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New disc keeps your lolcats collection safe for a millennia

One of the things that most people don’t consider when they are pouring all of their digital photos and video onto a CD or DVD to save for the future is that optical media has a finite lifespan. In as little as three to five years all those photos safely tucked away on a DVD may be unreadable.

For those needing an optical media to store data or photos for archival purposes that will last much (much, much) longer than the lifespan of conventional DVDs and CDs a new startup company called Cranberry LLC has a new DVD that promises to be usable for 1,000 years called DiamonDisc. The disc uses standard DVD format, which means any old DVD player can read the data on the disc.

The DiamonDisc stores the standard 4.7GB of data that a single layer DVD can store. What allows the new disc media to last so long is that the discs don't use dyes, adhesive layers, or reflective materials that can deteriorate over time. The discs can also stand up to temperatures as high as 176 degrees.

Cranberry gets its claims of 1,000 years of viability from lab tests using the ECMA-379 temperature and humidity testing standards. Whereas the standard DVD has a silver or gold reflective surface, the DiamonDisc is transparent with no reflective layer.

The real catch with these discs is that you need a special DVD burner to be able to author them. The DVD burner needed for writing the special DVDs sells for $4,995 and includes 150 DiamonDiscs. The burner connects to any computer via a USB port. The company will also burn the discs for you for $34.95 for a single disc, $29.95 for two or more, or $149.75 for five discs.

With that price, the DiamonDiscs aren’t going to be that appealing to consumers. However, enterprise and government users may be intrigued in the medium for archival purposes. Cranberry reports that it is in talks with the U.S. Government to use the format for archival purposes.

Joe Beaulaurier, Cranberry's chief marketing officer said, "For the military, there's no heat, light, magnetic waves, or environmental abuse that will have an impact on these discs."

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RE: penny stock
By donjuancarlos on 11/13/2009 2:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
No sir! When one speaks of long term storage, they are talkin about 100+ years. Long-term archiving is a huge deal, and there are many companies/organizations who will be looking into this highly accessible form of long term storage. Think of genealogical societies and libraries that store scans of mountains of books and periodicals. Many are still using microfilm or microfiche, because there has been no long term digital storage to date.

RE: penny stock
By Steve1981 on 11/13/2009 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 3
When one speaks of long term storage, they are talkin about 100+ years...there has been no long term digital storage to date

I'd argue that trying to develop "long term digital storage" misses the whole point of going digital in the first place: the media will inevitably come and go as technology progresses, but the data will persist because you can easily transfer from one medium to another.

RE: penny stock
By tastyratz on 11/13/2009 2:45:31 PM , Rating: 3
like previously mentioned, it would be like archival 8" floppies. who cares if the media lasts 1000 years when you couldn't aquire a drive to read it or a machine to interface with the drive 15 years later.

USB revisions are usually predicated around backwards compatibility. A usb interfacing medium would result in long term viability (you can actually read it years later)
also digital copies can be passed along to newer mediums across the years with 0 degradation. Try saying film can do that. flash drives have life cycles measured in decades of repeated writes. The only benefit to film is you would be able to just leave it alone versus any interaction.

RE: penny stock
By mindless1 on 11/14/2009 11:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between "couldn't acquire" and "not for sale at every Walmart".

You can find 5.25" floppy drives, they just aren't at every PC store nor are they $10 like their successors are/where.

There is another option, plan for hardware survival. Don't use things like lubricants that degrade too substantially within 100 years, and pack away this hardware in temperature/sunlight controlled air-tight packaging. It's not all that far fetched, I relubed a 5.25" floppy drive with synthetic grease and oil and packed it away in a ziplock bag, inside a cardboard box.

It's not that I try to maintain data on 5.25" floppies anymore, but every now and then you come upon someone who needs to access one or see what's on a mystery disc before throwing it out. There's still the issue of mainboard support though, but given enough money to throw at the problem you can hire an engineer to build you something in the future.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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