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Old Feb 20, 2007, 1:37 PM   #11
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Got it. I used forward slashes like / instead of back slashes in my examples. The WowBB software didn't like the back slashes and was stripping them out of the edits. Grrrrr... sometimes I hate fancy editors like this forum software has that tries to format your text for you. Old DOS habits die hard, even though I use forward slashes elsewhere. :-)

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Old Feb 20, 2007, 4:23 PM   #12
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I tried various organizing software and found that since I wasn't taking the time to add comments and keywords it was a waste of time. So like most of the others here I use the Windows file system and begin the file name with a date followed by a description.

I use yymmdd so the file system keeps them in order. I'm not too worried about the turn of the next century and the photos from the previous century are archived. I'm also not concerned with the file name cycling as I have no intention of ever having a hundred thousand files in the same folder and my system would never mix them. I'm also not concerned with maintaining DOS file names.

Nothing compares to Irfanview for my workflow. The ability to make the thumbnails large so you can make decisions without having to cycle through full sized images is the main draw. It is very easy to prune out photos I don't want to keep. The navigator pane is also much thinner than anything else so you have more room for the thumbnails. An improvement in Irfanview last year lets you view subfolders in the thumbnail view. That is especially good for me as I always have a subfolder for modified images in each main folder.

Even if I were to organize differently I would probably stick with Irfanview. With the large thumbs you can hold the Ctrl key while you select images to bulk add comments to, rename or move. And the navigator pane is pure Windows where you can add folders etc.

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Old Feb 21, 2007, 12:01 AM   #13
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I also go by date, but use (ex:2007 - January - 070201) for ease of search with a couple different tools. Mainly use Ulead Photo Explorer to keep track, add comments/keywords, etc. Seems simpler to me. It also has an album function which I haven't used, but could be useful for someone more organized than myself.

Agree also with JohnG: cull, cull, cull. You may treasure every photo, but it is very unlikely that they are all really worth keeping, and after 25 photos of your kids on the toilet, your kids aren't the only ones who are going to hate you - all the people you corner to show the pics to may get restraining orders.:-) Seriously; if you have 20 shots of someone doing essentially the same thing, find the one which is best and delete the others.

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Old Feb 21, 2007, 2:11 AM   #14
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Seems a lot of us have similar methods.

I use a convention YYYY_MM_D1, YYYY_MM_D2, ... YYYY_MM_Dn for the top level folders.

Under that I have a day folder

2007_01_D1

...15th

...20th

2007_01_D2

...24th

...30th

Where I subdivide D1, D2, etc. according to whether I can archive them on a DVD or not. So when a folder is going over about 3.5Gb I start a new one.

The basic workflow is to:

1. Copy from camera to laptop.

2. Copy from laptop to external/network drive (USB/FTP whatever).

3. Archive to DVD with the same title. i.e. I write in permanent marker on the DVD "2007_01_D1".

4. Delete from laptop because it only has an 80Gb drive but my network drive has 250Gb.

In this fashion I always have 2 copies of my pictures. If one copy is damaged I immediately use the other copy to make sure I have 2 copies on 2 separate media again.

Cataloging is a difficult issue; I have variously used Picasa, Elements, Photoshop CS Bridge and found them all lacking. I currently use iMatch, but it's not exactly perfect either.

I think I shall soon be getting Lightroom, which promises to do organisation and cataloging as well as image manipulation, and for a 40% discount on the price if bought before the end of April.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 3:32 AM   #15
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Wow! Great answers and lots of food for thought. It seems most do just use simple file naming and folder systems rather than total reliance on any particular software. I can imagine all softwares may have some features but no single software has every feature.

Do you guys think the type or quality of cd/dvd media matters? Apparently you can spend quite a bit extra for longer life dvd's. I would certainly hate to look up in 15-20 years and find some media unusable. I guess that would make all the efforts mentioned pretty darn useless!!! Thoughts?

Like most, I try to dump onto an external drive weekly and then burn yet another copy to DVD every month or so. The way hard drive prices are falling. Not selling anything here but that Western Digital MyBook 500gb for under $200 is pretty compelling (depending on weekly sales.) Gonna check to see if that's the one Dell has for $169.

Thanks for all the great answers and I'll certainly check out the irfanview I downloaded more than a month ago as well as some others mentioned above. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 3:54 AM   #16
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Oh, only other comment is, personally, I can't get rid of any photo I take. My hang up, but, fairly visual, I find the greatest joy in just that subtle difference between two very seemingly similar pictures. I little different gleem in a child's eye, or, just a little bit more of a smirk from one picture to another. My wife and I are trying to copy out our favorites for quick viewing, sharing with family, etc. so that we aren't that "obnoxious" as mentioned and appreciated from above. "yes, you're dog sure is cute. uh huh... great!!! just how many pictures did you take?!?"

So what on my hang up? Well, I also find that even some of the blurry or missed shots may be useful when doing a little something creative. Found a picture of my two boys I loved but just missed and got it blurry. Played with the picture in Elements, toned it down to sort of hide what the actual picture was (extremely soft) turned it blue, ran it through different filters and now have a very subtle desktop reminding me all day of my boys but not obnoxious to others who look on my computer. Also, blazing through picture viewers can sometimes make the little movements come to life like in a movie.

I can't chunk any pics. Heck, it's just another dvd. That said, we'll see when I cross 10k, 20k, 50k worth of pics like some of you. "Spindle's full..." Holy cow!!!
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 5:02 AM   #17
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leeraff wrote:
Quote:
Do you guys think the type or quality of cd/dvd media matters? Apparently you can spend quite a bit extra for longer life dvd's. I would certainly hate to look up in 15-20 years and find some media unusable. I guess that would make all the efforts mentioned pretty darn useless!!! Thoughts?

Like most, I try to dump onto an external drive weekly and then burn yet another copy to DVD every month or so. The way hard drive prices are falling. Not selling anything here but that Western Digital MyBook 500gb for under $200 is pretty compelling (depending on weekly sales.) Gonna check to see if that's the one Dell has for $169.
I suspect that, unlike most of the people here, I have an extraordinary luxury. I use a server to store my photos. My photos are stored on a RAID-5 array of three hard disk drives, any one of which could fail and I wouldn't lose anything (my server also has a "hot spare" that would immediately fill in for any single failed hard disk drive, so, actually, two hard disk drives could fail and I wouldn't lose anything.) In addition, everything on that array is backed up onto tape on a weekly basis. So, along with everything else on my server, my photos aren't going anywhere any time soon.

But it seems that many people here rely on external hard disk drives, and that is probably the worst place to store important files. Internal hard disk drives use the power supply on the computer, and their own interface (SATA or PATA) and the corresponding interface on the computer to transfer data. External hard disk drives use all of those, plus the external power supply, the interface that converts the drive's PATA or SATA interface into the USB and/or FireWire interface (or the network interface), plus the corresponding interface on the computer. These are all just more potential failure points. And more than just the academics involved, external hard disk drives are more likely to get jostled and dropped and damaged than internal hard disk drives.

When hard disk drives fail, the most likely cause is not a failure of the media itself, but a failure of one or more of the interfaces involved (the physical interface, as in the connectors, and the logical interface, as in the support chips on the drive that tell the read/write head how to get to a specific track on the surface of the media.) That is why companies like Ontrack can retrieve data from failed hard disk drives. So keeping the number of interfaces down to a minimum is the safest way to store important files. Therefore, since the demise of the floppy diskette, external hard disk drives are the least reliable places to store your files.

So, unless you're using multiple internal hard disk drives (RAID or not),CDs and DVDs are the safest places to backup your photos. And if you really want to be safe, you should have redundant backups on optical media too.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 5:40 AM   #18
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Because stuff happens.

And Murphy is lurking around every corner.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 4:40 AM   #19
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Great advice. Appreciate it. Don't think I'll be building a Cylon RAIDer server (or whatever you called it) anytime soon, so, for one, I guess I'm relying on the cd's and dvd's. Also, for me, the external drive is the quick and easy backup to my laptop and an INTERMEDIATE step before dvd. Good advice though and I'll certainly make sure that monthly backup to dvd is more religously followed.

That said, what is an optical drive??? Example?

With your technical knowledge, any thoughts on the quality/longevity question regarding cd's and dvd's? Is there a fear of finding empty, or unreadable dvd's 20 years down the road? Any advice there???

BTW, I say this jokingly but am sure you have failsafe measures in place, even your 3 hard drives in the same box are at risk in fire or other catastrophe. Guess your tapes are stored off site???
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 5:52 AM   #20
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leeraff wrote:

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That said, what is an optical drive??? Example?
I'm sorry. "Optical drive" is a generic term for CD and DVD drives (as well as others like Magneto-Optical and Ultra-Density Optical).

leeraff wrote:
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With your technical knowledge, any thoughts on the quality/longevity question regarding cd's and dvd's? Is there a fear of finding empty, or unreadable dvd's 20 years down the road? Any advice there???
There are lots of sites that discuss the longevity of optical media. You can beat your head against the wall looking for a source you can trust (and hope they're right), or you can do redundant (overlapping) backups onto different types and brands of media.

I don't care what anybody says. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

leeraff wrote:
Quote:
BTW, I say this jokingly but am sure you have failsafe measures in place, even your 3 hard drives in the same box are at risk in fire or other catastrophe. Guess your tapes are stored off site???
Every month I backup onto a new tapeand store it in a safe deposit box.

Another consideration when selecting a backup strategy: make sure you can recover stuff from your backups. I've had instances where companies have called, asking me to recover something that they thought they'd backed up but hadn't, or that the backups were so disorganized that it was impossible to find what they were looking for. If you can'trestore, then you're wasting your time backing up.

Attached is a copy of my backup schedule. Everytime I change a tape, I put the date in the next open box. This helps me find stuff on my tapes.
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