Tips and information to solve the dilemma of how to store all those Gigabytes of digitized photographs. Your disks may last 30 years, but what about your player? Review of what is the best technology for now and to last into the future?

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DVD-RAM or DVD-ROM, CD-R or CD-RW? RAID, what is a RAID system?

APEX_DVD player (jpeg)
APEX DVd player

It is safest to stay with international standards that are shared with many key companies. That way you can still find a machine that will accept your disks ten years from now. After all, how many computers today can read 5 inch disks, or 8 inch disks?

We started out with 230 MB MO disks. Too small to hold our files, since each file was about 48 MB.

So we tried out the newest rage in 1996, dual phase disks, 650 MB (Toray and Panasonic). Of course by late 1997 equipment to read these were no longer easy to find.

So in 1997 we tried the Nikon Beluga, direct overwrite system. It was premature technology at that time; we returned the disks and player and got our money back.We then tried the largest storage available in early 1998, the Pinnacle Micro Apex (pictured below ). Wonderful, but costly.

In the meantime, in 2000, it turns out that the 650 MB dual phase drive (PD) system is precisely the forerunner of DVD-RAM technology with over 5 gigs per disk. By complete accident we ended up with disks (our old PD disks) that can now still be read into the next generation.
As soon as DVD-RAM software matures and the price for burners drops, we will review this potential replacement for tried and true CD-R. In the meantime, we are burning CD-R.

We were nervous about burning CD disks into frisbees, but now that CD burner software is idiot proof we have found that, at $1 per blank CD, and only $350 for a burner, that CD-R is the most cost effective for the year 2000.

CD-ROM (jpeg)
If you are not sure what digital imaging storage device(s) you need, then just ask MegaHaus for suggestions. Contact Robert D. Groover, Sales Manager, MegaHaus (Dickinson, TX), tel (281) 534-3919, ext 1086. e-mail

Now, in the new Millennium, we use 8x and 12x CD-R burners. Pinnacle Micro Apex is legacy and has been replaced by Panasonic and other brands of DVD-RAM. We do not recommend Pinnacle Micro Apex any more (they would not even repair our Apex unit).

We lean from experience because we test every kind of storage device. The picture below shows just a portion of the drives attached to Nicholas Hellmuth's work station (DVD-RAM, 8x CD-R, plus hard drives). Any two drives (if they are the same speed and same kind) can be joined to create a RAID system. A RAID system level 0 is twice as fast as the individual drives on their own.





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View in the FLAAR Digital Imaging Technology Center gateway to future reviews of CD-R and related equipment (in development). DVD-RAM gateway of links, tips, information

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lots of links to information on desktop publishing hardware/software,

Last updated April 16, 2000; links added Mar. 2002
Redesigned January 2004
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