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Old 01-26-2010, 11:47 PM   #21
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Well the grandkids and great grandkids will get a kick out of that one. Think I'll wait a while before showing it to them though, his funeral beng so recent and all.
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That system may not work, because you may not be home to grab anything. We were not home when our home burned.
That's why I have copies of everything in safe deposit boxes. I've thought about online backups, but there are financial records in there that I try and limit outside exposure to.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:48 AM   #22
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Has anyone done this? Tips/thoughts? It's a huge project I am contemplating undertaking. And we don't even own a scanner yet, LOL...hate the thought of buying yet another "thing", but can't imagine it would be cost effective to have someone else scan the photos for me.
Spouse has this project on her 10-year list... the list she made up 20 years ago.

Scanners are getting pretty cheap. It may be easier to buy a hotshot retail one with the features you want, use it for a few months, and sell it yourself on Craigslist. Whether you do that or jump on a "Craigslist deal", spend an hour or two on Kim Komando's website reading about scanners and photo software. Most of the content is free but the $4.95/month access fee is well worth the hassle avoidance. If a model piques your interest you can do more online research and see if anyone on the board has a review.
http://www.komando.com/columns/

When you find your dream scanner, check online for a software update. We had to update ours when we upgraded from WinXP to Vista and it was a huge improvement in speed & features.

Spouse scanned the "best of" on our ancient Epson Color Stylus CX4800 while putting most of the prints in photo albums. Acid-free paper, archival storage boxes... it's worth the up-front expense to only have to do this once per lifetime. We ditched the negatives... couldn't see any reason to keep them.

Once spouse had the scans, she transferred a couple hundred of our kid to a digital frame for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary. The frame runs on a transformer or batteries, so they can hand it around or take it with them on trips.

Digital frames are getting stupid cheap too, especially on Craigslist. I'm going to do the same upload to another one for my Dad's birthday next month. We're also loading up a digital frame for our daughter herself to take to college in 193 days... only $20 for a 7" model off Craigslist, so she won't be upset if it gets stolen or trashed. It has photos of things & places that are special memories for her, activities like taekwondo tournaments and surfing, family & friends, and whatever else can give her a screaming case of homesickness. Then I can also e-mail or snail-mail her updates from Mom & Dad's Continuing Empty-Nester Adventures.

Another gargantuan advantage of scanned photos is passing them among the family for genealogy research. We have some that are well into their second century (photos, not family) and it's a big help to be able to swap DVDs or use a password-protected website to start the discussion. Once you have the scanned images, it's easy to start getting creative (see below).

We have seven hours of VHS video of our daughter. We spent the $20 at Costco to transfer that to a DVD, which I've backed up to our hard drive(s). We still have a growing pile of 35mm slides that we're also going to give to Costco or a local scanning business. We're also talking about having a business scan Grandpa's bezillions of 35mm slides (going back to the 1940s) for their 60th wedding anniversary, so that they can look at them on their digital frame without having to break out the projector & screen.

Since we seem to upgrade our computers every 4-5 years, I've been copying the old hard drives over to the new computer's HD. I use the old HD as a backup (in an external case). A couple of external backup drives make it easy to image of the computer's HD on each and then to just swap backups of the data. We keep our external drive in an outdoor storage shed (in a ziploc bag) but I can see the day when we'll be using a fire safe or a safe deposit box. The key is to have it easily accessible so that backups are a habit, not a chore.

I've thought of using a laptop as a backup but ours still get taken to coffee shops & airports. Not sure that I want to deal with a stolen backup.
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File Type: jpg My Mom on the left, my kid on the right.jpg (747.1 KB, 1 views)
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:53 AM   #23
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I told you NEVER to use that pic I sent you of DW............now she will be pissed...........
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #24
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I knew that about the CDs and DVDs, but tell me more about the refreshing of HDs.

I'm only a couple of years into the process, so I have two offsite HDs that are just copies from the original files. Then I have a couple of externals here that I use as onsite backups. I just erase the old files and make copies, again from the original files. Is that what you're talking about? - God forbid you mean I have to rescan all these things.
Hopefully you won't have to rescan them, but rewrite the drives every few years, meaning open and then save the files, restore from a backup, or whatever works to rewrite the files.

This gets down to the engineering level which is admittedly way over my head but from I gather, what is going on is that the magnetic fields written to the HD do fade over extended periods of time. So even if your grandkids do have access to a computer that will read an IDE hard drive with .jpg files on it the data may not be there to read.

Apparently the most long-lasting form of data storage is stone tablets and painting on cave walls....
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:21 AM   #25
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Concerning media, consider that sometimes you can't read your old data simply because you no longer have an appropriate drive. I pulled an old software package out of the bookshelf the other day and realized that, because it was on a 3.5" floppy, I couldn't read it if I wanted to.

You may have a 3.5" drive, but I'll be you don't have a 5.25" floppy drive or a 8.25" around.

I also recently got around to throwing away my old Bernoulli disks and my old tape backups.

We think that CDs and DVDs will be around a long time, but I see them as extremely primitive. Anything that has to spin in a circle to be read will be outdated pretty soon. So just remember to transfer your stuff before you update your drives.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:54 AM   #26
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Hopefully you won't have to rescan them, but rewrite the drives every few years, meaning open and then save the files, restore from a backup, or whatever works to rewrite the files.
Any engineers out there want to weigh in? I know (or think I know) that you will get some random degradation of data on a HD over time. What I don't know is how best to deal with it. It would seem a straight copy from one place to another (HD to HD or one medium to another) would transfer the errors as they accumulate. If the headers degrade the file could become corrupt and not easily usable. I assume opening the file with appropriate software and then re-saving would re-save any degradation of the image that had occurred unless you actively edited the file. But it would seem that as long as you could open the file all the headers, etc (or file format if you updated) would be refreshed and good for another period of time. Has anyone automated an archival process for refreshing/maintaining files over long periods of time?
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:00 AM   #27
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Hard drives reserve a number of parity / correction bits, so that a certain number of bit errors can be detected and fixed as bits on the platters go bad. When these are used up, your drive starts actually losing data. Years ago before extra hard drives were cheap, my PC started warning me that a "SYSTEM DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT". I bought a USB adapter for an old hard drive and backed everything up carefully (I normally used CDs for backups back then). Sure enough, the drive failed a couple days later.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:24 AM   #28
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Any engineers out there want to weigh in? I know (or think I know) that you will get some random degradation of data on a HD over time. What I don't know is how best to deal with it. It would seem a straight copy from one place to another (HD to HD or one medium to another) would transfer the errors as they accumulate. If the headers degrade the file could become corrupt and not easily usable. I assume opening the file with appropriate software and then re-saving would re-save any degradation of the image that had occurred unless you actively edited the file. But it would seem that as long as you could open the file all the headers, etc (or file format if you updated) would be refreshed and good for another period of time. Has anyone automated an archival process for refreshing/maintaining files over long periods of time?
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Hopefully you won't have to rescan them, but rewrite the drives every few years, meaning open and then save the files, restore from a backup, or whatever works to rewrite the files.

This gets down to the engineering level which is admittedly way over my head but from I gather, what is going on is that the magnetic fields written to the HD do fade over extended periods of time. ...

A very computer-savvy friend of mine was discussing this with me recently. He also mentioned how the magnetic fields on hard drives will weaken over time, and you could lose the data, unless it is copied/re-written before it gets corrupted. As long as it can read it as a valid "1" or a "0", even though it may be a 'weak' "1" or "0", it will then re-write it as a 'strong' "1" or "0", and it will be good again (until it eventually fades into the noise).

He also said that he used to have a program on his computer (this might be from DOS days), that ran in the background, and would occasionally check a portion of the disc when the CPU was idle. If it detected that there were weak reads (probably by monitoring stats on the recoverable parity errors, as CyclingInvestor mentioned), it would re-write that data to another area of the disk, verify the write, then delete the old. He was not aware of any programs that did this now, though.

So bottom line: hard drive backup is probably your best bet, but periodically, it would be good to copy from one drive to another to 'refresh' the data (just rotate, with one empty drive). W/o some sort of analysis software, I can't say what 'periodically' should be, but I'd guess something on the order of every three years to be safe, five years would probably be very reasonable. Hard drives can just go bad, so a copy every few years would help make sure they were working also. And of course, you actually want more than one backup, in case your backup is hosed. Fun stuff, huh?


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Old 06-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #29
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Leo, Walt, and others: I'm reviving this thread to ask about Leonidas' next step--that of actually organizing the doggone photos we have. I've done the scanning and I, like Fuego, have zillions of them but they are in random albums.

Here's my dream software in my head: where I could tag by person, place, and date; then be able to search for, say, all the pictures of the Bahamas or that I took in July 2007 or that had Sally in them. Anybody know about software? Suggestions for where to look?

Oh, and I use three hard external hard drives for my pics and have the best of them on Picasaweb for some added protection in case of loss/theft.

Now that I'm done with school, this is a project I'm ready to tackle! Thanks, y'all! Such a great resource!
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #30
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Leo, Walt, and others: I'm reviving this thread to ask about Leonidas' next step--that of actually organizing the doggone photos we have. ...

Here's my dream software in my head: where I could tag by person, place, and date; then be able to search for, say, all the pictures of the Bahamas or that I took in July 2007 or that had Sally in them.
I'm pretty sure that tagging is a feature in just about any photo organizing SW these days. I know iPhoto has it, and does automatic face recognition, too.

Here's an open-source program, avail on Mac, Windows, and Linux. I've just played with it a bit on my new Linux install, so I don't have enough experience with it to be able to recommend it at this point, but I like that the tags can actually be hierarchical -



House>Remodel>Master Bathroom
House>Remodel>Fireplace
Vacation>Romania>2007
Vacation>Romania>2009
Vacation>Bulgaria>2007
etc, etc.

About digiKam | digiKam - Photo Management Program
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About digiKam

The people who inspired digiKam's design are the photographers like you who want to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs under Linux systems.

You can take a look into the digiKam Overview page to take a tour or the Features page to see more advanced information
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #31
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Here's my dream software in my head: where I could tag by person, place, and date; then be able to search for, say, all the pictures of the Bahamas or that I took in July 2007 or that had Sally in them. Anybody know about software? Suggestions for where to look?
Picasa 3: Free download from Google
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:23 AM   #32
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Sarah - no help here on organizing software. I keep a lot of my photos in Gallery on a website I have maintained since 1994 but I don't generally get around to tagging them properly so no software could help me. As to backup Microsoft is offering 24G of storage on their free Office Live account that competes with Google Docs. Couple that with Google's 6G and that is a lot of free storage for your photos.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:33 AM   #33
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I use Picasa now, but it is organized in albums and folders, not searchable like I want. I do use the face recognition on my web albums.
I'll check out the others. Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:50 AM   #34
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I use Picasa now, but it is organized in albums and folders, not searchable like I want. I do use the face recognition on my web albums.
I'll check out the others. Thanks!
? Hard to believe that a product by Google, would not be search-able.

Tagging photos : Search and Locate - Picasa Help

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Picasa › Help articles › Picasa › Managing Your Pictures › Finding Pictures › Search and Locate › Tagging photos

Search and Locate: Tagging photos

Tags are like keywords. By applying single or multiple-word tags in Picasa, you can quickly search and locate your photos. To add a tag to a photo, please follow these steps:

1. Select the photos that you'd like to tag. You can only tag photos in one folder or album at a time.

2. Click the Tags button. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-T (Windows) or Command-T (Mac). Existing tags and tag counts for selected photos will be listed in the 'Tags' tab.

3. There are two ways to add tags:
* Type the tag manually: Use the text box to enter the tag and click the 'Add tag' button.
* Use your 'Quick Tags': By presetting tags that you frequently use, you can add them with the click of a button. Manage your 'Quick Tags' by clicking the 'Configure Quick Tags' icon in the 'Tags' tab.

To remove a tag from all selected photos, just hover over the relevant tag in the Tags panel and click the 'x' icon that appears.

Once your photos are tagged, you can use the search box in the upper right-hand corner of Picasa to quickly find pictures that you've tagged.
I have not used Picasa, but they have a pretty big following, so I'm sure it's worth checking out. Their 'Linux' version is actually the Windows version set to run under WINE - workable, but not the greatest solution for Linux.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:01 AM   #35
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We use Photoshop Elements 8, which includes what I think is a good organizer but not having used any others I can't compare it with the free ones like Picasa. It does have facial recognition built in, which I haven't used yet being more interested in the photo editing such as improving color balance, removing unwanted objects in photos, and the like.

There is definitely a learning curve but it's neat software.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:53 AM   #36
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Two relatively expensive options are:

photo management software | Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Portfolio 8.5 - visually organize, find & share your files with our digital asset management software

(I use Portfolio but only for reasons of legacy -- I recommend either.)

A book that would be very useful to your research is

The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers

(for a close-up-look go to The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers)

A visit to the Blog at The DAM Show should also prove advantageous.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:05 AM   #37
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Here's my dream software in my head: where I could tag by person, place, and date; then be able to search for, say, all the pictures of the Bahamas or that I took in July 2007 or that had Sally in them.
I've decided that for me detailed tagging is either not going to happen consistently, or is not going to be worth the extra time it takes. My compromise is to use a system that doesn't take any extra time when saving photos, and which allows me to find a photo even though it may take some time.

I have to save each photo, so it doesn't take any extra time to save it to a particular location or give it a meaningful name.

I have one folder for each year, and have subfolders within that.

photoorg.jpg

And meaningful filenames help:

PhotoOrg2.jpg

It can take a bit of searching to find all the photos with Sally in them, but I usually remember what year a photo I'm looking for was taken, and I can always scan through a bunch of thumbnails if I need to.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:17 AM   #38
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Aha--Al, I think that has got at least two of my bases covered. If I do it in Picasa, I think that will take care of the third (the people). Thanks for the great suggestion!

ERD, you can do some of what I want with Picasa--just not the whole dealie. I will give it another check, though, because I may have not paid attention to the latest upgrade.

And Ron, I will check out the links--I was thinking that pros would have to have something like this available. Will spend some time researching the options just in case there are amateur versions in the works. Thanks very much for digging these up.

As always, y'all are an awesome resource!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:22 AM   #39
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...
Here's my dream software in my head: where I could tag by person, place, and date; then be able to search for, say, all the pictures of the Bahamas or that I took in July 2007 or that had Sally in them. Anybody know about software? Suggestions for where to look?
...
Picasa will do all of these.

Tags and captions are stored with the .jpg file so they move with the picture (e.g. if you copy or move from folder to folder). They are searchable.

Pictures by date are part of the timeline feature, but they are folder/album oriented.

I'm not sure if you can search the exif information, but will look into it.
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