breaking the records - part 2
Well, the deed is done. Mostly.
The new ASUS optical drive I bought runs like a champ and is surprisingly quiet. The Verbatim DVD+R media also works very well and lives up to its name - but the true test is how it will perform in a year. More on that in a moment.
Towards the end up my archiving/disc-destroying rampage, the last remaining discs (about 15 or so) are in readable condition so I saved those to be read, archived and destroyed later.
You may be wondering just how screwed up the old discs I owned actually were. Words can do them no justice, but those suckers were almost over a decade old, scratched, pitted, scuffed, bits missing from the data side, scored, you name it, it was there. By some miraculous intervention they've been able to survive all this time, that is until I finally destroyed them after archiving what I could.
Why were they so damaged? Because they were moved around so much over the course of a decade. You really have to let that sink in for a moment. Ten years. And when I say moved I don't mean from one room to the other. I mean through several states covering thousands of miles.
Why didn't I do this stuff sooner?
Several factors were involved with this, but the main one was "I'll get to it when I get to it". Well, that time finally came. Optical drives were cheap enough as was the media, so I finally committed to getting rid of all those old discs and archiving the data properly this time.
Lasting media and the future
I believe my optical media will last because I have a much different approach to it these days. As I said above, I am archiving to optical properly this time around. Right drive, right media.
I don't expect the discs to last forever, obviously - and this is where cloud storage comes in. I'm pretty sure well before 2015 there will be some company that's going to offer 50GB of free storage with no preset file size limits. Currently there's Skydrive with a free 25GB, but there's a 50MB cap for each file uploaded. I could split the files with RAR or 7-Zip easily to post stuff there, but that's too much of an annoyance to deal with. I want to just upload and go without worrying about running over any limits.
Would I trust the cloud exclusively? Obviously not; I would still keep local copies - but I do expect there to be something free either in a 50GB or greater offering eventually. When it becomes available, I will use it.
The reason I'm so confident that big free storage will be available in the cloud is because companies want us to store our crap out there. In fact they'd love it if we never used local storage and exclusively trusted them with all our stuff. I'd never do that if I had the choice, but that's what web companies want us to do so we use them for everything and become dependent on their existence. I will use whatever they offer, but I will also purposely have an 'out', that being my local copies of my stuff.
No more crappy discs
I threw away so many junk discs that it's actually weird not having them. I always kept a "one step away from the trash but will archive someday" pile, but now that pile is gone. Well, almost. Like I said, I have a few remaining discs, but all the seriously-screwed-up ones are in the trash.
All of this was way, way overdue but I'm happy I was able to archive all the important stuff before it was lost. I've lost important stuff before and it always sucks when that happens. It's not "just data" no matter what anyone says.