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Author Topic: Optical Storage - A new option  (Read 2484 times)
John.Murray
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« on: January 14, 2013, 02:38:25 PM »
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rather an old one with a very interesting twist:

http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/

Basically DVD RW media using inorganic mineral based ink.  The benefit is a much longer expected storage life - they claim 1000 yrs.....  Looks like Blue-Ray capacities are in the works.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 02:59:09 AM »
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Interesting.
They need to put in place an international distribution network if they want it to catch on though. Only being able to buy it mail order from another continent won't make it a world standard.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 05:45:01 AM »
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Very interesting. I will keep an eye on this as a possible archival solution - especially if they get the data storage up to BD standards.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 01:24:11 AM »
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Interesting.
They need to put in place an international distribution network if they want it to catch on though. Only being able to buy it mail order from another continent won't make it a world standard.

Actually they have - what led me to discover them was the curious m@disc logo on some various OEM LG DVD drives, I asked a few questions and discovered that they are indeed partnering with this firm in Utah.

I've dismissed archiving to optical media because of it's inherent weakness; the "twisting" of dyes within the substrate, the major problem being these dyes are organically based and not reliable in the long term.   For me, the result has meant relying on magnetic based hard disk archiving, knowing that every 2 years or so, that drive would need to be "refreshed".  The information on *that* is very contradictory, with some claiming that only a copy to another device is sufficient - of course, is the copy perfect?  Any errors?  My understanding is that spinning the drive up and traversing the filesystem is an adequate refresh, but honestly i've been unable to get an absolute confirmation of this......

An alternative is tape, which implemented correctly can be very robust, but the problem is portability; how do i take this tape created from another facility and properly restore it?  Without an intimate knowledge of the mechanisms, software and implementation of the original archive creator the answer is simply - not reliable....

Optical formats such as DVD are well documented and readily available - the maine advantage here is they are universal; readable on any number of devices.  The availabilty of a true archival storage method based on this is compelling, regardless of "distribution" and "channel" concerns
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 05:20:09 AM »
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For me, the result has meant relying on magnetic based hard disk archiving, knowing that every 2 years or so, that drive would need to be "refreshed".  The information on *that* is very contradictory, with some claiming that only a copy to another device is sufficient - of course, is the copy perfect?  Any errors?  My understanding is that spinning the drive up and traversing the filesystem is an adequate refresh, but honestly i've been unable to get an absolute confirmation of this......

Traversing the file system does NOT write to the disc. The problem with magnetic data is that although we think of it as neat binary things being either 1 or 0, they are really analogue recordings. Over time the magnetics can influence each other, and your 1 can degrade to 0.9 or 0.6. Similarly your 0 may have degraded to 0.3. So when you traverse the file system, you (a) just check that things are still on either side of the 1/2 mark and (b) only look at the directory structure, not the actual image file content.

If you're taking the time to worry about it, you should buy a new disc ever 2 years (it'll be twice as big or half the price) and rewrite.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 06:41:39 AM »
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If you're taking the time to worry about it, you should buy a new disc ever 2 years (it'll be twice as big or half the price) and rewrite.

Defragmentation will quite likely take care of that rewriting of most of the data. One just needs to, once a year or so, for one run change the optimization strategy, which a good defragmenter will allow to do. Besides, there is a significant amount of error correction going on, and occasionally sectors automatically get reallocated when they become marginally readable.

Comparing the checksums of 2 versions of one's files will also show differences.

Cheers,
Bart
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 11:10:06 AM »
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Actually they have - what led me to discover them was the curious m@disc logo on some various OEM LG DVD drives,
My point was that there's only one source of media from what I can see.
Shipping to Europe costs more than the disks.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 08:21:17 PM »
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My point was that there's only one source of media from what I can see.
Shipping to Europe costs more than the disks.

OWC http://www.macsales.com sells them. Last I checked $20.00 US for a 10 DVD pack .
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
John.Murray
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 10:33:38 PM »
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Traversing the file system does NOT write to the disc.

Actually thats not entirely correct, bias is an important component, making magnetic recording possible. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_bias

A technique called exchange bias made reliable magnetic disk drives possible in the early 60's.  The presence of bias on the read/write heads absolutely affects the magnetic orientation of the media, serving to reinforce patterns currently present. 

http://www2.hmc.edu/~eckert/research/berk.pdf

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dreed
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 05:41:44 AM »
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Looks like a BluRay format is to be released in the next 6 months:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/storage/display/20130109001541_Ultra_Long_Lasting_Blu_Ray_Optical_Discs_to_Become_Available_This_Spring.html

Finding discs seems easy enough, something to write with them not.
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degrub
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 08:54:19 AM »
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The LG seems to be widely available online. Just search for "m@disc".
Frank
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popnfresh
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 03:46:19 PM »
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Looks like a BluRay format is to be released in the next 6 months:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/storage/display/20130109001541_Ultra_Long_Lasting_Blu_Ray_Optical_Discs_to_Become_Available_This_Spring.html

Finding discs seems easy enough, something to write with them not.

Unlike their DVDs, the Blu-Ray M-DISCs will be able to be written on by any Blu-Ray burner. No special burner required.
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