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(I tried to post this earlier today and I don't think it went through.  My 
apologies if it ultimately posts twice.)

Mike,

It looks like my article sparked a lively discussion.  I hope you or anyone 
else didn't take offense to my reply to your reply to my original 
article.  Certainly, no offense was intended.  It seemed at the time like 
you were picking on me.  Perhaps that wasn't the case.  I appreciate the 
information you shared.  After reading the article that Jerry mentioned 
below, as well as other replies, I understand a bit more what your 
perspective was.  For one thing, I didn't realize this list was focused on 
such technical discussions.  I also realize that my article told only part 
of the story.  I understand now that you have to take into account the 
drive, the software, and the handling.  The article Jerry mentioned did say 
that 51% of the failed discs had disc errors.  So, it seems to me that disc 
production quality is still critical.  For my own personal video 
collection, I'm still leaning toward MAM-A Gold.  I might consider Silver, 
but I still like the attention to design and detail that MAM-A brand seems 
to exhibit, most of the time.  Jerry's handling FAQ did say "... longevity 
is usually limited by the cumulative effects of small scratches and 
contaminants that are introduced through normal handling and use."  So, I 
still think scratch protection is an important factor to look for on the 
blanks.

Since the topic of drives and software came up, can anyone recommend some 
quality drives and software that small to medium businesses could generally 
afford for CD and DVD production and testing?

The subject of disc pricing came up in a previous posting.  I admit that, 
in my eagerness to get my website online, I hadn't checked the competition 
as well as I should.  The conservationresources website really does have 
low prices.  Their price for the MAM-A Archive Gold CD-R quantity 50 is $60 
which works out to $1.20  / disc.  I can beat that by about $0.10 / disc 
which works out to $55 / spindle or $1.10 / disc for 700 MB with no 
logo.  I'm NOT going to post that price to my website.  Frankly, it's below 
the manufacturer's Minimum Advertised Price guidelines and I could get in 
trouble if I advertised it.

As much as I hate to admit it, their price on MAM-A DVD's is really 
good.  Their selling price is only about 6% above my cost.  Since my 
transaction overhead is 3-4% with credit card purchase from a web store, I 
would make a 2% margin on the sale, and I don't want to go there.  So, I 
can't beat their DVD price at this time.  I'll have to talk to my 
distributor about that.  If you (or anyone here) are interested in the CD's 
in any quantity or in the DVD's in larger quantity, please contact me 
privately.

Sincerely,

Ron

At 12/7/2006 05:29 PM -0500, you wrote:
 > It is my advice to those seeking personal archives to consider practical
 > issues such as those above before choosing to invest in high-price
 > blanks. MAM-A gold may have better life under ideal conditions than a
 > high-quality silver disc, but if it is not as well written in your
 > drive, the advantage will be lost. At best, the improvement is not
 > enough to take shortcuts in other aspects of good practice; one should
 > still make two masters on different media to be stored separately. In
 > the real world of finite resources, the choice of medium is only one
 > factor in the expected life of an archived disc.
 >
 > Mike
 > --
 > [log in to unmask]
 > http://www.mrichter.com/

Mike is on target as usual. For details, see our white paper on causes of
CD-R failure at http://www.mscience.com/cdrfail.html

Jerry
Media Sciences, Inc.

------------------------------
Ron Frazier  --  P.O. Box 2284  --  Cumming, GA  30028  --  770-205-9422 (O)
Email: rwfrazier AT macdatasecurity DOT com  (replace the AT and DOT by hand)
I am an independent consultant interested in exploring ways to archive data 
over long periods of time.
Recordable DVD's & CD's can fail in 2-5 years.  Don't let that happen to 
YOUR data.
    Get your GOLD Archival Grade DVD's & CD's from 
http://macdatasecurity.com/ today!
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