SPUG: Re: [SLL] Remote Backup

Tim Maher linux at consultix-inc.com
Fri Jun 23 16:00:04 CDT 2000

On Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 01:49:09PM -0700, Marshall Dunlap wrote:
> At 01:37 PM 06/23/2000 -0700, you wrote:
> >On Fri, Jun 23, 2000 at 01:23:57PM -0700, Marshall Dunlap wrote:
> >> Data is data
> >> whether it's on a HD, jaz drive, floopie, or tape.  As long as the data is
> >> there what difference does it make what the media is?  I'd like to know
> >> because I get the feeling from your comments I'm missing something here.
> >
> >You could make the same argument in favor of carving heads of dead
> >presidents (a la Mt. Rushmore) in Snow vs. Granite; guess which medium
> >will provide a lasting tourist attraction for generations to come? 8-}
> >
> Rats!  I was hopeing that my question wouldn't come off as a challenge, I
> just wanted to know the difference.  But since you bring it up are you
> saying that tape is more stable than jaz disks?  Again, I'm only asking.

Your question didn't come off as a challenge, but I couldn't resist the
opportunity to raise the issue that the medium itself is of critical
importance, being the substrate that stores the data!  Sorry if I 
sounded like a wise-guy (that would be the first time, I assure you 8-} )

Tape is about the most unreliable offline medium, next to paper,
due to its sensitivity to temperature and humidity fluctuatinos, and
the associated problems of stretching and loss of iron oxide (causing
"dropouts").  I'm not an expert on the latest and greatest options, but my
guess would be that for maximal stability of the stored data over time,
you'd have to go with writeable CD-ROMS or DVDs, or something similar.
However, for non-critical work (like I do at home, but unlike what the
Pentagon is supposed to be doing), you might be willing to compromise the
ability to store the data for 50 years to save some money!  Personally,
I use tapes, and have been pretty lucky with them so far, but for really
important stuff, I'd be looking for a more durable medium.
> Thanks!
> md
|  Tim Maher, Ph.D.           Tel/Fax: (206) 781-UNIX    |
|  SPUG Founder & Leader      Email: spug at halcyon.com    |
|  Seattle Perl Users Group   HTTP: www.halcyon.com/spug |

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