[rescue] Floppy disks and lifespans

Justin Haynes justin at justinhaynes.com
Thu May 1 23:35:48 CDT 2014

I have not been able to find information on this and I expect it may be
difficult to do so.  Like most commodity hardware or media, we see it get
more and more inexpensive and we see lower quality options come out the
longer a technology is on the market.

I remember floppy disks from the 80s lasting much longer than floppy disks
from the 90s, but I don't ahve any written proof or anything other than
anecdotal information to support any of this.

I'm wondering if any of you have any hard data on the quality of media over
time, such as floppies and CDROMS.  Not a terribly important question I'll
admit but one I have always been curious about.  Plenty of my old C64 disks
still worked the last time I used them and they were almost 30 years old at
the time.  that's both the 5 1/4 180K per side ones and the 800k double
sided..  I have found PC disks from the 90s that were completely unusuable
and had been stored in the same place and under the same conditions.
Information density may be part of the reason for that.

Along the same lines - are there any tips for storing bits for a longer
period of time on tape?  Are there any tapes you have found to be more
reliable or last longer?  I understand no media is infallible.

Thanks in advance.

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