Saturday, November 14, 2009

Can a DVD last for 1000 years?- Cranberry thinks so.

All of us use DVD discs in one way or the other. I for instance use it as a backup together with my online backups. All of us also use them to burn and watch movies. One thing that these discs have in common like all other storage media is that they have a relatively short lifespan. The longest I've had with a DVD disc has been three and half years, and my drives just would not read them any longer.

However, a startup firm, Cranberry, claims it has invented a DVD disc that can last for a 1000 years. Yes you read right, thousand years. According to the company, "[t]he Cranberry DiamonDisc has no adhesive layers, dye layer or reflective layer to deteriorate. A high-intensity laser physically etches your information into the diamond-like surface of our synthetic stone disc. No other layer is needed.

"The format is the same as any other DVD. We changed only the materials and construction of the physical disc. And the Cranberry DiamonDisc is fully backwards-compatible. This means that it can be read by any DVD player in any computer and is fully platform-independent."

This really sounds great and somewhat interesting to hear. But wait, here's the real thing. The DiamondDisc can be read by standard players, but cannot  be written to. Yes you can only read from it and not write to it with your usual writer. So how do you write on it? Easy, Cranberry does the writing for you. Here read this.

"Specialized hardware is required to etch the diamond-like surface of a Cranberry DiamonDisc. The cost of this hardware puts it out of the reach of most consumers. This is why we’ll need to etch your DiamonDisc for you.

"The process is simple:

        * Purchase your Cranberry DiamonDisc online.
        * Upload your files through the secure online Cranberry File Uploader or send them to Cranberry by mail.
        * Cranberry etches your files onto the DiamonDisc and mails it to your home or office."

Now that's what I call bullsh*t. What if I don't want anyone to see my files? What if they are sensitive company secrets that would have devastating consequences should it fall in the wrong hands? Well you can always buy the DiamondDisc writer for a whooping $4000. That's what I call out of range in an economic crisis. The cost of the DD is $34.95 for a single disc and $29.95 for two or more.

This looks good except that I would not use if I had the chance not only because of the price but would we even be using DVDs in a thousand years' time? You help me answer.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 3 comments


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