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  #1  
08-20-2011, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tcory
Hello Sir, I back up TV Shows and movies and have been told :
JVC Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 4.7GB 8X Silver Lacquer, 100-Pack from Rima.com was as good as any and I don't care about Printable blanks. Could you tell me if this brand and site would be alright or should I get the 16X or will the 8X be a O.K.
Thanks
Note: Rather than hide tech advice in PMs and emails, I prefer to share tech/buying advice here on the open forums, so that everybody can benefit from the information. So let's continue the conversation here. Thanks.

Is Rima.com bad to buy from? No, they're a trustworthy company.

However, I do think Rima is excessively expensive, and the same media can be had cheaper from elsewhere.
Specifically check out Meritline and Supermediastore. Another option is shop4tech.

Best of all, ML and SMS are almost always running sales on their TY media.

This site tries to track some of the best blank media prices. Find that info here: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

And yes, Taiyo Yuden is excellent media -- 8x or 16x.

Hope that helps.

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  #2  
08-23-2011, 03:03 PM
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I'll second what his Smurfyness said and add that you should not listen to anything that anyone says about buying from Rima because SMS and Meritline sell/have sold fake JVC/TY discs. They don't and never have. Ditto for JVC/TY Value Line allegedly being fake because Rima doesn't sell them. They're legit TY discs, TY just doesn't think they're "Premium" for some reason. Still some of the best discs you can buy.

For whatever reason, there aresome weirdly dogmatic Rima customers who have an irrational paranoia about Meritline and SMS.

Rima might have been the best in 2003 or thereabouts, but their time has passed. They're an overpriced relic.
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08-23-2011, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by *Bix* View Post
buying from Rima because SMS and Meritline sell/have sold fake JVC/TY discs. They don't and never have. Ditto for JVC/TY Value Line allegedly being fake because Rima doesn't sell them.
I don't think that came out clearly. Tell me if this attempt to clarify is what you meant:

1. The common argument for Rima is an excuse that Meritline and Supermediastore sell fake media. (I would add that excuses can vary on the merchant, with undeserved negative criticism also being leveraged against shop4tech, Amazon and Newegg.)

2. But Meritline and Supermediastore do not, and never have*, sold fake JVC Taiyo Yuden media.

3. Furthermore, the JVC TY Value line discs are not fake simply because a store like Rima chooses not to carry them.

On all three points, you're correct.

* However, in the interest of "full disclosure", I'll unfortunately have to complicate this a bit:

When fake Taiyo Yuden media first came to market, around 2004 or so, quite a few media-selling stores were fooled. In fact, I'd bet almost anybody carrying TY media was fooled. (Rima may have been the exception, having truly never sold fake TY discs, hence the current myth based loosely on fact. What we do NOT know is if Rima also purchased fakes, but caught it earlier than everybody else.) Meritline and Supermediastore were among the fooled, at first selling the fake discs as legitimate TY discs.

At that point in time, due to sites like this one, stores were proudly displaying the media IDs of discs! (We're quite proud of that, and we had frequent communication with media sellers in that era of blank sales.) Going from memory, Meritline pulled the fakes as legitimate TY sales, and sold them off as generic house-branded "grade A" media, and hid the media ID. SMS completely pulled the media, and it must've been sold off in bulk in some other method. In those days so long ago, ML (Comptree) and SMS (Linkyo) both had secondary companies selling media. ML's still exists, as CDrDVDrMedia.com, while SMS's secondary company is long since gone.

The biggest loser from that was AllMediaOutlet.com, which now doesn't exist. They sold quite a bit of the fake media, to the detriment of their reputation. At the time, it seemed as if they didn't care, and it was all downhill from there.

So this was a period of time that lasted a few months at most, in the early/mid part of last decade.

In that era, a high-quality blank DVD-R was still at least $1-2 each (having been so long ago, I don't remember if it was $1 or $2), and quality DVD+R didn't really exist in abundance, or cheaply. Ricoh was the best disc easily found for under $3 each. These fake discs started an avalanche of media devaluation, which broke that sacred cow $1-2 mark, because they were using cheap manufacturing equipment, skimping on the quality of the dyes/parts of the discs, and not paying any royalties -- and part of that savings (for making illegal crap) was passed on to the consumer.

Shop4tech.com earned a bad reputation many places, including this site, for clinging to various fakes and no-name junk discs for several years starting around this time -- often "upselling" their house branded junk, or even going so far as to hide better media (like legitimate TY) from their homepage and online ads. They were removed from our DO NOT BUY list only a year or so ago, having finally come to their senses, and selling good media (sales, ads, easy to find on the site, no "upselling" of junk, etc).

Quote:
They're legit TY discs, TY just doesn't think they're "Premium" for some reason. Still some of the best discs you can buy.
The reasons are alluded to here and there, especially in Japanese texts (both print and online). It comes down to the age of the manufacturing lines, testing results of the batch (many, many, many thousands of discs), etc. A so-called "bad" or "inferior" TY disc is still better than the best disc from most other manufacturers, because of how insanely high Japanese business ethics/morals are. Insane in a good way, that is.

Quote:
For whatever reason, there aresome weirdly dogmatic Rima customers who have an irrational paranoia about Meritline and SMS. Rima might have been the best in 2003 or thereabouts, but their time has passed. They're an overpriced relic.
From 2002-2005, Rima was pretty competitive with their pricing, but that's about the extent of it. I often think their survival depends on contracts and relationships with large organizations (i.e., sales of 10,000+ discs at a time). I actually helped forge one such relation back in the day, with no kickback (that was silly of me), though I'm not sure how long it lasted, as it was based on Ritek and not Taiyo Yuden. And then I know the person at the organization is now retired.

Rima good? Yes.
Rima reliable? Yes.
Rima the best? Not really, not if pricing is a concern. Surely not for the casual home user or small business.

There are a number of other companies that have higher-than-discount pricing who are also good, such as Gotmedia.com, MediaMegaMall.com, and CDROM2GO.com. Many of those also appear to hit up larger target audiences, such as organizations, governments, and studios. I'd go so far as to guess much of their business endeavors are aimed at marketing and support to those audiences. (Because this site draws a readership from those audiences, all three of those have been advertisers here in the past.)

Just for clarification and extra details.

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  #4  
08-23-2011, 05:40 PM
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Yes, you understood the gist of my argument. There are a few vocal VideoHelp posters who refuse to patronize Meritline and SMS because "they sell fakes." They also claim that Value Line are/might be fakes because they're not sold at Rima.

I could have sworn that Meritline and SMS had never actually sold fake TY fakes as TY (just house brand), but I always defer to you on this stuff and trust that you remember it better. Still, they never knowingly sold fakes. That might be why I misremembered it.

AllMediaOutlet was the site at the front of the fake Maxell and "Piodata is Pioneer" messes, right?

My favorite high profile story about fakes is still Ritek falsely claiming that any bad Ritek/Ridata DVD-Rs were fakes when people complained about the steep quality drop from the G03 discs to the G04 discs.

It makes me so happy that TY discs are now reasonable priced and Verbatim AZO can be easily found for very low prices online. I can remember a time where the most workable scenario for me was reimbursing a friend who bought Verbatims at a Sam's Club (they had the best prices by far and no stores near me) and shipped them to me.
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  #5  
08-23-2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
They also claim that Value Line are/might be fakes because they're not sold at Rima.
Logical fallacy is so annoying. If you ever want "ammo" to argue with people (online or offline) who think backwards, get this short book: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes. Note: The link goes to hardback edition, but paperback is available, too -- I just like the hardback cover better, plus I like hardback books. And then for the same sort of topic, but focusing on politics, read Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington. It's a book best appreciated by intelligent learned people. Both sell for about $10 each; totally worth it.

Quote:
Still, they never knowingly sold fakes.
I'd tweak it to say "they never knowingly sold fakes as the legitimate item". As per above, Meritline was selling fake media under house brands at one point in time, but negative comments in various user forums of the era (Videohelp, Afterdawn, CDFreaks, others now gone) seem to have made them reconsider.

The best part of Supermediastore's response was that SMS took it upon themselves to write several "How to Spot Fake Taiyo Yuden" guides, based on their own knowledge, as well as assistance from writers at this site, and information being posted at CDFreaks (now Myce). SMS was really putting the "super" in their name, by warning everybody of this. It's not often a store actually decides to do help their customers in this way. They were also quite willing to take a rap on the knuckles for the accidental sales of fake TY discs. It was a welcomed bit of honesty in an industry that was full of shysters at that time (AllMediaOutlet, YesBuy, Americal, several others I can't remember.)

Quote:
AllMediaOutlet was the site at the front of the fake Maxell and "Piodata is Pioneer" messes, right?
Yes. AMO was also part of the TDK/Princo mixup that predated all of them. In the early years, AMO would discontinue sales of junk, or off-load it to "grade A" house brands. In later years, they just kept selling the fake stuff as legitimate.

Quote:
My favorite high profile story about fakes is still Ritek falsely claiming that any bad Ritek/Ridata DVD-Rs were fakes when people complained about the steep quality drop from the G03 discs to the G04 discs.
Mine, too! I've looked into this in depth several times through the years (2009 or 2010 was my last foray into it), and each time I manage to unlock more information from former employees (from various places, not Ritek directly) and "those in the know" better than myself. It does appear that some Ritek IDs were faked, and that discs meant for destruction were resold without permission. However, it does appear that those shenanigans were very much used as some sort of cover story to hide the fact that Ritek media was tanking as the G04 hit market.

This ignores the fact that Ritek was never high-quality archival grade media anyway. It always suffered from a higher percentage of coasters, and it always had issues with playback (deduced as being due to poorer reflectivity as compared to other discs, due to the dyes in use). RITEKG03 DVD-R was simply better than average, and for a year or two it had an undeserved high level of respect. It reminds me of the dot-com bust, where dot-com sites were valued much higher than was deserved. In both cases, those unrealistic bubbles burst, and reality was restored.

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It makes me so happy that TY discs are now reasonable priced and Verbatim AZO can be easily found for very low prices online
Sadly, this is a double-edged sword. Prices have come down so far as to prevent reasonable profit margins for the better media makers. As such, once-great companies like Pioneer, TDK, Daxon and Maxell disappeared. The inclusion of cheap CMC discs in the Verbatim brands (Value Series, Life Series) bodes poorly, too. I don't like overspending any more than the next person, but if it means restoring and/or long-term ensuring the survival of quality blanks, I'd be okay with a price reversal into the $30 range. What you get for $15 isn't any good, and the $20 goal is forcing manufacturers to shutter their doors or cut costs in areas that may harm the product. That's already happened to both Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi, some various outsourcing hiccups, though thankfully it was short-term.

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  #6  
08-23-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Logical fallacy is so annoying. If you ever want "ammo" to argue with people (online or offline) who think backwards, get this short book: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes. Note: The link goes to hardback edition, but paperback is available, too -- I just like the hardback cover better, plus I like hardback books. And then for the same sort of topic, but focusing on politics, read Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington. It's a book best appreciated by intelligent learned people.


I'd tweak it to say "they never knowingly sold fakes as the legitimate item". As per above, Meritline was selling fake media under house brands at one point in time, but negative comments in various user forums of the era (Videohelp, Afterdawn, CDFreaks, others now gone) seem to have made them reconsider.
That was what I meant by it. I don't see selling discs with faked codes under other names as "selling fakes" in the sense that "selling fakes" implies counterfeit discs.

Quote:
Yes. AMO was also part of the TDK/Princo mixup that predated all of them. In the early years, AMO would discontinue sales of junk, or off-load it to "grade A" house brands. In later years, they just kept selling the fake stuff as legitimate.
That one might have predated my entrance into the world of DVD burning. What happened there?

Quote:
Mine, too! I've looked into this in depth several times through the years (2009 or 2010 was my last foray into it), and each time I manage to unlock more information from former employees (from various places, not Ritek directly) and "those in the know" better than myself. It does appear that some Ritek IDs were faked, and that discs meant for destruction were resold without permission. However, it does appear that those shenanigans were very much used as some sort of cover story to hide the fact that Ritek media was tanking as the G04 hit market.
Yeah, regardless of whether or not there were fakes on the market, some of the complaints, like mine, were about discs in retail packaging from authorized resellers.

Quote:
This ignores the fact that Ritek was never high-quality archival grade media anyway. It always suffered from a higher percentage of coasters, and it always had issues with playback (deduced as being due to poorer reflectivity as compared to other discs, due to the dyes in use). RITEKG03 DVD-R was simply better than average, and for a year or two it had an undeserved high level of respect. It reminds me of the dot-com bust, where dot-com sites were valued much higher than was deserved. In both cases, those unrealistic bubbles burst, and reality was restored.
I've always wanted to know more about flukey runs like this or the 4x Prodisc DVD-Rs that were noticeably better than the rest of the company's output before or since. It's an odd phenomenon to me that they couldn't keep it up.

Quote:
Sadly, this is a double-edged sword. Prices have come down so far as to prevent reasonable profit margins for the better media makers. As such, once-great companies like Pioneer, TDK, Daxon and Maxell disappeared. The inclusion of cheap CMC discs in the Verbatim brands (Value Series, Life Series) bodes poorly, too. I don't like overspending any more than the next person, but if it means restoring and/or long-term ensuring the survival of quality blanks, I'd be okay with a price reversal into the $30 range. What you get for $15 isn't any good, and the $20 goal is forcing manufacturers to shutter their doors or cut costs in areas that may harm the product. That's already happened to both Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi, some various outsourcing hiccups, though thankfully it was short-term.
Anything $30/100 or less is pretty reasonable to me. If it was no good discs vs a mild price jump, I'd take the price jump.

I don't think that the two CMC-made Verbatim lines necessarily mean the beginning of the end. The AZO discs are still available in large quantities at good prices after an early scare (reports of Life Series UPC stickers on AZO packages, Verbatim reps saying Life Series was the same as DataLifePlus/AZO, etc.) that implied AZO were gone from consumer/retail channels, which turned out to be BS.
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  #7  
08-24-2011, 10:56 PM
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That one might have predated my entrance into the world of DVD burning. What happened there?
It happened in mid/late 2001 and into early/mid 2002. Princo was having a hard time getting proper support for their media ID into drives of the time. And in 2001, as you can imagine, there were not many drives. Most of them were Pioneer drives, primarily the 2x DVR-103/A03 and 2x DVR-104/A04. The "1" models were retail, while the "A" models were for OEMs (Compaq, Dell, HP and Sony, to be exact). In addition to the OEM drives having unique model numbers, they had unique firmware that was only supplied by the OEM -- and not Pioneer directly! As you can probably guess, the OEMs were slow/lazy/useless, rarely making firmware upgrades to correct flaws of the burners, or to add support for new media*.

* Related side topic: These days, when a disc fails in a burner, a lot of old-timers like to jump to the conclusion that the drive is at fault for not "supporting" the disc. And then there are many more who just parrot this misinformation, having very little idea on what that even means logistically. While it is true that media works better with specific support for a disc, most burners come equipped with defaults, based on what it can discover from the disc on its own. So even lacking "proper" support, a good disc should still burn well with one of the available default write strategies. That ability to burn properly, even without exact firmware match in the drive, is one reason the disc is good! (MCC/MKM discs are very well known for this!) Moderate grade discs are picky, and require exacting massage from a burner, while lousy media won't burn well regardless of ID support.

Princo's solution for this lack of support was to just steal an ID that was supported: TDKG01 and/or TDKG02. With a stolen media code, the disc worked "well enough" (it could be seen by the drive, it could burn), but the failure rate was much higher than on a Princo disc with the proper PRINCO ID, in a 103/104 drive with proper firmware upgrades applied. My own A03 drive seemed as if it knew something was hinky, because it would take an extraordinary amount of time to lock onto the disc and make it ready. TDK cried foul, users cried foul, and Princo backed off.

It wasn't until much later on that "crossflash" tools became available, well past the prime of these drives, which allowed for the OEM "A" burners to be turned into Pioneer retail "1" burners. Flash/Flashman of RPC1.org was primarily responsible for those tools. In the earlier days of this site (2002-2003), LS was very involved in drive "hacking", having created custom firmware for the A03, turning it into a 103 with added media support.

By the time this mess was resolved in full, the Pioneer DVR-105 4x drive was at market, and Pioneer quit letting OEMs having unique models, as it reflected bad on their brand at a time when competing drive makers were starting to appear in North America.

And that's about the time MXLRG01 fakes started to show up, which sounds like the era when you entered DVD burning. You missed out on a lot of high-cost drama and technical aggravation if you entered the DVD burning world in the era of 4x burners. By that point in time, most of the "format war" was starting to die down (remember the DVR-106 and Sony DRU-500 merged DVD+R and DVD-R not even a year later), and the cost of media had dropped from $5+/each to ~$2/each.

It's arguable as to whether MXLRG01 fakes were done for support, or for brand recognition. I tend to vote for support, because it was really still pre-awareness for the masses (at least as much as online communities form "masses"). The fake Taiyo Yuden from later years were most definitely done for the point of cashing in on the TY name. That's even more obvious when firmware hackers started to find alternative codes (and therefore write strategies) worked better for the disc's burning quality. Still lousy, but better than using TY specs.

Quote:
Yeah, regardless of whether or not there were fakes on the market, some of the complaints, like mine, were about discs in retail packaging from authorized resellers.
We received a retail pack of 10 beautiful purple RITEKG04 media, sporting a design stolen from Pioneer (PVC media), prior to general release of the discs to the public, which tested almost perfectly. For about a month, the media guide on this site was mentioning the test and results, suggesting that RITEKG03 may not have been a fluke -- recall that RITEKG01 and RITEKG02 were lackluster average quality -- but simply a stepping stone into joining other manufacturers as archival-grade quality. Nope!

Within a short time, the market was flooded with tons of lousy RitekG04 media, under all kinds of brands, sold at all sorts of mainstream office supply stores. Arita, for example, and the "mountain range" coated discs. We scrubbed that advice from the guide quickly. I recall Ritek "claiming" the Arita brand, among others, but quickly backing away from that stance when forums start to rack up complaints. And that's around the time the press release was issued, claiming ID theft and improper resales of blanks meant for destruction.

That Office Depot sold these discs has always been a weak link in their claims that "all" bad Ritek was not their fault. I recall the owner of the European Ridisc being pretty pissed about it, too, as that partnership turned sour -- which then got worse when Ridisc started to use fake CMC media from that shoddy UK operation E-Net. I have a lot of anti-ENet information archived somewhere on the archive server, which includes even very anti-Muslim ramblings from people who live near the facility.

Quote:
I don't think that the two CMC-made Verbatim lines necessarily mean the beginning of the end. The AZO discs are still available in large quantities at good prices after an early scare (reports of Life Series UPC stickers on AZO packages, Verbatim reps saying Life Series was the same as DataLifePlus/AZO, etc.) that implied AZO were gone from consumer/retail channels, which turned out to be BS.
Even I sounded an alert over the Value/Life move, encouraging people to buy whatever blanks they may want in the foreseeable future. I had seen this go down too many times, with the loss of PVC and Maxell especially. Early signs were there for Maxell, but nobody really cried aloud, and it just really disappeared without much noise. As it currently stands, Verbatim/MCC discs are lost to us in most retail stores (excluding a few specialty shops like Microcenter, TigerDirect stores, or Fry's), and you're forced to buy them online. Not that this is a problem, but it does force better planning (i.e., make an order, wait for the mail).


Disclaimer: Please be aware that EVERYTHING written in this post is me going off memory, with just a few checks on facts to information I can easily locate. I know long-time media folks like online user "pepst" read this forum, as do manufacturers. If something is slightly amiss, feel free to make an addendum to this thread, or provide your own conflicting/agreeing memories of that era.

This was a fun reminisce!

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  #8  
08-25-2011, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
That Office Depot sold these discs has always been a weak link in their claims that "all" bad Ritek was not their fault. I recall the owner of the European Ridisc being pretty pissed about it, too, as that partnership turned sour -- which then got worse when Ridisc started to use fake CMC media from that shoddy UK operation E-Net. I have a lot of anti-ENet information archived somewhere on the archive server, which includes even very anti-Muslim ramblings from people who live near the facility.
Could you share some of those informations (especially the most interesting ones) with us?

By the way, do you have any experiences with Ritek G01 or G02 media? Were they gold sputtered?
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  #9  
08-25-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
We received a retail pack of 10 beautiful purple RITEKG04 media, sporting a design stolen from Pioneer (PVC media), prior to general release of the discs to the public, which tested almost perfectly. For about a month, the media guide on this site was mentioning the test and results, suggesting that RITEKG03 may not have been a fluke -- recall that RITEKG01 and RITEKG02 were lackluster average quality -- but simply a stepping stone into joining other manufacturers as archival-grade quality. Nope!
Ritek was pretty much a dead brand in my eyes well before the DVD recording era. I remember when their crappy media started to flood the market when Ricoh (primarily sold under the Imation brand in the USA) and TDK discontinued production in the USA. Gone were two of the best media manufacturers in the market, replaced with junk. I rationed my Made in USA TDK and Ricoh discs until I started getting Fujifilm branded TY media. Sadly that era came to an end too. Outside of Microcenter, one isn't finding good blank media in the stores here anymore.

Speaking of junk media, did you ever get those Princo blanks I sent you? Those came from allmediaoutlet back in late 2003. Considering the volume of Princo disks my friend bought during late 2001 to 03, I don't recall seeing any faked media code discs. Chances are most of those burns were tossed or given away anyway (if they even work anymore).
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08-28-2011, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pepst View Post
do you have any experiences with Ritek G01 or G02 media? Were they gold sputtered?
I have both of these.
One of them appears to be gold sputtered, yes. The bottom is not silver that I can see. It's gold all the way through.
I forget which is G01, which is G02. One is gold, one is silver.

Do you not have samples of these media? I have multiples (burned) of each type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
Speaking of junk media, did you ever get those Princo blanks I sent you? Those came from allmediaoutlet back in late 2003. Considering the volume of Princo disks my friend bought during late 2001 to 03, I don't recall seeing any faked media code discs. Chances are most of those burns were tossed or given away anyway (if they even work anymore).
Yes, the Princo media is here, and is being used in long-term comparative testing.

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  #11  
08-28-2011, 01:01 AM
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Could you share some of those informations (especially the most interesting ones) with us?
I just spent 30 minutes looking .... and found nothing.

I forgot that I even had some of this stuff set aside on the archives. I'll start publishing some of this stuff into new guides and articles, or simply copy/paste as raw data into new forums posts, as time permits. Since there's still a high interest in both ATI related topics, and blank media related topics, I'll keep those high on the list.
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