Author Topic: do you still use optical drives?  (Read 3809 times)

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Online coppercone2Topic starter

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do you still use optical drives?
« on: January 10, 2020, 02:08:49 am »
What are your thoughts on optical drives in this day and age?
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 04:32:18 am »
Since they are more reliable than USB Flash, yes.  I can store burned CDs or DVDs in a box for a decade and know that they will still be readable where any common USB Flash device will have died due to lack of retention.  It does not have to be that way but how do you tell which Flash memory devices will hold data for decades and which will not?
 
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Offline hamster_nz

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 05:38:34 am »
Nope. Not for ages. All offline data is on external USB HDDs, and all OS installs via bootable USB stick. .

For everything else there is the Internet...

Have not burnt a CD/DVD in maybe 5 years
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Online coppercone2Topic starter

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 06:37:56 am »
is there a integrity test that can be performed on optical media rather then just relying on hearsay on which storage is best for blu-ray, dvd, etc?

(analog parameter scan)
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 06:41:46 am »
CD-R's are perishable. About 10 years before they have too many bit errors.
 

Offline mansaxel

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:55:37 am »
I do use them, but only occasionally. The WORM nature of CDR is highly desirable when you are dealing with security requirements that mandate a high degree of verification that only reading and no writing takes place later in the chain. This is in situations where a network has been ruled out and we're creating what basically is a high-bandwidth, high-latency sneakernet to computers whose only CD reader is under lock and key.

Personally I keep PATA/SATA DVD burners, a couple Plextor SCSI CD readers  and a few USB floppy drives around, but they are collecting dust. It's much easier to have a usable network-transparent file system[0]. I would like to descend into 5 1/4" floppies (I've got at least one motherboard that is old enough to have a floppy controller) to read off a few remaining backups from my DOS days. I'm not hoping for much success, though.



[ 0 ] : I am running an OpenAFS cell, an enterprise-class network file system that ticks most but not all boxes. It sucks, at times, but still is orders of magnitude less sucky than anything else out there.

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 08:50:07 am »
A finalised burnt DVD or CD (and COPIES) can't be messed with by the OS,
or a confused malware program that nukes any exe file it is unsure or has no clue about  :scared:
..including it's own install exe  :palm:

EDIT: @ blueskull, good to see you back mate  :-+

« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 08:53:14 am by Electro Detective »
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 09:00:37 am »
I use optical media for legacy purposes, being a PC collector.

While cold backups have the advantage of not wearing out drives, I believe in what I like to call the hot potato mentality of data retention. In that, the most reliable data backup system is one that is always monitored, always running, and always ready to be repaired with redundancy. At the end of the day, however, how safe your data is, and what plan you should take to ensure it depends on how much money you have (or want to spend) to keep it safe.

I would *not* call burned media reliable long-term. Besides normal bit rot/disc composition issues that plague any optical format, but are usually avoidable with good quality discs, burned discs, even *-ROM's are made from light sensitive dyes which can and will decompose. Tapes tend to hold up better over time, but even they can loose their magnetism. This being why I believe keeping any data on any media over a long period of time is not a good idea.
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Offline legacy

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 09:05:19 am »
What are your thoughts on optical drives in this day and age?

CDROMs? yes
DVDRAMs? yes
And also MOs.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 09:12:09 am »
The last time I used a CD may be, perhaps, ten years ago or so. But there's one in the CD player in my car, that my wife put there in 2012, and still works... (Louis Armstrong :-+)
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2020, 11:43:21 am »
Yes, because Japanese Anime are sold in Blu-Ray discs.

Exactly. In Japan CD/DVD still is very strong. Most Anime's have BD-ROM releases and it's common for a TankĊbon (book who accumulates chapters released of a single manga title instead of the magazine that includes single chapters of various manga titles) to include a CD audio, being music or a drama CD or even DVD video with a OVA or a OAD episodes not released in the original TV Anime run.

Also common for special editions of games with soundtracks in CD-Audio, and Soundtracks of games being sold also in the same format (very common with Japanese Studio Games, not so much with Western ones). So yes, at least in Japan the CD/DVD/BDRay is not going to go away very soon.

Regarding me, last time I used a CD drive was today. I have a USB CD/DVD and a USB FDD just in case is needed for any reason.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 11:46:36 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 01:32:19 pm »
Last new laptop I bought was in 2002 and the Dell salesdroid tried to talk me into a different model because the C400 didn't have any removable media bays.  I told him that was fine because I never used either.  Since then I've always bought 'refurbished' laptops that were thin and light and don't have any removable media drives.  I have one external dvd/bluray burner for just in case but can't remember the last time I've used it.
So I'm close to two decades without having a cd/dvd drive on any of my systems
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2020, 03:18:49 pm »
Optical drives: rarely these days.

My backups are multiple, mostly on external USB drives and on a NAS I built a few years ago (which has conventional WD HDDs in RAID-5). I occasionally also write backups on DVDs (but very rarely) once in a while for critical stuff. Just in case. Or when I need to share critical data without making it transit through any network.


 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2020, 03:33:08 pm »

BluRay quality still blows away streaming video.

I still have a 6 CD changer in the car, which I feed with CD/RW discs in large quantities. 

I kind of enjoy making CDs, because the "playlist" is not that long, it forces me to be more selective!  - and reminds me of making party tapes in the old days (reel and cassette)...
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2020, 04:14:30 pm »
I have a 500CD music collection. Which I never use anymore. My current car actually has a CD player (in the glove compartment) so I was kinda looking forward to be playing old fashioned discs again. But the noise floir of the setup is several orders of magnitude worse than unacceptable.

So, yeah, no.

Offline David Hess

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2020, 05:03:11 pm »
Nope. Not for ages. All offline data is on external USB HDDs, and all OS installs via bootable USB stick. .

Shelf life for hard drives can be a problem past 5 or 10 years.  Older drives seem to do better.  It is difficult to know which batches of drives will last; some of my old drives have gone 20 years and are still going, some failed or became questionable at 10 years, and some more recent ones, 1TB and larger, failed before 5.  Powered RAID backups where the drives can be scrubbed are a different matter as long as the data can be migrated if necessary.

is there a integrity test that can be performed on optical media rather then just relying on hearsay on which storage is best for blu-ray, dvd, etc?

Some CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives can read back the low level error correction data to show the number of bits corrected inside each sector at each level.  This provides an easy way to compare media from different manufacturers and over time if necessary.  Lower quality recordable disks have a markedly higher error rate when tested this way immediately after burning and at least in my experience, degrade over a period of months to years.

I like DVDs because the recorded layer is sandwiched inside two layers of polycarbonate so should be better protected physically but I may switch to Blu-ray for larger capacity at some point.  Another option is DVD and Blu-ray archival media like M-Disc which uses ablation instead of a dye.

I also include PAR2 files on DVD backups in case the DVD gets damaged which has happened a couple times.

CD-R's are perishable. About 10 years before they have too many bit errors.

I have not had any CD-Rs fail yet which were not initially bad.

And also MOs.

Magneto-optical media was the best for long term data storage.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 05:06:17 pm by David Hess »
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2020, 06:01:30 pm »
CD-R(W), DVD+/-R(W) have/had the exact same problem as the flash drives: some have sucky data retention measured in years, not even a decade. So you need to: A) buy disks/flash drives that specify data retention, B) be able to trust this number.

Storage conditions are important, as well.
 

Offline Veteran68

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 06:40:44 pm »
I still have 2 drawers full of optical media, including double-sided BluRay, and I've kept 2 BD-R/W recorders in my main desktop (I don't buy desktops, I just upgrade mobo/CPU/RAM/video every so often, and keep most of my drives and peripherals). But I don't recall the last time I burned a disc of anything.

I invested pretty heavily in BD-RW media thinking I'd use it for backup, but with magnetic and solid-state drives and cloud storage becoming so prevalent, my interest waned pretty quickly. I have a 20TB NAS appliance on my home network, multiple multi-TB external drives, and terabytes of cloud storage at my fingertips without resorting to manual manipulation of a slow and fairly limited (even at 50G or 100G) storage media. Anything I'd hate to lose is kept in multiple places, so I really have no use for it.

I haven't had a laptop with an optical drive in years. I keep a couple of external USB optical drives (one at home, one at work) just in case I get the odd disc of something I need to install or view, but that's exceedingly rare these days. Again, can't remember the last time I needed one. I never install software or read a manual from disc if I can get it online, because it's almost always newer.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 06:58:42 pm »
So you need to: A) buy disks/flash drives that specify data retention, B) be able to trust this number.

Flash or disk of unusual retention?  I do not think they exist.
 

Offline ferdieCX

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 07:18:52 pm »
I backup closed projects and documents on DVD-RAM + a USB stick devoted only to that.
I still have a MO drive, where I also put another copy of really important things
The Install disk of CentOS is on DVD-RW
CDs are used for music
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2020, 08:30:33 pm »
Since they are more reliable than USB Flash, yes.  I can store burned CDs or DVDs in a box for a decade and know that they will still be readable where any common USB Flash device will have died due to lack of retention.  It does not have to be that way but how do you tell which Flash memory devices will hold data for decades and which will not?
pray tell what brands of media ?

my imation and HP disks start discoloring very badly after 3 to 4 years ... 
i used to have Traxdata gold disks and kodak gold disks. I still have some aroudn that were burned using Kodaks external SCSI single speed burner. Like over 20 yeara ago. those are still perfectly readable.
The newer ones ? total and utter crap. leave one in the sun for a few weeks and it's corrupted. The golden ones did not suffer from that problem.
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Offline Veteran68

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2020, 09:01:42 pm »
Higher quality or "archive" quality discs will survive longer, but all optical media is subject to "bit rot" over time due to degradation of the dyes used. Given an archival scenario where data is written and the media is put away for safekeeping (as opposed to constantly being re-written), I would trust a flash device to survive way longer than any optical media.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2020, 01:14:56 am »
What are your thoughts on optical drives in this day and age?

It would appear that for medical imaging, CD is still the standard (in the USA, or at least near where I am).

I recently had the experience of getting hospital CAT-Scan result to a medical imaging place, they did newer and targeted ultra sound.  Another (not ultra-sound, not CT) was done and it was also CD.  I had to get those back to the doctor.  All exchanges were done via CD.  They have equipment that dump stuff directly on to a CD with patient details printed directly on the CD.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 01:20:39 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2020, 01:50:47 am »
I still use an external one frequently. I buy used CDs and rip them instead of buying digital downloads, it's cheaper and it gives me real, lossless media with no DRM.

I also burn CDs to listen to in one of my cars that has a vintage CD player that I really like, it has a nice clean look that fits in nicely in the '84 car, most head units are flashy and look out of place in an old car.

I use CDs and DVDs as backup media too, once written I know the data will not change or get infected or corrupted as long as the disc holds up. I have some 20+ year old CD-Rs that are still readable although generally I would not trust them to last that long. Realistically a few years is fine, I can copy critical files to new media if I need to.
 

Offline richnormand

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Re: do you still use optical drives?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2020, 02:25:12 am »
Yes.
Include fresh installs for various OS and tools.
Stuff I do not want modified without a trace and "sort of permanent" with write once formatting.
Repair, Renew, Reuse, Recycle, Rebuild, Reduce, Recover, Repurpose, Restore, Refurbish, Recondition, Renovate
 
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