DVD Burners for Model Scan Backups

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Vess Irvine, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Vess Irvine

    Vess Irvine New Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    I scan most paper models for private use (reprinting messed up parts; perhaps for future recoloring projects) at a high resolution of 600 dpi. I do this so that aspect ratio corrections of the scanner distortion can be made perfectly in Photoshop.

    With my HP 5400c scanner the current correction is height = 99.9% and width = 99.5%. To print on my HP laserjet in postscript the current correction is height = 99.57%, width = 99.94%. Usually I will only print black and white formers on the laserjet.

    No correction is required for the Epson C82 color inkjet.

    Much fiddling and measuring was required to come up with final ratios. Everyone's scanner and printer will be different depending upon the manufacturing tolerances of optical surfaces.

    Needless to say, the cardstock model files are very large, and offline backup is a must. I scanned the Halinski Yamato and saved this one model in 1.5 gigabytes.

    So I jumped at the acquisition of the new DVD burners that hold 4.5 gigabytes on one disk and perhaps soon 9 gigabytes. I purchased a Cyberhome drive at Best Buy (the cheapest one; this is always a mistake).

    First conclusions are:

    1) Speeds are over-hyped. The drive and disks are rated at write speeds of 8x, but in practice the thing only writes and reads at 2x. It takes almost an hour to write and verify a 4+ gigabyte disk. During that time the computer cannot multitask other jobs like reading e-mail.

    2) Always use "verify" when you create the disks, since write failures occur often and this is unacceptable for backups, whether for hobby or business. My guess is that over half the burned disks fail the verify comparison test and are just thrown away.

    Other then these two points, the new burners are terrific. I am busy transfering all my CD backups (600 megabytes on each disk) to DVD.

    There are issues of longevity of the disks, since nobody really knows how long they will last without degradation (1 year, 5 years, 20 years?). My policy is to read some of the files back into the computer hard disk drive from time to time, just to see that there is not a corruption problem due to chemical failure of the write surface. The chemicals where writing occurs are organic, so I gues they are biodegradable.

    Another plus is that the DVD disks appear to be much more robust then the CD disks, with thick plastic coating on both sides. I could not scratch them with a hobby knife.

    Vess Irvine
    Estes Park, Colorado
  2. Ron

    Ron Member

    Jan 12, 2004
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    Hi Vess,

    Maybe it's the quality of the disks I've purchased but I've found my old dvd
    burner to be more sensitive to scratches and dust. It's a first generation burner so that might explain it. It sure is nice getting 4+ gb of data onto a

  3. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Sep 26, 2005
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    I've gone to a MO Drive (Magneto-Optical) for my backups, and I've also messed around with a server.

    The Xeon 500 servers are coming out on eBay and are very reasonable........I paid 130 bucks for mine. They usually come with RAID and playing around with it I now have 2/42 GB RAID drives.........6 drives per RAIDed drive and I can lose any one of the six using RAID5 and not lose any data stored.

    The drawbacks are that they are larger than standard PCs and much....much louder due to all of the fans.

    But you get almost instant access and with them networked to your PC backing up is much faster then DVD/CD-Roms.

    Anyway just another idea/option for backing up.
  4. Gecko23

    Gecko23 Member

    Feb 4, 2004
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    True, but the real risk to DVDs isn't scratches. The biggest failure mode for DVDs is delamination caused by flexing the disk. Its important to not put DVDs in CD cases for just this reason.