What about those writing CD drives I hear about.
Are those good for backing up?
They have the fancy name of re-writeable CD drive or CD-RW for short.
They have impressive features. A
CD-RW holds about 650 megabytes of information.
Compared with a Zip drives that hold 100 or 250 megabytes, a CD holds a
lot more. CDs have an advantage in
that they can be read on most CD drives and most computers have one, so it’s
easy to make a transfer.
re-writeable drives offer a lot of possibilities for creating disks, here are
just a few:
these many possibilities lead inevitably to a certain amount of complexity.
To start with, there are two kinds of disks: CD-R and CD-RW.
The CD-R records one time only. It
can record again if there’s room, but once it’s full, there’s no deleting
or re-writing. CD-RWs can record
and re-write again over the same space. The
CD-R is more “stable” which means that it is more likely to be perfectly
readable at some point in the future than a CD-RW disk.
Both disks are inexpensive - $1-2 for CD-R and $2-4 for CD-RW.
The CD-R formats quickly; the CD-RW can take 15-35 minutes to format.
kind of disk can have different formats for data or music.
You get the picture that there are a lot choices and that makes it a bit
hard to find your way to do the things that you want to do.
The CD-RW drives tend to be a bit fussy and require some patience and
occasionally rebooting your machine to make the drive happy.
far as using a CD-RW drive for backup goes, I would definitely use a tape backup
for a business or network setup as it is more reliable and can be automated to
run at night. The hardest part of
backup is actually doing it, so the more automatic the process, the more likely
the backup will be done. For a home
system, small business, or as an auxiliary backup, a CD-RW drive is a good
choice, but you need to make sure you know exactly how to backup the files you
need. Use 3-5 disks and rotate them
so you always have several backups. Get
plenty of disks, multiple copies are the best solution to the “stability”
you’re in the market for a new PC, definitely get a CD-RW drive built in.
They’re not that much more than a regular CD drive.
If you’re not in the market for a new machine, and all these copying
possibilities intrigue you, you can get an internal or external model for your
existing PC. There are several
different speeds shown in this kind of format: 12x8x32.
The first number is the “record” speed on the drive.
The middle number is the “re-write” speed.
The last number is the “read” speed.
you have a computer question you would like answered in this space, send it to
past columns of Tips from Tonna, check out the web site: www.computer-lynx.com.
Kutner, Computer LYNX, works with companies to list and develop their web sites. Phone (206) 575-3979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Tonna’s website at www.computer-lynx.com.
in "Verve" - February 2001. Copyright Tonna Kutner