Archiving Projects-- TAPE vs. DVD

justin gedge jgedge at
Thu Feb 9 16:05:40 MST 2006

Josh Coates wrote:

>>Lets face it- as painfull as some tapes are to read, 
>>you can usually [with a little patience] pull one out 
>>from 10-20 years ago and pull data off it [if it was 
>>written correctly, if the guy who wrote it verified he 
>>had his data on the tape]-- and you can do this 
>>regardless  of wether it was VAX, HP-UX, Sun etc...
>i'm going to go out on a limb here, but i'm going to guess you've never
>/actually/ tried this before...
True statement... I have never /actually/ tried this before.  Oldest 
tapes I've pulled data off of were 4-5 years old... but I know guys who 

One of the guys recommended using GNU version of tar and writing with -z 
[compression].  The ideas is that with the compression- the keys/cksums 
to uncompress data are interleaved w/ the archived data and you can 
verify integrity of data by listing the archive -- [tar -tz].  I use to 
use this on DDS1 tapes, but found issues on the Sun boxes w/ DDS3/4 
tapes.  Sometimes [if I'm trying to really pack data in] I'll create a 
tar file on the system, then use gzip or bzip2 to pack it down- then use 
the standard sun tar command to drop it on tape.  If you can read this 
file off the tape and list it out [gnu]tar -xv[z|j]f, you've got some 
assurance that the tape was written correctly.

Justin Gedge

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