on reliability of DVDs
Hard drives' unreliability has hit me early: the one in my first computer died after less then two years of service. That was the sadly known DTLA series, and it took away my precious data. Well, technically they were still within reach of a good repair, but that was too expensive. Anyway I have been keeping it for about ten years and only dumped it recently.
Soon after the first sad encounter I decided not to put all the eggs in the same basket, even if that meant losing few occasionally. Having a student's budget, I burned my files first on CDs and later on DVDs. I've accumulated quite a wealth of these over years, and finally decided to clean it up. I trashed the unreadable ones after collecting some stats:
- philips: bad 12, good 15
- verbatim: bad 28, good 64
- digitex: bad 48, good 10
- TDK: bad 3, good 1
- mirex: bad 2, good 2
- traxdata: bad 0, good 4
Thinking of the next stash I wanted to look at my stats first. Then I decided to read what smart people say on this topic. So I read some. Including the Quick Reference Guide for Care and Handling by NIST. I.e. you shouldn't store DVDs horizontally. Things I've learned made me reconsider my approach to data archiving. My stash of unique data is not that big, so a copy of it fits well into a rented server's disk. The rest of the data was movies, and there are enough cloud storages which take good care about movies in the internet.
And it looks like I won't be burning disks anymore. They are just too analog for that purpose.