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Re: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?

My long and detailed comments are below.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Edmonds <mmje@mmje.demon.co.uk>
To: <filmscanners@halftone.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 1:01 PM
Subject: filmscanners: Best digital archive medium for scans?

> Basically, I am looking for a long term (20 years+) storage medium to
> archive my scans on. I don't have faith in CDR and tapes are also prone to
> long term problems so the only solution I can see is a magneto optical

I'm curious, why do you trust MOD more than CDR?
MOD will probably never become standard nor inexpensive.

> Another problem is that it is all well and good to have a bomb proof
> but it is no good if no one makes the hardware to read it in a few years
> time.

It really doesn't matter if anyone else has the hardware, as long as you do.
As an example, although perhaps a poor one.  I have some programs and data
on 5.25" floppy disks from 17 years ago.  During one of many computer
upgrades about 8 years ago 5.25" disks were no longer a standard.  I kept an
old machine with a 5.25" drive (although I could have installed a 5.25"
drive in a new machine) . The point is: if I want the data I can transfer it
to 3.5" floppy disks or transfer it through my home office network to a new
machine and put it on whatever medium is currently popular.  The only
inportant issue is that I must keep these disks refreshed because they are
magnetic and I must transfer them to some other medium prior to disposing
of, or failure of, the 5.25" drives.

> So is there a clear cut winner out there? The two affordable options I am
> looking at are either the Iomega Optical drive or the Panasonic DVD-RAM.
> Iomega seems to support a format which has some penetration in the market
> but the DVD-RAM looks like it might not have got very far. I am running
> NT4.0 by the way.

CD-ROM has been around for a very long time. It took along time to catch on.
CD-R and CD-RW caught on quickly only because CR-ROM had been with us for so
long.  DVD-Video and DVD-Ram are both new in comparison to CD formats.  As
the cost of drives and media continue to drop DVD-RAM in some format or the
other will no doubt be the standard to replace CD-ROM and CD-R.  Iomege will
probably gain a foothold in specialized markets as they have with their Zip
and Jaz formats, but because their formats are proprietary they will
probably never replace DVD formats.

I've done a bit of research on storage media.  Here are my thoughts:

CD-R is currently the cheapest format for long term storage.  If your
storage needs can be met with CD-R it is probably your best low maintenance
choice, as long as you can afford the time involved with burning CD's.   And
you be sure to keep a CD drive or two available when their popularity
ceases, if ever.

DVD-RAM, although currenty more expensive, provides more storage per disk.
If you need vast quantities of storage (for 4000dpi 8/16 bit TIF files
perhaps) this is a very viable low maintenance choice. This is also somewhat
time consuming, as writing DVD-RAM is painfully slow.  You will also want to
be sure to keep your particular format drives available should they ever be
discontinued in the future.

Removable IDE hard drive storage is a higher speed solution for high volume
storage.  It is much less time consuming but requires more maintenance and
attention.  It is about as expensive as DVD, but much faster.  60GB IDE hard
drives are now selling for about $150.  That's about $2.50 per MB.
Removable hard drive frames are about $15 each and the cartridges that holds
the hard drives are about $10 each. Hard drive storage is, at least, as
reliable as any other magnetic medium as long as it is removed from the host
machine and stored properly.  One solution would be to archive to a
removable IDE hard drive and copy to a second removable hard drive for
redundancy.  Remove both and keep them properly stored.  Refresh them every
couple of years to ensure data integrity by running scandisk (PC) or some
similar utility.  Another solution would be to set up an inexpensive mirror
raid array to automatically keep a redundant copy of your data on line.
This is the most hassle free but involves a slight risk, should lighting
strike or some other catastrophy take out your entire machine.

As hard drive costs are dropping as quickly, or more quickly, than other
media, I feel this is the best solution for those who want hassle free, high
speed, high volume storage.  Like DVD it is getting less and less expensive
but is not for the faint of wallet.  : )

For me paying $150 for 60 GB of storage is pretty painless since I remember
not that long ago (for some of us) paying $1000 for a 10 MB hard disk.  Yes
I said 10 MEGA bytes.  It was new technology in 1984.  Most people only had
2-5 MB hard drives.

Way more than my US $0.02 worth!

Bob Kehl
Kvernstoen, Kehl & Associates
Star Prairie, WI  54026

Check out our website: www.kvernkehl.com


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