Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


The data in your computer is like money in the bank. If you have it, you have it. If you don’t, it can be very hard to get.

As people race to understand and tackle the "Year 2000 millennium bug" dilemma, uncertainty surrounds the levels of readiness needed to deal with Y2K problems.

If you still haven’t made arrangements to protect your PC system from the Y2K threat, there are methods to protect your important files and system applications – and most start with a reliable back-up system.

Choosing a reliable backup system will ensure that your files and records are saved under any circumstances, allowing you to face the new millennium worry free.

When selecting a back-up system for your computer, the key factors are the amount of data you need to back up and how quickly you want the task completed.

Writing and storing up to 650 MB of data (equivalent to 20 four-drawer file cabinets or 74 minutes of high-quality digital audio recording) on non-erasable CD-Recordable (CD-R) media offers an easy, inexpensive solution. CD-R discs cost as little as $1 each or fifteen-hundredths of a cent per megabyte, while other high-capacity storage options can be considerably more expensive. To record a full 650 MB disc takes from as few as nine minutes to 37 minutes, depending on the speed of the drive. CD-R discs can also be read in any CD-ROM reader, which gives them a major advantage over other media, since a quarter-billion CD-ROM drives are installed on the vast majority of all PCs today. You can write a CD-R disc with either a CD-R drive or a CD-RW drive.

Another option to consider is CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) media, which offers advantages similar to CD-R, but also adds the ability to reuse the discs. Capable of being recorded thousands of times, CD-RW discs cost $2-$4 each.

CD-R and CD-RW clearly meet the demand for cost-effective data storage capabilities, but perhaps the best thing about CD media is its widespread compatibility, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA.org). Designed to protect the consumer, the MultiRead specification created by OSTA enables all classes of CD discs (CD-Audio, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW) to be read on current and future CD and DVD devices. Because of this compatibility, CD-R and CD-RW discs have become ideal sharing media, which means you can be assured that you can recover your valuable files from virtually any CD drive should the Y2K bug bite.

Not only are CD-R and CD-RW optimal choices for Y2K backup, they also offer other applications and benefits for users. Not limited to a few specialized applications, recordable CD can also be used to distribute and retrieve analog, digital, audio, video, text and graphic information.
As writable DVD hits the market, it will offer the added benefit of high-capacity, but for now, CD-R and CD-RW are the sensible selections for Y2K back-up because of widespread compatibility with both CD and DVD drives.

Optical storage is an affordable and viable option for backing up your system. When the Y2K bug hits, it can affect just about any aspect of a PC, including its operating system, software applications and hardware. Don’t wait until the year 2000 to find out if you are affected by the Y2K problem. Prepare for the unexpected and plan for a smooth recovery – back up your system regularly as you approach the end of the year.
For more information on optical storage, please visit OSTA’s web site at www.osta.org.

OSTA Background

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of writable optical technologies and products for storage of computer data. The organization’s membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 85 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. They work to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of CD/DVD, file interchange, market development, magneto-optical and planning committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at 805/963-3853 or by addressing its Web site at www.osta.org.

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