Gently Rotting Away

GOd, how I hate to have a cold. Especially when I have a week off and the weather is nice – now, at the beginning of November, we have the golden & warm days one expects in “golden October”, or Indian summer. I feel weak and start to feel cold when I go to the letterbox … So I did not yet take care for my radio, maybe tomorrow, but I took some pictures of stuff I found.
There was a time, possibly in the late eighties or the nineties or so, when we used to buy and use compact disks like … I don’t know. All of a sudden they were everywhere, cheap and affordable, used for storage, send around, replacing what was before them, the floppy disks, the short-lived zip-thingy. CDs came in small boxes or on a spindle. And while clearing out my stuff here I found one of these old spindles with some cds still on it. This object must be at least fifteen years old. The cds were never used, they simply aged. The spindle was not kept in the dark, but also not intentionally put into the sunlight, it just lingered on, as such things sometimes do.


Dusty CD-Spindle-Box Seen From Above
Dusty CD-Spindle-Box Seen From Above


I think the plastic thing once was transparent. If one removes it, this is what you see :


Reddish-Brown CD On Top
First CD On Top, Reddish-Brown


The CD on top – there are seven in total – did clearly change colour. I have not put it into a cd-drive, hence can not say whether it is usable. The whole thing is put on a normal, run-of-the-mill white paper as it is used in uncountable numbers in the bureaus of the world. I did not take care for the colours to be corrected & rectified, this is just meant to give you an impression.
Here you see six of the seven cds (I did not unpack the last one), in their succession as they were on saied spindle.


All CDs, sharp


Here is a different version, just the flash-setting changed ; a little longer exposure, hence not sharp.


ALL CDs, not so sharp


The second is golden-yellow over the whole surface, while numbers three & four only start to stain darkly from the outside inwards, as does the first TDK. Interestingly the two remaining cds, the one seen on the right down and the one not shown (directly under this one), have changed their surfaces uniformly, without a major yellow strip on the outside, the same way the second “Soennecken” did.
So … if you have boxes of compact disks with photographs and other data stored, never looked after, ach – was soll denn schon passieren ? What can happen is that your cds are gently rotting away. A safety copy now & then could be a good idea. And if you are at it, try whether you can still open the files with your actual programs, there was also  some change over the years.

23 thoughts on “Gently Rotting Away

  1. A couple of years ago, while having a “tidy fit” I cleared out a very deep drawer…at the bottom were some floppy discs, probably 20 years old. I “donated ” them to the garbage man…
    And this reminds me that I must delete some files from an external hard drive…

  2. I still have some floppys, small ones and large ones (3s & 5s). A friend once was taking apart a computer and gave me drives (hardware), and I still have two towers here with in-built drives for them (and a zip-thingy I think). I can not get meself to throw them away Dinahmow – there is so much stuff on them … Someone with a bit of technical understanding could re-built such a machine, and I can not believe that this is something absolutely useless.
    It is necessary to keep things in order on external hard-drives, there are tons of garbage accumulating : Everyone is her or his own archivist ! (There are some hundreds of pictures I should get rid of …) Once a year, usually in December, I go through the computer I use, to sort, to delete … emails, letters, stuff … one can not drag it all further and further.

    “Error 522, host down : Connection timed out.”
    There is definitely something wrong with “viewpure”, LX.
    The screen that comes up says “browser working”, “cloud thingy working”, “host down” : Perhaps they are facing more traffic than they are prepared for …

  3. Goodness, this is really ” erase *.* “.
    Is he Scottish ? He warns for ozone and x-rays … Eventually a slightly bit over the top, perhaps ? An old-fashioned shredder could also do the job ? Or let’s just use them for Tontaubenschießen, 12/76 should do …

  4. Not Scottish. I think it is some regional English accent that I do not know. Perhaps one of the English readers can identify. Miss Scarlet?

    Nice Frankonian shotgun!

  5. I lost two books I was writing because they were stored on floppy disks. Sigh. I couldn’t be bothered to all that research all over again.

    Most people I know store their photos on CDs instead of making physical prints. I’m sure they’ll regret it someday.

    Rest and get well soon.

  6. Scarlet’s a bit busy looking for those miscreants…I can tell you! ‘e’s a bleedin’ cockney! Like wot I am.
    Now you are confused, aren’t you? My passport says I’m a New Zealander, I live in Australia and my mother was Danish/Swedish, my father was English. But for some strange reason, I spoke wiv a cockney accent when I was little.

  7. There is nowhere on my new computer to insert a CD. I have an external CD player, of course, but it feels as if something is missing. But then, I remember when I saw a cassette player for the first time, in around 1970, the first floppy disk … it’s all rather ageing.

    I hope your cold goes soon. I had one briefly a couple of weeks ago, but refused to believe it and it went away.

  8. Aww this is so annoying when one looses texts, data – work ! – because of a technical mishap or defect ! I once lost a whole database with literature I had read and worked through. “Screatch” and there you are …
    The physical prints you mention, dearest Mistress – I do not want to “spit in your coffee”, but if these are prints, not photo prints (“Fotoabzüge”) on proper photographic material, they will fade, faster or slower, but they will react with air & light. The modern papers should be no problem, but the chemicals on the image surface will react – remember the famous red cast (“Rotstich”) on colour photos from the sixties onwards. In the end only time will tell.

    I had to google “neti pot”, dear Norma, it was unknown to me. I thought it would be some Asian vegetable soup or something. I drink water, additionally freshly pressed juice, and swear on the healing powers of a hot bath : The Romans were right. A nation that brought wine here, can’t be wrong !

    Thank you for the explanation Dinahmow – the un-experienced ear needs a bit training.
    I have no clue about cockneys and where they come from or where they live. I only vaguely remember a kind of documentary from some years ago, “Cockneys versus Zombies” or so …

    Yes, I also use an external cd-drive. It is incredible how much of technical change we saw over the last humpf-ty years.
    Thank you, but I’m sorry, Z – the un-invited guest can’t be ignored, I have to deal with the intruder & he has to leave me fast.

  9. The 100% authentic Cockney should, apparently, be born within earshot of the great church bell at Bow, in London. But these days anyone who speaks with that (London) accent is called a Cockney. So, technically, I don’t qualify, but I do tend to slide back into that speech when I’m there.

  10. I read somewhere that the Aussie accent would be the result of the early settler’s heavy drinking – they seemingly were tight all the time. Must look for the source.

  11. I can assure you, Hoppelschaum dearest, that my personal decay has slowed down. It has still not reversed into active blooming, but I feel better. And a walk to the superette does not leave me totally exhausted. Only a little bit.
    Yes, all this electronical stuff will vanish, leaving use- & sense-less gobblegargle behind – so no real change there.
    BTW here is the link to the article about the development of the Aussie-slang – cheerio, mate … hips

  12. He’ll have bottle caps dangling from his hat and Forster’s for breakfast, dear Hoppelschaum !

    Sorry to disappoint you IDV, scratches are the least. I feel pretty comatose right now.

  13. I know just how you’ve been feeling Mago I too have been suffering from the dreaded lurgy. I was quite interested to learn more about Norma’s Neti pot as it’s very similar to the Polari ‘nante pots’ as in ‘Varda the naff hommie with nante pots in the cupboard’ so Iike your good self, I googled Neti pot, I don’t think I could ever use one, it looks so undignified, in future I will stick with holding one side of my nostril and blowing out the snot the good old fashion way. What was the purpose of erasing data from a CD in that fashion? The man in the video is definitely a cockney sparrow, if he had been Scottish, I doubt you’d be able to understand a word he was saying. Take this for example.

  14. I fully agree snotwise, dearest Mitzi.
    And the erasing – I think it’s done because it is possible. There is the same spirit of adventure at work that makes man climb mountains, dive into dark oceans and do a lot of other foolish things – as Mr Mallory put : “Because it’s there.” Someone will try it. This is in-separable connected with Murphy’s law.
    I looked into the linked episode, thank you for this, and frankly I did not understand nothing. But the protagonist (the man with the gun) looked strangely familiar, wasn’t he “Baldy Man” ? Perhaps he choose the silent role because of his language …

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