Monday, May 9, 2011

Hitting the Mother Load.

Hello again one and all.

            In my last post I mentioned using 24K Gold as way of preserving data of every description, but not in any solid form like jewelry.  The gold I am talking about is part of the DVD/CD discs that we use in the studio for storing the data on.  Actually those discs also have silver in them as well.  No your eyes are not deceiving you.  The Century Archival discs do have both of those precious metals in them, but you don’t need a safe or a bank vault to store them in.  So what say we clarify this a little, and look at how a DVD/CD is constructed and then it might make a little more sense.

            Believe it or not the basic DVD/CD is made in a similar fashion like the old LP records.  LPs’, a polyvinyl chloride material, were literally pressed between two heated metal dies, where DVD and CDs’ are injection molded like countless other pieces and parts we use every day.  Their life begins as a glass plate that is first coated with a photosensitive compound.  This is then exposed like you would a photograph creating a negative image.  When the plate is developed, it leaves a three dimensional image on the glass.  Which is only is only125 nanometers thick.  For those of you not into metrics that is .0000393701 inches.  The next step immerses the glass in a nickel-vanadium solution for seventy minutes; resulting in a metal disc that becomes the injection master.  Up to now it has been a hands’ on approach, but that is about to change.

            The master disc is now very carefully inserted into injection molder, and automation takes over.  The base layer of the disc is a polycarbonate material much harder than PVC used for LPs’.  After the disc hardens, it is sent to a coating machine that lays down a very thin layer of aluminum.  Next comes a layer varnish.  This serves a dual purpose; first it protects the aluminum, and second it gives the disc a printable surface for silk-screening the label.  This automated injection process allows for a production rate of 100, 000 discs a day, either prerecorded or blank media for burning later in your computer.

            At this point all similarities cease, since the Century Archival Discs’ have a pure silver layer instead of aluminum because it offers a more mirror like reflecting surface for the laser to read with.  However it to is affected by atmospheric corrosion and degradation, which the varnish is incapable of preventing.  So now the silver is plated with a layer of 24K Gold whose sole purpose in life now, is to protect the silver.  The simple reason is that gold is impervious to all known corrosives save one.  That compound is a blended acid solution known as Aqua Regia.  Trust me when I say, your DVD/CD’s collection will never come anywhere near it it.  The last bastion of defense of these discs’ is a hardened layer on the bottom, the part the laser sees through. The resin used for this, when hardened, is up to 100 times stronger than the disc itself.  This technology allows you to drop your discs (accidentally of course) and they will still play, even with the deepest of scratches, mars, and fingerprint smudges.
            All said and done, these discs’ offer a way to preserve all that is important to you, your family or you’re your business for the next five generations, or more.  It is a reasonably safe bet that the discs we burn today will still be readable for the next major storage innovation like Spoke’s passive data blocks.  Maybe?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Tip of the Sword

Hello and greetings to all.

Welcome to my blog and my first post.  Thank you for reading and for your future support.

Like many people I wondered for years what it would be like to own your own business.  Like many people that was as far as it got, just a passing thought in the back of my mind.  In June of 2009 that changed when I was laid off from my cushy full time job as an electrical controls engineer.  Two weeks later I was invited to attend a franchise seminar, which I agreed to, because I will listen to anything if there is a chance for money to be made.  The operative word there being, listen.  Anyway when the presenter finished he put a slide on the screen of the franchises he had to offer.  Approximately five seconds later I asked what he had that was more brain that brawn.  I had reached a point in my life when I thought to give my back a rest and use my head more. 

As a result of that seminar I became a Home Video Studio owner.  Earlier I mentioned my cushy full time forty-hour full time job, well cushy it was because owning your own business is far from it.  However, in spite of the increased workload, there is something comforting in the fact that you are totally responsible for what happens with that business or in some cases not.  In other words like President Truman said “the buck stops here”.  Well so much for the history lesson lets get on to the real reason for this blog.

Here at Home Video Studio we believe that all memories can be fleeting at best, and will deteriorate over time.  Especially if those memories are of the more tangible variety like photographs, slides, 8 & 16 mm film, video tapes, LP records, and reel-reel tapes just to name a few.   Some of these mediums are over sixty years old, and yet people will stuff these family heirlooms of history into a box and relegate them to the never-never land of the bedroom closet, if their lucky.  The less fortunate end up in the garage attic doomed for extinction.  Therefore, we at Home Video Studio are dedicated to preserving those memories in 24K GOLD, but not quite in the literal sense of the word.

Now at this point I could go into how it is that we can use a precious metal like gold, that at the point in time I am writing this sells at over $1300 a troy ounce, but I don’t want to sit here and write the great American novel either.   So I will leave you with a general idea of what to expect in future installments of this blog.  I will be discussing a broad variety of topics that will include, but not limited to, technical information and history of audio and visual products, movie and musical history and trivia this just for starters.  So stay tuned because the next segment will deal with the 24K gold preservation method I mentioned earlier.