qr-backup v1.1

qr-backup v1.1 is released. qr-backup is a command-line Linux program. You can use it to back up a file as a series of QR codes. You can restore the QR codes using a webcam or scanner, and get back the original file.

The main features of qr-backup are ease-of-use and futureproofing (restore does not require qr-backup).

Please report any bugs on github. Once this is stable, I will do the first pip/package manager release. To test the alpha, check out the latest code using git.

See also USAGE and extensive FAQ.

New features in v1.1:

  • Feature complete. New features are unlikely to be added. Future efforts will focus on quality, GUIs, and porting.
  • restore using qr-backup. Previously, the only restore was a bash one-liner (which still works).
    • qr-backup --restore restores using the webcam
    • qr-backup --restore IMAGE IMAGE IMAGE restores from scanned images
  • After generating a PDF backup, qr-backup automatically does a digital test of the restore process
  • Erasure coding. Lose up to 30% of QRs and restore will still work, as long as you are using qr-backup to restore
  • Increased code density, which about cancels out the erasure coding.
  • Back up directories and files. qr-backup makes a .tar file for you
  • Option to use password protection (encryption)
  • Option to print multiple copies of every QR code
  • Option to randomize order of QR codes
  • Optionally print extra cover sheet instructions on how to restore. For long-term archivists.
  • Option to add custom notes and labels to each page
  • Improved support for using qr-backup in a pipe
  • Various bugfixes
  • See CHANGELOG for complete details

P.S. As a special request, if anyone is on OS X, let me know if it works for you?

Storage Prices 2020-01

I did a survey of the cost of buying hard drives (of all sorts), CDs, DVDs, Blue-rays, and tape media (for tape drives).

Here are the 2020-01 results: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2020-01.sc.txt
2019-07: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2019-07.sc.txt
2018-10: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2018-10.sc.txt
2018-06: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2017-06.sc.txt
2018-01: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2017-01.sc.txt

Changes this year

  • I excluded Seagate drives (except where they’re the only drives in class)
  • Amazon’s search got much worse, and they started having listings for refurbished drives
  • Corrected paper archival density, added photographic film
  • Added SSDs (both 2.5″ and M.2 formats)
  • Prices did not go up or down significantly in the last 6 months.

Some conclusions that are useful to know

  • The cheapest option is tape media, but tape reader/writers for LTO 6, 7, and 8 are very expensive.
  • The second-cheapest option is to buy external hard drives, and then open the cases and take out the hard drives. This gives you reliable drives with no warrantee.
  • Blu-ray and DVD are more expensive than buying hard drives