08 June 2006

Make Your Memories Last

I sent an email to the Star's editor regarding the propaganda article (see previous post). In it, I offered three simple tips to make your photo CDs last much, much longer. I will repeat them here, in more detail.

1. Spend a bit more on higher-quality blank CDs from reputable manufacturers:
Or perhaps I should advise the inverse: Don't rely on blank CDs that cost less than RM1 per disc. Those things just don't last like they should. Instead, spend RM3-5 to get a better quality CD from 'famous' brands like Verbatim, Sony, and Kodak. One caveat though: just because you spend a lot doesn't mean the disc is good. I can't really recommend a brand but some are worth it, while others are not.

2. Burn two copies: one for storage and one for sharing or frequent use:
This makes perfect sense, doesn't it? If something is so precious, make a backup copy! After all, it only costs several ringgit more. Most CDs are wrecked due to: "wear and tear", scratching, and direct exposure to the elements. NOT because of viruses as purported by Jeffrey. Which brings me to the final point...

3. Store the backup copy in a dark, dry, and cool place:
You don't need a fine control over temperature to preserve CDs for a long time. Just stowing it at the back of a cabinet is more than adequate. This may seem a little tedious, but bear in mind that you are advised to store your normal photographs this way as well.

Any other tips to add?

11 comments:

William said...

My goodness. That was you? I read that.

Storage tip #4: Dump those cheap plastic jewel cases and put CD-Rs in folders.

ZemieN said...

Huh? So they actually published it? When was it?

The original e-mail I sent was:

While the main point of the article is true - stored digital images
indeed won't last forever - the campaign organised by the Federation
sounds more like a propaganda campaign employing scare tactics. This
is particularly obvious with Jeffrey's claim:

"One customer stored all digital images of her two-year-old child
since his birth in a compact disc without making any prints. When her
computer was infected, she lost everything."

Data burned onto compact discs are permanent. There's no way to
completely erase what was already in there. The CD could have been
damaged due to other causes, but a virus infection is very unlikely to
be it.

If taken care of, digital images can last as long as printed
photographs. Plus, there'll be no loss of colour while only taking up
a fraction of the space. Jeffrey's claim that preserving CDs are a
tedious process is also unfounded. There are many simple measures that
can be taken to preserve CDs:

- Spend a bit more on higher quality blank CDs from reputable manufacturers
- Burn two copies. One for storage and another for sharing or frequent use
- Keep the backup disc in a dark, cool, and dry place. Be especially
wary of direct sunlight and heat.

The third point might seem tedious, but bear in mind that it is also
what you need to do to preserve your normal photographs. So if given a
choice between digital storage and photographs, I will still go
digital.


I doubt they printed it in full. What I'm interested is, did they include the part I described the whole campaign as a propaganda?

Innocent^^Guy said...

I got one more tip to add. Dun buy sony products for storage. They are alwis problematic to me. Their floopy disk is one of the lamest followed by their cdrs then thumb drive. :P

Skyler said...

Whoaa, that was you? I read that.

And yeah, the post before this one still has no comment thingy

ZemieN said...

Why does everyone happen to read it except me?

And no one answered me yet - did they print my email in full?

William said...

FYI, they edited it (for brevity and flow, hahaha). I know that they threw out the stuff regarding certain brands. As for the propaganda bit, I don't think so. I'll look for the article. Should be just one or two days after the original article. I'll scan it for you if I find it.

William said...

@inno: IMHO, Sony products are very sensitive. But I still love their TVs.

joshua said...

Ooo finally I learnt something useful from reading ur blog.

Hehe, kidding...

Innocent^^Guy said...

yes william. I am a sony ericsson user and I love their products. That's y i mention 'sony storage products' just as to not kill of their users for their other products..hehe

Harvey said...

So far I haven't got a faulty cd. Maybe because I haven't even checked those old CDs which are collecting dusts in the corner. Might I suggest uploading your important photos to a website like photobucket too? That way all you need to do is remember the username and password to the account.

ZemieN said...

Harvey: Yes, the Web is such a popular place to backup your data. With online storage being practically free, it is tempting. But it has its risks: what if you permanently lost your password? Or someone hacked into it and stole all the passwords?

Highly unlikely, but just remember there are risks with every option. That's why, for important photos:

1. Print
2. Burn CD (three of them)
3. Upload to online storage
4. Attach to email and email yourself

I guess that about covers it.