Author Archives: Fred Langa

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.

Drive Errors (Fred’s Take)

This started normally, with a question from
a reader:Fred: I am a long time subscriber, first to the free edition and
then to the Plus! Edition when it started up….

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Drive Errors (Steve Gibson’s Take)

(continued from previous item)

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The WMF Security Flap

Steve Gibson figures in this item, too; he alluded to it
in his reply, above.

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Simple Trick

Hi Fred, I needed a reminder of when I did my last backup (I do a clone every week or so) –
Created a shortcut (no target needed) named it "Last cloned 12/10/2005". Every
time I do a clone I just rename the icon to the current date. Very convenient,
no additional  software like ‘sticky notes’ or ‘reminders’ is needed.

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More On Storage Media Life

Fred: Your article CD/DVD/Flash Shelf Life (

http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-01-16.htm#9 ) mentioned
someone who said that magnetic tape has a shelf life of 30-100 years.
Technically, I think that’s correct but you should caution your readers that
you can only achieve that life by correctly caring for the tape. As I
understand it, if you save your data on a tape & then just stick it on a
shelf-like the ‘expert’ assumed that people do with CD’s-then you get a tape
life of 5-10 years. After that magnetic drift starts degrading the tape.

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CD/DVD/Flash Shelf Life?

In a recent article at "PCWorld.com", Kurt Gerecke, a
physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland, stated that the best storage
media for long-term was magnetic tape, with a life span of 30 to 100 years.  He
also mentioned that CD and DVD storage was usually good for only a couple of
years, 5 at the best.  Hard drives, he stated, have limitations based on the
quality of their disk bearing.

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