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Old 01-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #46
HarryT
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Unfortunately, some of them do degrade, depending on the chemicals used in the writable layer. Especially badly if they are subject to UV in visible light.
Oh, I agree. Cheap CD-Rs will certainly degrade. But for backup purpose I always buy good quality ones, and haven't yet had any problems. I always store them in the dark - as you say, UV light is a significant source of degradation in the dye that stores the data.

I must correct something I said earlier. It's CDs - not CD-Rs - which should be good for 100+ years lifetime. CDs store the data in the form of physical "pits", which should last virtually indefinitely.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-09-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:25 PM   #47
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Disc rot happens (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot ) but I suspect the seven year CD-R quote is a generally accepted life guarantee, not the guarantee that the disc is then bad. By the way, the most common estimate is 10 years (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-R ).

On pressed CD's, the aluminum layer covering the "pits" is tough but if the disc seal fails typical human environments will eat it away. Gold is supposed to be more archival. Not sure what the best media is right now. I've read good things about DVD data discs.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:48 PM   #48
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Oh, I agree. Cheap CD-Rs will certainly degrade. But for backup purpose I always buy good quality ones, and haven't yet had any problems. I always store them in the dark - as you say, UV light is a significant source of degradation in the dye that stores the data.

I must correct something I said earlier. It's CDs - not CD-Rs - which should be good for 100+ years lifetime. CDs store the data in the form of physical "pits", which should last virtually indefinitely.
I think the question is "what are 'good' CD-R's?".
Paying more for a CD-R, does not necessarily make it better, and so does buying one from a top brand, not make it top reliable.

I've had several CD-R cases, sometimes I'd buy the cheapest 100 pack available, only to find that they got destroyed in 2 years time (mostly due to scratches, or pits in the writable layer; only from being stacked).

Still, in my experience, until today, nothing compares to putting everything on a flash USB stick!
They're expensive, but last a long time, and yet have to get the first one go bad (not from physical abuse like putting it in the microwave, or driving over it with a car).

Though one thing I am noticing, is that even on flash drives, the companies are trying to get smaller dies (put more transistors per square in or mm2). This leads in smaller storage spaces for the electrons, leading to quicker degradation.
I believe the current estimate to retain data of a 2008-2009 flash drive should be between 100 and 140 years. 2012 drives easily could cut that in half, or even by 4x less!
Some companies claimed flash memory to only hold for a good 22 years. I don't really know what to think of it; perhaps that's why we haven't heard much of advances in flash memory as much as in the past; that and the fact that they're working in such small territory, it becomes increasingly difficult to go smaller.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #49
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I admit to being quite a fan of USB sticks too... Have quite a collection of them but talking about "old" stuff reminds me that when I had a the mother of all clear outs over the summer, I found a 16MB (!) SD card from god-knows-when lurking at the back of a drawer and some floppies too
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #50
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May I know how long it takes to get an estimate from the time you start your first book?

Also, is the reading speed universal for all books? Lets say I get a time left for reading book A. Will the same reading speed be used to calculate time left for book B too?
1. Mine is calibrated after just a few page turns while reading.

2. Yes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #51
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I believe the current estimate to retain data of a 2008-2009 flash drive should be between 100 and 140 years.
Unfortunately, you have little chance that in 100 years you will be able to find a computer with a compatible USB port that can still read the filesystem on your drive! Logical degradation rather than physical.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:43 PM   #52
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There are "archive quality" or "gold dye" cd-Rs that claim a 100 year storage security.

Of course, it is a bit early to tell whether that is true :-)

I personally at some time stopped backing up my digital images in 50-images-per-disc batches because it took too long and moved to multiple hard drives instead.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:29 AM   #53
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I currently have 2 x 1TB drives as a backup of a backup, and 1x 3TB drive as my main backup.
Sometimes both the backup, and the backup of the backup go bad.

My important info is on a flash drive. I keep nothing on SD cards; they're too unreliable.
I've had one erased (or corrupted) from passing the metal detectors in the airport.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #54
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But SD cards are just one form of flash memory. They have different controllers but I believe the semiconductor construction is the same. Whatever else you are using is just as likely (or unlikely) to be corrupted by metal detectors in the powered-off state, isn't it?

I have read there is huge variance in the resulting quality of flash memory. Some cells go bad after only a few thousand write/read cycles. It depends on the fabrication processes used (some manufactures are better than others). Recent research is pointing toward extending flash lifespan by adding a microscopic heater circuit. Exciting times!
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #55
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Well, I did it <gulp> I just ordered my Paperwhite. I'm nervous about the screen quality; I get it on Tuesday, so we'll see whether I get a good one or whether I start to play kindle return roulette.

The husband of one of my best friends got one for Christmas, and as far as I can tell, the screen is perfect.

<fingers crossed>
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:52 PM   #56
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Well, I did it <gulp> I just ordered my Paperwhite. I'm nervous about the screen quality; I get it on Tuesday, so we'll see whether I get a good one or whether I start to play kindle return roulette.

The husband of one of my best friends got one for Christmas, and as far as I can tell, the screen is perfect.

<fingers crossed>
When I read this, I looked down at my PW. It is such a pleasure to read on! I hope that you get the same joy out of yours.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:33 PM   #57
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I'm having the worst time deciding on a cover...
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #58
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I'm having the worst time deciding on a cover...
Get the official one if you can afford it. It's really nice and well worth it. It makes the Kindle feel like a book.

Congrats on your Kindle! I love mine. And it's really easy to add Fonts to. I now have my beloved Amasis back and I couldn't love the PW more. I haven't touched another Kindle since getting this one.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #59
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Trouble is, I didn't like any of the "official" colors. My artist daughter is going to steampunk the cover for me, so I wanted a brown, and all Amazon offers is a light tan.

I'm looking forward to playing with fonts, and to adding the collections manager to it.

now... if only someone would create a notepad app for it, I'd be delighted.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #60
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Get the official one if you can afford it. It's really nice and well worth it. It makes the Kindle feel like a book.

Congrats on your Kindle! I love mine. And it's really easy to add Fonts to. I now have my beloved Amasis back and I couldn't love the PW more. I haven't touched another Kindle since getting this one.
I know I have neglected my SGP5 and my KFHD somewhat. Since I got a new replacement KFHD I need to read on that more. I read on both the KFHD and PW at night. Good thing I suffer from insomnia.

Though I love Helvetica font it is nice and dark I can see that fine on the PW.

I am glad you love your PW Blossom. and everyone. It is great isn't it? Especially with the ads gone, and with the Amazon cover magnet, open and start reading.
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