Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,089
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    For those of you who are considering the move into the new multi-format DVD writers, I found a heck of a deal on the Plextor PX-708A at Unity Electronics. These are manufacturer's refurb units with a 90 day warranty, and this particular writer is consistently rated among the top - if not the top - among the current crop. I'm eagerly awaiting mine!
    -Mark

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    Philosophical question:

    Why do backup devices historically always have less capacity than the hard disks they back up? How many 4.7 GB DVDs would you need to back up the average hard disk now? This phenomenon has been true all the way back to 5
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,089
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    Good question, and one that I have no pat answer for. In fact, my primary reason for this purchase was exactly that: backups. I use a second hard drive for regular backups, and then off to optical for off-site retention. For that matter, just getting the data out of the case where it lives is a huge plus.

    The other gripe I have about backup devices is that they are so slooooooooow in comparison to the source. Lord knows we could use a more efficient means of backing up 100+ gigabytes worth of information.
    -Mark

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    I agree - hard drive prices have dropped so much, to me the best back up device is an image put on another hard drive. And with removeable/mobile racks, it is very easy swap in drives and put an image on there.

    As easy as that is, I am still lax in performing regular backups. But what I do do often is back up my critical stuff, My Documents folder, My Download folder, my .pst (Email)file and my password safe encrypted data file. And I do that by dragging it across my home network to another computer down in the basement in another part of the house.

    I keep ALL my "generated" data, that is docs, taxes, pictures, music, work projects, etc. in various subfolders under My Documents. I avoid installing from the web, instead I download drivers, updates, and other programs and put them in a central place under My Downloads - which allows me to scan for viruses before unzipping and installing. That leaves just 2 folders to copy and I have 99% of the more than 10 years of data backed up, Pull over my PST and my password data base and I'm covered.

    I have been using this setup for years and it has made it easy for me to upgrade to new computer several times - thus starting out with a fresh install of the OS - instead of trash leaving upgrades - and yet keep years worth of data easily accessable.

    Note that my strategy might be different if I did not have high speed broadband access to the Internet that allows tolerable speeds for all the Windows and Office upgrades, patches, etc. - but then I'll never go with broadband again. However, even without broadband, I'm still have 100mb network in the house for all my data file backups.

    And of course, if my whole house burns down, I'm only as good as my last imaged drive, in my safe deposit box at the bank!

    One more thing, I also use RAID1 in my system - I take a small performance hit because with RAID1, you are writing to two disks at once. Each drive containing an exact copy of the other. On reads, there is minimal impact (with newer RAID controllers anyway) - in any case, we are talking milliseconds. 8MB buffered drives virtually eliminate any noticable delays. The big disadvantage is that you lose half your total disk space. That is, if you have two 80Gb drives in RAID1, your system sees only one 80Gb drive. But, if one drive goes bad, the system yells at you, you pull out the bad drive, slap in a new identical or bigger drive, and the system immediately starts repairing the RAID array by duplicating the image onto the new drive - I have had to do this once when the bearing froze on a 1 month old drive - and it worked.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  5. #5
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    Bill

    I've got a RAID-1 setup also on my newish Dell 8300, and one disk "apparently" failed but the other one carried on quite merrily. I say "apparently" because after a few power-ups where the array wasn't well, it seemed to recover and returned to being "optimal". Dell sent me a new hard disk anyway, and all the data got copied from the other drive on command, and all has been well for a few weeks.

    The only downside to RAID-1 is that there are more things to go wrong -- but IF they go wrong, there are easier get-outs... Of course, if the controller card fails, then unhappiness occurs.

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: A steal of a deal on DVD-RW!

    Great! Glad it actually worked like it was suppose to.

    <hr>The only downside to RAID-1 is that there are more things to go wrong -- but IF they go wrong, there are easier get-outs... Of course, if the controller card fails, then unhappiness occurs.<hr>
    Actually, that applies whether you use RAID0 too, not just RAID1. The problem with RAID0 is if you lose one drive, your data is gone too - not worth it to me. I just don't see the need for a most PCs to use RAID0 (Stripping), unless it was used just for games. Although I am sure the speed advantage might even be noticeable, and you don't lose half your drive capacity, I'll go for the redundancy. Fault tolerance is not a bad thing. If Iwant performance, I'll take it with fault tolerance and buy a 3rd or more drives and move to a higher level of RAID, at least RAID0/1 - an acceptable compromise. Drives are getting pretty cheap.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •