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Author: JeanDavid Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 190058  
Subject: Re: Backups for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Date: 1/12/2013 11:04 AM
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I read all the posts... got a bit lost in the middle... but if space is the ISSUE then why not get the bank to get you a BIGGER safty deposit box......

I suppose that is an option. I already upsized my safety deposit box once to have room for 12 tapes in addition to all my Berkshire Hathaway Class A stock certificates, my 100 ounce gold bars, my deeds to my properties in Monaco, Greek Islands, Switzerland, and various tax havens here and there, and other stuff. Mostly kidding. I suppose there would be room for a dozen WD Passports in the next larger box for more money.

usb sticks do not appeal to me yet. Maybe once they have been in use 10 years or so, I might trust them for long-term storage. I am not even sure about writeable CD-ROMs yet, although the recent ones are much much better than the earlier ones.

I wonder about a lot of long-term storage media. Writing with suitable inks on suitable (archival) paper has stood the test of time. Storage on magnetic media works fairly well, though as the technology changes, compatibility problems arise. You cannot read 7-track magnetic tape anymore: no drives. And people lost a lot of data that way because they did not think to copy them to 9-track. I do not suppose there are 9-track tapes any more either, but do not care to research it.

Now storing data as a charge in a capacitor, which is what these usb sticks actually do, is scary to me. It is amazing to me that they work for more than a few seconds. Back when DRAMs first came out, they had to be refreshed every few milliseconds or they would forget. The time between refresh has no doubt increased over the last 20 or 30 years, but it is not infinite unless they use ferroelectric dielectrics in the chips, and I do not think they do. In any case, ferroelectric materials are usually too slow.
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