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These days I find that the amount of information floating about when
working with Genera is somewhat larger than it has been not so long ago.
eg. world sizes starting at 70,000 blocks and application sources often
measuring in the 1,000 to 5,000 record range. Then there is work with
images or color animation, or data logging task for examples.
Life seems to be an unending effort to shoe-horn overflowing data into
some persistant and suitable medium. However, for me, some systems just
do not shape up, such as MacIvory (or Mac) cart tape streamer. Indeed
the old 20 or 40 Mbyte cart tape streamer method seems to be somewhat
There seem to be several obvious media available on which to (a)
transfer software to remote sites (b) do incremental and total backups
and (c) use as dynamic store during development work.
I am not well informed as to what is available, how it performs, what
the price breaks are, what the product or media life expectancies are,
the available s/w support facilities and their quality, ...
I had in mind a table such as:
Device Read Write Random Mbytes Speed Friendly Cost Postable
access range software /Mbyte
Winchester disk yes yes yes ~1000 fast very high no
Standard Cart Tape yes yes no 40 v.slow low low yes
Exabyte cart yes yes no 2000 v.slow low low yes
CD Rom yes no yes 500 slow ? v.low yes
Worm yes once yes ? slow? ? ? ?
Erasible optical yes yes yes 300 ? ? ? ?
Removable disc cart yes yes yes 40 middle as disc ? ?
3 1/2" floppy yes yes yes 1 v.slow OK high yes
But expanded to indicate:
Costs: per drive unit, per cartridge, per megabyte, ...
Shelf life for backups, ruggedness of drive and cartridge, ...
Recyclability (carry from one brand computer (XL, 36xx, Sun, Mac, PC, to another etc)) ...
The available software ..., to access, manage, configure, ...
Compatibility of formats, standards, ...
Being ready for opportunities opened by other folks such as those in multi-media ...
Interfacing - s/w, hardware, ...
The variety of ways in which such media can be used, ...
Suitability for use on standalone machines, 36xx, MacIvory, large sites, ...
And all those things that I have forgotten to ask about.
Any feedback (especially if based upon personal experience) that would
help me and others to plan, take opportunities and invest, would be most