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Worst retrogaming regret

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Reply 21 of 29, by xjas

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I don't really have a lot of regrets over getting rid of stuff or not buying stuff - I have everything I need at this point, mostly accumulated for cheap, and all the stuff I let go of (LOTS) over the years was for very good reasons. I don't even regret tossing the cardboard inserts for most of my big-box games (so that they'd fold flat) - it was a choice between that, and tossing the boxes themselves, so I think that was an acceptable solution. They still look good when unfolded properly.

What I *do* regret is taking a ~10 year hiatus from hobby coding and demoscene stuff because I thought it wouldn't get me anywhere. I missed out on a lot of practice & experimentation time and could've been really good today; instead I'm still playing catch-up. Ah well, I'm definitely not the only one in that boat.

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Reply 22 of 29, by 133MHz

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I'm starting to regret not buying a surplus of quality optical media when it was more readily available. I always bought in relatively low numbers and replenished as needed but now that my stash has run out I went to get some more, turns out I can't find any of the good brands anymore and when you ask for high reflectivity media they just sell you whatever crap they have lying around. I'm having trouble getting these low quality discs they sell now to read properly on older drives, and since not everything CD/DVD based device that I have has an available/affordable solid state replacement this is starting to become a problem.

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Reply 23 of 29, by KCompRoom2000

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133MHz wrote:

I'm starting to regret not buying a surplus of quality optical media when it was more readily available. I always bought in relatively low numbers and replenished as needed but now that my stash has run out I went to get some more, turns out I can't find any of the good brands anymore and when you ask for high reflectivity media they just sell you whatever crap they have lying around. I'm having trouble getting these low quality discs they sell now to read properly on older drives, and since not everything CD/DVD based device that I have has an available/affordable solid state replacement this is starting to become a problem.

Verbatim still makes high quality optical discs, I've had very good luck with their blank DVDs when it comes to burning home videos. Then again, this might not be 100% relevant for your situation since I have yet to try their CD-Rs to see how well they behave on old computers (nearly every single one of my systems has a CD drive that can properly read burnt CDs). The one thing you should be weary of is some online sellers may have bootleg discs that look like Verbatim but they really aren't (the location of manufacturing is one way to tell, genuine Verbatim discs are still made in Taiwan whereas the counterfeits come from U.A.E.).

Reply 24 of 29, by 133MHz

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Funny you mention Verbatim, those are exactly the CD-Rs I got because that's the only brand they had with any sort of recognition for quality. I wouldn't call them bad (I've certainly seen worse) but they are harder to read in older drives (and produce a higher correctable error rate) than the discs I used to buy before supply dried up. These are made in China according to the packaging, they don't have that bootleg stank but it wouldn't surprise me if they were since it's such a cut-throat, uninformed consumer market.

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Reply 25 of 29, by DracoNihil

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I regret having been a dumb kid and not actually putting my CD's away properly.

I have dozens upon dozens of games I can't play anymore because the CD's are scratched to the point of unreadability.

So why again were CD's manufactured not out of scratch proof materials?

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Reply 26 of 29, by shamino

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133MHz wrote:

Funny you mention Verbatim, those are exactly the CD-Rs I got because that's the only brand they had with any sort of recognition for quality. I wouldn't call them bad (I've certainly seen worse) but they are harder to read in older drives (and produce a higher correctable error rate) than the discs I used to buy before supply dried up. These are made in China according to the packaging, they don't have that bootleg stank but it wouldn't surprise me if they were since it's such a cut-throat, uninformed consumer market.

I don't know the current situation, but at least several years ago, my understanding was that the cheaper Verbatim discs (commonly seen in retail stores) were no longer an in-house Verbatim product but were instead cheap generic outsourced discs, same as everybody else. They wanted to sell to the mainstream, and the mainstream wouldn't pay for quality discs anymore.
I don't know what source they were using but most inexpensive discs by then were made by CMC Magnetics, Ritek, or whoever the other low cost manufacturers were.

However, Verbatim DataLifePlus were still high quality discs made by MCC (Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, Verbatim's parent). I think they also had an in-between series of discs just called "DataLife" (without the Plus). I don't know if those were MCC or not.

In the later years of optical discs being mainstream, it seems everybody sold out their reputation to an outsource so that their prices could be competitive at Wal-Mart. Since those days are gone, and blank discs are a niche market now, maybe some brands would see it in their interest to stop selling cheap discs and rebuild their reputation with the enthusiasts who still buy discs.
I'm sure disc manufacturing will continue to consolidate, but I hope that the actual manufacturers who get major clients will be those who can produce a quality product, not just a cheap one.

Reply 27 of 29, by shamino

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DracoNihil wrote:

I have dozens upon dozens of games I can't play anymore because the CD's are scratched to the point of unreadability.

I've never tried it.
But I have heard (in the game console world) that using a plastic polishing substance like "Plast-X" can make such discs readable again.
Maybe try it on something you don't mind losing (for all I know, maybe it will just make it worse).

Reply 28 of 29, by xjas

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You can get pressed CDs resurfaced - a lot of game shops or DVD places have a resurfacer that can do it. The bottom of a CD is actually just transparent material. The laser reads a reflective layer at the TOP of the disc (i.e. just underneath the label), which is why it's actually worse to scratch a disc from the topside than the bottom. Taking some fractions of a mm off the bottom won't hurt the disc and will hopefully buff out any scratches that aren't too deep.

DVDs are a bit different; the reflective layer is in the middle of a sandwich, so they're actually a little more resilliant to scratches.

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Reply 29 of 29, by MusicallyInspired

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I lost half my big game box collection in 2004 when I moved across the country. No idea what happened to them. I had CIB Thexder, Thexder 2 Fire Hawk, Half-Life, Opposing Force, Blue-Shift, Unreal Tournament, Area 51, Gunship, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye 64, Turok 2 (64), Episode 1 Racer (64), two copies of Link's Awakening GB, and a slew of others from the 80s/90s. All gone. The Half-Life boxes I miss the most. All big boxes. Ugh...makes me sick to this day.

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