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Old Apr 1, 2006, 9:48 AM   #11
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Good discussion -- I agree with all that storage and permanence are issues and have costs.

I agree with Greg that printing is the ultimate backup. As with any other computer file (e.g., word-processing documents), the most future-proof methods are the human-readable ones, which for photographers means paper...or film (slides/negs).

I fear for those normal snapshooters who keep all their images on their computer hard drive, with no backups. Unless they print their photos, in a few years their computer will die and take all the family snapshots with it. Maybe an altruistic thing for us enlightened photogs to do for our friends and loved ones is to assist them to do at least basic backups...

Monza76 wrote:
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Any other issues we have overlooked?
Consider how much you really need to have truly archival storage of ALL your pictures. I figure I'll want access for my earthly lifetime to all my photos, but I suspect my descendants won't have time or inclination to go through tens or hundreds of thousands of image files I leave behind...especially if they're in some obsolete format by that time.

Dan
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 10:07 AM   #12
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this always comes up in discussion with my colleagues over th eyear and we've never really come to a solution.

as has been suggested, the only way is to get them printed as hard copies.

i did have a 120gb back up drive, to back up a failing drive. but before i sorted out the failing drive, my 'backup' drive developed a mechanical fault and died completely.

4 years of photographs and other work went. most of it is my fault: shouldve backed up to another drive as another back up, shouldve done the back ups sooner, shouldve got them all printed, shouldve done this, shouldve done that. heh, its always better in hindsight.
i hope i learn from it.


so as others have suggested, i guess multiple backups across multiple medias is the way to go.

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Old Aug 23, 2006, 11:31 AM   #13
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robar schreef:
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i back up to 2 diff HDDS, to my regular DVDs, and then to Mitsui MAM-A DVD-R Archiving disks. i don't know if they are worth the $3+ they cost but they are ''suppose'' to have a 100 year life. who knows?? i will not be around to see.

roy

Roy,



The MAM-E dvd's will last for about 70 years. Their cd's are supposed to last 100 and the "golden" one even 200 years.

And with dvds being +R or +RW and -R and -RW I think you better take cd's for back-up (long-term backup that is) cd's that's a standard.





Richard.


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Old Aug 23, 2006, 4:28 PM   #14
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I have many photo albums, last year I won 1200 free digital 4X6 prints in a photo contest. I couldn't use them all, gave about 200 away, but the rest are now in our photo albums. Prints are also one of the most enjoyable ways to share your pictures. It doesn't requuire the commitment that any form of slide show does.

Ira
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 5:29 PM   #15
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Monza76 wrote:
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I have many photo albums, last year I won 1200 free digital 4X6 prints in a photo contest. I couldn't use them all, gave about 200 away, but the rest are now in our photo albums. Prints are also one of the most enjoyable ways to share your pictures. It doesn't requuire the commitment that any form of slide show does.

Ira
Yes that's a fact. I always like it when I occasionally print a few photos (meanwhile I'm out of places in my house to hang them...lol)

Now, as for storage, nothing lasts forever.

With a cd-r you'll probably be safe for 15 years, if you're lucky even 20 or 30.
I expect it's the same with a DVD.
Hard drives will come & go, so maybe in 10 years your SATA or USB connection will be useless and outdated.

it was the same with film, dia-slides and paper prints too. When I look at photos that are over 10 years old, their quality has diminished severely.

With digital however, it is the medium that degrades, not the photos. So, you can keep transferring your photos to a newer medium every few years.

Storage can go up to 2 Therabytes nowadays, so it'll only get cheaper.

TDN

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Old Aug 23, 2006, 5:45 PM   #16
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I beleive that there may be hope on the horizon. I was talking to a friend who (like myself) does computer repair as a hobby. He told me that he saw an article that said that the future hard drives will be based on flash memory. No mechanical parts like spinning disks or read/write heads to eventually wear down and break. What the sizes and prices will be is anyones guess, But i would think that they would be within reason.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 5:50 PM   #17
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such things have been around for a while, but not at prices that the consumer could afford.

expect the first few generations of the consumer level stuff to be extremely pricey.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 11:33 PM   #18
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This thread has essentially turned in to one on archival storage. This problem has been around for a long time, and as posters have indicated there are any number of solutions. However, some solutions are better than others. I have been in the computer industry for over 35 years (software engineer, systems engineer & architect), and re-wrote Intel's first BIOS. I have also been a director of computer systems for a nuclear power facility and archival storage was my one largest problem. My wife is also a university librarian who specializes in archival storage systems.

The problem with CDs/DVDs are that when needed, you will need a drive that can read them. Currently there are well over 10+ different formats. 5 to 10 years from now you just might not find a drive that can read that old format – even if the media will last 200 years.

A better solution would be a USB drive – they go for about $100US – here are some selections. http://shop2.outpost.com/search?cat=...pType=pDisplay Why is this better, because of the following. The USB interface is new, fast and will be around for a long time. Just look at the back of your current system and you will still see the serial port and parallel port which have been around from day 1, USB ports will be there forever now also. The reason why this is important is that the system has the controller AND the media built in. The controller services the USB interface AND the hard drive format (I am trying to make this simple). Also the size of the storage – a CD holds 0.75GB and a 250GB system would hold the equivalent of 333 CDs.

The next reason is that you can disconnect it and put it into a FIRE RESISTANT storage container, and that this system will connect to ANY system which can then pull off the data and images. You can also get pocket systems that hold 100GB for about the same price. http://www.pricewatch.com/hard%5Fdrives/

So what you want to do is to get one, connect it up, copy all of your image directories to the system (takes about 10 minutes), disconnect it and put it into the FIRE RESISTANT storage container (available at any office supply store for about $20US). http://www.office1000.com/discount/f...ant-chest.html Note in a fire, the system may be damaged, so pick it up and take it with you if there is a fire, or store it off site (at the office, mother in laws, brother or where ever) and then update it once a month.

OR better yet, pick up two, and interchange them keeping one at home and one at work, swapping them monthly offsite.

You should be able to store about 200 to 300 images per GB (depending on the image size and format) and with just a small 100GB drive (the size of your hand) you can store 20,000 to 30,000 images for about $100US.

Hope that helps everyone.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 11:58 PM   #19
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Thanks for the suggestions!

My only thought on this is with the USB drives, we're going back to mechanical media surely, [whether it be 3.5", 2.5" or 1.8"] ?
Now obviously they would end up having a longer life because they wouldnt be used until take out of storage, but then surely you could say the same about the larger 3.5" drives then if applied in the same way?

If going the usb route I wouldve thought the solid state flash hardware would be a better solution - no moving parts, and with consumer versions on the horizon as a previous poster mentioned, they would probably be a better bet yet when capacities get upto hard drive sizes.

Also, with regards to the ports on the back of computers, I'm starting to see the odd port disappear, notably com and serial ports in some of the latest boxes...
granted, these ports have lasted what, 30 years [?]...


of course i'm not saying wait. Follow up these solutions and adapt further down the line when new solutions crop up..
i suppose

[i'm already using a Freecom 400gb external usb drive solely for backups]

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Old Aug 24, 2006, 12:12 AM   #20
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All the talk of "permanence" reminded me of a document I like to hand out to my students. I've attached a jpeg of it to this post. Hopefully, it will be readable. Pass it along, if you find it interesting.

Barry
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