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Thread: What is the best storage media?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    So you're anti-free-market utilities? Because in the rest of the civilized world the government owns and operates those utilities.
    Er, what? Not on this continent (east of the US. Or that place west of the US where I'm also located sometimes).
    (My new symmetric 1Gbs network seems to work fine btw, and it's cheaper than my old 10Mbs ADSL. Ditto the other site).

    Back to topic: I trust my (redundant sets of) hard drives more than anything else. Too much trouble with tape over the years, and CDs too.

  2. #42
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    Rarely do I get this kind of enjoyment from a vintage computer discussion, but Chuck is absolutely winning this entire thread. Every post of his is like a bullet fired from a gun wielded by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    To the OP: My personal archival strategy is to migrate everything to newer media every 8-10 years, whatever is the cheapest per gigabyte. For disaster recovery, I ensure I have a cloud backup. I used to maintain my own cloud backup but now I pay a commercial provider to do it.

    My migration has gone from floppies -> QIC-40 tape -> CD -> DLT -> DVD -> Blu-ray -> hard drives. I still have all of them, however they've all had data loss here and there, and when that happens I have to go further backwards to grab the data. In my experience, the PATA hard drives have had the highest rate of failure in storage; the 5.25" DSDD floppies, the least.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  3. #43
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    Thanks, Jim, but I'm not one much for guns or bullets.

    The bottom line is why you maintain backups--and that should dictate how and what you hold onto. I can only offer my own experience as an example.

    When VHS recorders first came out, I recorded everything under the sun that I found even moderately interesting. The problem was that I never got around to viewing the stuff, so the tapes piled up. Soon, I forgot that I even had them. I have 8" floppies from the mid-to-late 1970s with checking account transactions. Why? What was I thinking?

    I still have a box of PAL-recorded VHS cassettes of past Edinburgh Tattoo events, along with the player to handle them. I'll never get around to watching them--and chances are that they're already on the web.

    I was delighted not too long ago to discover a bunch of DC-1000 QIC (mini-QIC) tapes and the drive (Irwin) to read them. So I installed the software and hardware and gleefully read all the tapes that I had--only to find that I'd already had the data recorded elsewhere. The same for stuff I recorded on DC-150, DDS and DLT tapes. All utterly irrelevant.

    And, even if something were relevant, how would you remember that you might have it? I've astounded myself finding code that I wrote 30 years ago, that I don't remember writing.

    So, if you're really "archiving", you have to be picky, which simplifies the matter of media considerably. It's much easier to maintain an archive of gigabytes than one of petabytes.

    Okay, the other reason for maintaining backups is to ensure smooth day-to-day operations. For that, I agree--keep an offsite backup for the really important stuff and duplicate day-to-day stuff. That's less of an archival process--and you should discard stuff that's no long relevant.

    But the bottom line is that we are not our data--we're far more than that.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I was delighted not too long ago to discover a bunch of DC-1000 QIC (mini-QIC) tapes and the drive (Irwin) to read them. So I installed the software and hardware and gleefully read all the tapes that I had--only to find that I'd already had the data recorded elsewhere. The same for stuff I recorded on DC-150, DDS and DLT tapes. All utterly irrelevant.
    I have some 340, qic-80 and ditto 2gb tapes that contain stuff i backed up in the early 90's, including the bbs I had shut down at the time, but for the life of me couldn't figure out how i backed them up. Tried using an iomega 2gb tape drive to restore them but to no avail, either the tapes are bad or backed up with some other type of backup solution. I guess the moral of this is to both consider the medium of how things are backup up, but also the note the backup mechanism you used at the time because 20+ years later, you won't remember. In this case I remember some of what I backed up (because I wrote that on the tapes) but not how I backed them up.
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA

  5. #45
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    People can be ocd'ish about what they save. I am/have been. I try to keep an eye out for what no one really wants, me most of all. But there are things that I and others have that someone wants. We can't go back and troubleshoot the archival strategies of people who took the time to save something that wasn't necessarily relevant anymore then. Holy crap but it would be nice if we could. How many people have treasures sitting unused because the software to operate it can't be found. One error can screw up a whole program. You need a lot of skill to replicate or replace data, in the case of code, most of us lack the skill and the time. And the money to pay someone to do it. Floppies can last a long time. But I also have bad floppies. Optical media seems to be the worst, sometimes the archive is bad before the tray ejects! Ok there's a lot of info, relative to a floppy, but so, who gives a flying rat's keester. If it let's you down it's no good. No one should wait 10 years to see if their backup strategy worked. Not even 5. Use tried and true logic, if what you're saving really matters (or will in the future, hard to say sometimes), and have duplicate hard drive backups, multiple drives, multiple vendors if you want. And check it periodically.

    Most of the s/w that gets discussed on this forum is pitifully small in terms of size. Unless you have duplicates, AND periodically verify them, once a year at least, don't use CDs or DVDs. And for big stuff the only way to go is duplicate hard drives. I for one don't particularly care to utilize commercial cloud services. I don't see the point. I can purchase 4tb hard drives for less then 100$ all day. And I am not sitting like a boob and making stacks of CDs and DVDs ever again. I have better ways to use the time. And they've let me down.

  6. #46
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    One of the problems with tape(s) is that you need to know what software was used to record it (especially if they are not your tapes).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  7. #47
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    absolutely, and it applies to floppies as well. When I label tapes I include an indicator of what kind ("dump level 0" or "dump level 1" usually, but I have some "tar" tapes as well), but I didn't do this with floppies. I have a carton full of 5.25" floppies from the 80's or 90's that I know for sure were written with FastBack (or FastBack Plus) but I don't remember exactly what version 3.x or 5.x I think, and of course it didn't occur to me to write it down at the time.

    Incidentally, labels aren't enough by themselves because labels can come unstuck from things. So I also have a file where I record what's on all my tapes; theoretically I could figure out what is on a single unlabeled tape by process of elimination, comparing my notes and the still-labeled tapes. This narrows things down but doesn't solve the problem completely if I have multiple tapes with labels fallen off, so I'm considering marking each tape with a unique serial number using permanent ink and including that in my notes as well.

    I have a 1/2" tape reel that says it's in VMS dump format. I neglected to record which version of VMS but it's probably 4.x or 5.x. It doesn't matter really because I don't have a VMS system anyway. I could probably read it from Unix if I ever get around to setting up a 1/2" drive but there's nothing terribly important on it, just ancient versions of gcc, gnu-emacs, etc.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    Incidentally, labels aren't enough by themselves because labels can come unstuck from things.
    I have lots of 3" x 5" tractor feed mailing labels that will never come unstuck. They're older and the adhesive that was used is still as powerful as ever.

    I also have a variety of other older floppy disk labels with that adhesive that stays stuck forever:

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...bels&styleid=2
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    One of the problems with tape(s) is that you need to know what software was used to record it (especially if they are not your tapes).
    If it was Unix/Linux, it was probably tar or cpio. Those haven't changed in at least 30 years.

    When handling customer tapes and floppies, I keep a can of Scotch 77 around to re-attach the dried-out labels.

    Some labels with the "really sticky" adhesive eventually have the adhesive bleeding through the label and render the label difficult to read.

  10. #50

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    I've had these labels for over twenty years. Doncha' think if it were going to happen it would have happened already?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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