apply to storage at home, but I am not using solid state memory for my photos, they are all on hard disk but then they said that the original film negatives or positives would last longer provided they had been processed properly especially last stage washing of residual chemicals over which I have no control apart from the ones I did myself.

So if you are transferring photos or music to digital storage, KEEP the originals, they may last longer.

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Muergo

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So Robinofloxley, all our recent backups and recordings are more ephemeral than the much tougher old systems. I was up in the attic today and just remembered I have a big pile of 78s, (some of them 76s and 80s,) all laid flat and interleaved with newspaper with some in original wrappers, dating back to 1920s which came from my Grandparents house, but many of the popular ones are worn by being played with a steel needle under a heavy acoustic head.

I have transcribed a few using a treasured Garrard 301 deck and a fat, round diamond stylus so as not to damage them any more, but I am hoping that someone might have invented a scanner to convert the grooves into digital sound.

Despite the scratches, pops etc the dynamic range is great with a big thumping bass not like the thin compressed sound from a CD.

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Muergo

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So Robinofloxley, all our recent backups and recordings are more ephemeral than the much tougher old systems. I was up in the attic today and just remembered I have a big pile of 78s, (some of them 76s and 80s,) all laid flat and interleaved with newspaper with some in original wrappers, dating back to 1920s which came from my Grandparents house, but many of the popular ones are worn by being played with a steel needle under a heavy acoustic head.

I have transcribed a few using a treasured Garrard 301 deck and a fat, round diamond stylus so as not to damage them any more, but I am hoping that someone might have invented a scanner to convert the grooves into digital sound.

Despite the scratches, pops etc the dynamic range is great with a big thumping bass not like the thin compressed sound from a CD.

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Muergo

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Another thought ocurred to me and that is with all our messages being stored in a cloudy computer somewhere over Seattle or Richmond Va, robinofloxley could have asked the CIA if they had a copy of his hard disc for him to back up from.

With Sony having given millions of credit card details out over the world I would keep a close eye on what is going out of our current accounts as well, but copies of those are probably in the British Library or National Records Kew.

How many backups do they keep and where, there must be a limit to the number of backup backups burying the world in polycarbonate.

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