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Re: [BKARTS] printing for eternity

DT Fletcher wrote:

Of course it's a myth, otherwise there wouldn't be so many people absolutely convinced of it. The truth is rarely as interesting as the myth.

I very politely beg to differ.

In anycase, MOLD on a CD!

I live in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico on an island in the lagoon formed by the main island of Cancun, to which it is connected by a causeway. Parts of the island are below sea level. The water table is about twelve inches below ground level. It is humid here, folks. I can see jungled islets from my living room window. When the wind comes from the west, we smell the dense jungles that are only a few miles from here on the mainland. It's a great smell, but it's the smell of molds and spores and decomposing vegetation.

Did it have a paper label?


Here's a tip: Few means of retaining data are going to hold up for any length of time in an enviroment where mold is growing. So, don't store your CDs, or anything else you want to keep, in a moldy enviroment.

The choice is to set up a dehumidified storage system or move to Arizona, neither of which are feasible. Electricity is very costly here. We try to use our airconditioner only during the hottest time of day. I really don't want to add yet another electrical apparatus, especially one that will be running 24/7.

I could make a hermetically sealed storage box and use silica absorbent
material. Then I'd have to dry the silica out periodically in the oven.
We don't use the oven in the hot times of year, so that would mean
getting up at dawn, I guess, and living with some extra heat in the
morning on certain days.

What's next? Hey, my CD lost it's data after I set it on fire! Get real people.

This is the real world, Dean. It's not always feasible to control one's environment. CDs are relatively stable under controlled conditions within a certain range of temperature and humidity. Data loss is a fact of life with any storage medium even under ideal conditions. It can be avoided up to a point, depending on real world considerations. CDs are designed to work in what would be considered a laboratory environment here.

Engineers know very well that all systems will eventually be subjected
to high stress situations. That's why they typically use various rules
of thumb to compensate for unpredictable stresses. There are different
grades of CDs. People like me who live in high stress climates should
use the highest grades of CD and take all practical measures to keep
them dust free, such as keeping them in protective cases and cleaning
them regularly, and also maintain multiple back-ups of critical data.

If you think I am outrageously atypical, I suggest you consider how many
people are living in the coastal regions of the American Southeast
alone. You might also try to estimate the ambient temperatures and
humidity levels in artificially heated spaces during the winter months
elsewhere. We don't all work in well-controlled environments. They are
an artificial world. The real world is very different. Moreover, from an
engineering perspective, it is probable that all controlled environments
will fail at some point in their existences. All media are thus always
at risk of data loss.

Eternity implies infinite time. Given infinity, everything that can
happen will happen. Therefore we can only expect media to be relatively
long-lasting. Printing for eternity is a moving target with no chance at
all of perfect success.

-- JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1764 77501-Cancun Q. Roo Mexico http://www.cafecancun.com/bookarts/robot.htm

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