Well, I have just learned something interesting. If you are going to make backups onto CD, it’s not enough to make them regularly, keep backups of the backups, and so on: it’s also important not to use cheap bulk CDs. I just had occasion to go through a whole stack of backups from the years 1999 and 2000. Of the twenty or so disks I had made, three were still readable in their entirety: the ones made by Hewlett-Packard. All the ones labelled “Targa”, that I had picked up cheap, feeling clever, are riddled with errors.
So, if you need the data, pay good money for good disks. If you don’t need the data, why are you saving it?
The other lesson, as pointed outmany years ago by Rupert, is to use zip as your only backup format. I have about 120gb of backups made, carefully, devoutly, under Windows 98, in a format which can’t be read by any later operating system. Aren’t computers wonderful?