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Re: [ARSCLIST] Fact or fiction: Sharpies damage cd-r?

P.O. Box Center wrote:

So is the writer just copying the press release from the company that makes
the "special" markers or is there actually some evidence that certain kinds
of markers damage cd's and others don't?

I have not noticed any playback problems on cd-r's that I labelled with
sharpies, but then again, I have not been engaging in that practice for long
enough to make a controlled comparison between non-labelled and sharpie
labeled cd-rs, much less test this product which I haven't bought. Anyone
have any pertinent experience or data?

This is a *very* old story. It was addressed in the primer at my WWW site when the first pages were created nearly a decade ago.

Solvent-based markers such as the Sharpie are known to have destroyed CDs by etching through the acrylic lacquer top coating. Water-based pens and discs with a less vulnerable overcoating are not known to fail grossly, but Media Sciences ( http://www.mscience.com ) reports reliably that they have measured degradation when even water-based inks are used on overcoated discs. However, in all fairness, it is necessary to add that Jerry can measure phenomena well below the threshold for practical effect.

A cautious archivist (are there any others?) will use a water-based ink and mark a code in the central area of the disc where no recording occurs. That code would serve as an index to the information others might write on the disc itself. As a serious recordist but by no means an archivist, I use water-based pens and preferably ink-jet printable blanks. While I've used the pens sold by TDK and others, I prefer one from my local art-supply store: Faber-Castell PITT artist pen B. (The B is for a brush tip which lends a certain flair to the text.)

Before closing, the risk with ball-point pen is dramatically greater since the nib can easily scrape through the acrylic coat and mechanically scribe the metallizing. Where the solvent danger occurs over time, the ball-point pen is capable of instant destruction.


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