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  1. #1
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Hey guys, curious if anyone else does this. I have a 1-gig san disk cruzer micro that I keep on my keychain. It contains all of my photos that I synchonize with my laptop every month with specific folders. Anyone else do this at all? I'm in Hawaii right now and shocked the hell out of my grandfather when he asked if we are bringing his computer back to NJ - I handed him his very own chip and told him all the pc info he needs from his computer is right there and he could access it from any computer with a USB drive! lol Being an engineer - he's quite impresed and showing everyone his microdrive! If you can't bring a laptop on vacation with you, it is a very good idea to use the micro to bring copies of documents you may actually need while away (or over seas!). Seems to me some cameras can adapt to them too, but i have to research that some more. ;-)
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  2. #2
    Sitting in a Leaky Dingy Michael Fanelli's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Janie
    Hey guys, curious if anyone else does this. I have a 1-gig san disk cruzer micro that I keep on my keychain. It contains all of my photos that I synchonize with my laptop every month with specific folders. Anyone else do this at all? I'm in Hawaii right now and shocked the hell out of my grandfather when he asked if we are bringing his computer back to NJ - I handed him his very own chip and told him all the pc info he needs from his computer is right there and he could access it from any computer with a USB drive! lol Being an engineer - he's quite impresed and showing everyone his microdrive! If you can't bring a laptop on vacation with you, it is a very good idea to use the micro to bring copies of documents you may actually need while away (or over seas!). Seems to me some cameras can adapt to them too, but i have to research that some more. ;-)
    I use the same USB key. I store school data on it that allows me to plug it in and use the materials anywhere. But beware, these keys are notoriously unreliable. I had two keys die within 5-6 weeks. This time, I have a one year no-questions-asked replacement warranty. This Cruzer is only a few weeks old so I'm still waiting for the "can't access" errors.
    "Every great decision creates ripples--like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforseeable ways.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    One Gig?

    One gig wouldn't even come close to covering my needs. I can shoot 4 gigs in one day at an event. I do have a little portfolio stored on my Treo 600, though ;)
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Only 1 Gigabyte?-warning- a bit off topic and long reply

    I guess I shoot more than I thought. I typically shoot 2 GB depending on the project.
    I download to my laptop immediately (my laptop has an SD slot and I always keep a multi card USB 2.0 reader in my laptop case) and I use a program called Syncback to synchronize my laptop images to an external Seagate drive and one of the hard drives on my home desktop pc. I run on a wireless network at home so it's very convenient. I also back up my main photo bearing hard drive to another hard drive in the same pc (I have 4 hard drives in my desktop pc-two 400's and two 300 GB drives, plus the external Seagate and everything has at least 1 backup), so I always have at least 3 copies of all my photos on hard drives. I usually delete the images after backup off my laptop (I've only got 100 GB on my laptop drive).I back up every time I add new photos, and I back up once a week regardless. Once a month I waste a weekend burning my photos to DVD (wife not happy with my photography/computer/nerdy techy obsessive compulsive disorder) for yet another backup.
    Yes, I know, seek help. I just hate the thought of losing images-even though most of my images are throw aways. I've already lost 2 GB worth of animal/wildlife/nature photos that are no longer readable on my early cd's and dvd's but are also no longer on a hard drive because I thought that cd's and dvd's were archival and so in my infinite wisdom deleted them from my pc. So now I'm gungho on multiple backups, because well, it really bites to lose photos.
    Sorry about the long reply-can you tell I'm passionate about backups
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  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Only 1 Gigabyte?-warning- a bit off topic and long reply

    I currently have no backups for my photos. After reading PJ's thoughts on Katrina, and and discovering that even the shots that I consider throw aways can be worth something, I'm thinking of adding an external HD to my photo gear. I currently burn stuff to CD's or DVD's but one they are there, I delete them from my PC. I have already discovered some of them are no longer readable for once reason or another, so that method is not as reliable as some of us once thought. So it's time to find another way. Perhaps an external drive at home, and extra copies on CD's and DVD's to leave in my desk at work. Lots to think about and more equipment to buy. Who said digital is cheaper than film?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Only 1 Gigabyte?-warning- a bit off topic and long reply

    I am new to digital so not much disk space take for photos so far but its ramping up quickly

    My Workflow for images out of camera: copy to hard drive, copy to DVD immediately, view, delete garbage, edit ones of interest only on HDD and copy modified images to another directory/disk and then back them up to DVD. I keep the originals separate from the modified. These are also backed up to a USB Removable HDD for quick recovery and DVD.

    So far never had to recover (touch wood)

    Every month I create an Index page(s) of the photos taken that month and keep with DVD's. Also duplicate the DVD either when full or every month.

    So backups are at least 3 copies of everything + working copies on the PC- one set of DVD held somewhere other than home normally work but they do get moved as I move between projects.

    Roger R.
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  7. #7
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Those USB devices look pretty handy for bringing images to the lab for printing, or a file over to a friend's house that's too big to email, something like that. But I don't think I'd trust them for my one and only copy either. Also, one of the "joys" (insert sarcasm here) of shooting RAW is the amount of memory they take. Mine come in at about 13mb/frame. 1G won't last long!

    Double backups are a must, IMO. I'll repeat the story again, sorry to bore those of you who have heard of it before. Last winter, my internal HD died. It was a 2-1/2 year old SeaGate - a good drive and not particularly old, either. When it went, somehow it wiped out a bunch of images from my connected external HD (it's turned off unless I'm using it). Because I also had CD's as a secondary backup, I didn't lose any images. To be safe, I reformatted the external HD and re-installed all the images from CD's (guess how long that took!). I also put a drive cooler on the new internal HD. Cheap investment at $10.

    A co-worker lost his 2-year old internal HD earlier this week. This stuff happens, and when it's gone it's gone. Data recovery may or may not be an option but it will be very expensive. Much more so (also less convenient and lower success rate) than buying an external HD at about $1 per gig - maybe less. CD's don't cost much either.

    ---End rant.

  8. #8
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    So where is a good place to go to get an external HD? I see there are tons of places that sell them, but I know nothing about them. What's a good/reliable brand? Are there features, other than size and USB 2.0 that I should be looking for? I would think that a 300-400 gig external HD would keep me covered for a while, plus DVD copies of everything.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    So where is a good place to go to get an external HD? I see there are tons of places that sell them, but I know nothing about them. What's a good/reliable brand? Are there features, other than size and USB 2.0 that I should be looking for? I would think that a 300-400 gig external HD would keep me covered for a while, plus DVD copies of everything.
    I've got some simple advice for you. First and most important, don't over do it just because someone says you "need this".

    Second, figure out what it is you actually want to backup. Is it just your digital photos? What about other documents like resume's, Quicken Tax, or your email? Are you going to want to backup the entire operating system?

    Third, how frequently do you honestly think you'll need to restore from backups? Less than once a year? More than once a year?

    Fourth, how many backups do you need? Consider the need for an off-site backup in addition to a local one in case of fire or theft. (external hard drive would be toast in either case).

    Fifth, how frequently do you need to update your backups? Once a month? Once a week? Once every day? After any change or addition of data?

    NOW you're ready to start thinking about the tools out there to satisfy your needs.

    People will give you different answers about what they think is right probably based on what they do. But they might have specific reasons why they do things the way they do that don't apply to you and would be overkill or underkill. Only you know.

    Your first step is to anwer the questions above. This will help you to formulate a plan. The answer to your tool/hardware questions will then become much easier.

    If you don't want to do that, the very minimum thing you could (should) do is to buy a DVD burner, make copies of all your data to the DVD's (you may need to invest in better software) and then make two copies of each DVD you create. Store one copy locally for quick access and store the other at work. Update your backup once a month to minimize your losses.

    HTH

  10. #10
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    I own a couple of jump drives, which I use for:

    transferring files from my computer to another (printer, school, etc)
    clearing space off my hard drive in a pinch
    writing email on my laptop where I don't have in-room internet access, then carrying the email (on disk) to a computer where I'm being charged per minute for use
    just carrying around for an emergency

    I don't trust important things to it for the most part. I've never had a problem with one, though. And I always eject them properly.


    I just posted a press release about the MediaGear XtraDrive, which appears to be a device you can plug your memory cards into and make a "jump drive" out of them. That's cool.

    MediaGear XtraDrive - Press Release
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  11. #11
    I can't member!?!? dmm96452's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Finally, a topic I know at least a little about.

    Jump drives – Small, fast, normally reliable and have decent capacity (up to 4 gig) for files that you need to take with you. I have had a 1gig Lexar in my pocket for over a year now and have not had any problems, but that is extremely lucky. Not the best for archiving as they do take a beating and are extremely easy to lose.

    External hard drives – Enormous capacity, fast, cost effective and still relatively portable. Great for archiving. Firewire is much faster than USB but firewire connectors are not as readily available as USB. An enclosure with both would be the best of both worlds. I would also suggest two. One at home and one off site somewhere. Be diligent about keeping the off site one up to date and be sure to check them a few times a year. A full disk is an easy thing to start to ingnore.

    CDs – DVDs – Inexpensive, portable, excellent capacity, (even if you need more than one disk they don’t take up a lot of space) few problems reading them anywhere you go. Not the best for archiving. I’ve never seen actual examples of “disk rot” but I have seem what appears to be a perfectly good disk with no scratches or damage not work. If you are going to go this route at least two copies is a must and checking all copies several times a year would also be wise.
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  12. #12
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    I actually forgot about this - my spot at printroom.com has been an incredible place for me to store all the absolute best photos. I can upload super high res and purchase more disk space at a fair price too. So for your best photos, online is probably the best place!
    http://janehaas.com

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  13. #13
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Janie
    I actually forgot about this - my spot at printroom.com has been an incredible place for me to store all the absolute best photos. I can upload super high res and purchase more disk space at a fair price too. So for your best photos, online is probably the best place!
    I was thinking, after the lesson of New Orleans, that online backup space might be the best 'off-site' backup location. Most of us would protect against a fire or storm that will take out our own house, but what of a disaster that takes out a whole city? (granted, extremely rare, but...)


    I mean, a person *can* overdo it. But online storage is a really convenient use of technology, I think.
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  14. #14
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    What's a good/reliable brand? Are there features, other than size and USB 2.0 that I should be looking for?
    If after Trevor's advice you still want one, here's a couple of things. The ones I hear everybody talk about are Maxtor and LaCie. I have a Maxtor 250g that I got at Comp USA. They had a sale - think it was about $200 at the time. This one is USB2 and Firewire, but there are other versions. I don't use the "one touch" software with it, just store images and a few other things. In a year or so, I haven't used too much of it yet but I've been shooting mostly RAW for the last couple months so the need for space will increase.

    USB2 or Firewire is a must. Some companies refer to Firewire as Firewire 400, because there's a new Firewire 800. Faster yet, but still pretty new so expensive and not as many options. I've been using USB2 and it's pretty quick. USB1.1 would be an exercise in patience!

    So how does off-site storage work? I have no idea - any recommendations? Not sure yet if this is something I need to do, but curious at least.

  15. #15
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    So how does off-site storage work? I have no idea - any recommendations? Not sure yet if this is something I need to do, but curious at least.[/QUOTE]
    The off-site I use is at printroom.com - they are a company that allows you to post high res images that you can sell. I have several galleries up right now and plan to buy more space as soon as i need it. I make most of my money from photography, so for me, this is the absolute best option. I only put the images that are saleable on there, or from portrait shoots. I just send a link to the page to my clients so they can purchase as many photos as they want! Right now i'm running a kids holiday portrait special - most of the parents like to buy the photo insert greeting cards so they just order about 50 4x6 images. They pay for the shoot and I give them the photos at cost, so it ends up being a pretty good deal! I like to order hard copies of my photos from this site, as well. The quality is awesome and I can order larger sizes and much cheaper prices than photo stores.
    http://janehaas.com

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  16. #16
    I can't member!?!? dmm96452's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    So how does off-site storage work? I have no idea - any recommendations? Not sure yet if this is something I need to do, but curious at least.
    Basically it is just having a copy of anything you back up in another location other than home. A relative's house, the office, something like that. Another layer of protection in case a fire, theft or natural disaster (see Katrina) totals your house.

    Having an extra copy of cds/dvds or an extra external hard drive as I outlined below or on-line storage as Janie just mentioned are probably the best ways to go.
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  17. #17
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    My experiences with different makers of hard drives:

    I have owned over 20 Western Digitals, three have died. Two of them recently, and within two years of being purchased. Two were head crashes, one just stopped reading reliably, must have been a failure of the logic board.

    I have owned 4 Seagates, all four are still operating today. One I can't use anymore because I just don't know what I would do with a 200 megabyte drive from 1993.

    I have owned 9 Maxtors, and 7 have died within a year of being bought. Three of them within the SAME year, the latter two being warranty replacements for the one before it. All were head crashes.

    One dead Hitachi laptop drive out of three. Also a head crash.

    Using a Samsung to replace on of the Hitachi laptop drives, we'll see how that pans out.

    Maxtors I don't touch with a ten-foot pole, and my preferred Western Digitals are being replaced with Seagates because they're the only ones that didn't slash the warranty down to a year like everyone else. If they're willing to back up their product then it gives me a greater sense of security in that they use quality components. Western Digitals have served me very, very well, but the warranty change frightens me, they dropped it to one year. Seagate still has a 5-year warranty. The 8 computers here at work that I have built and manage are all purring along on Western Digitals without any problems.

    These are my experiences, and for whatever reason, they are very similar to the experiences of at least four repair shops that I've dealt with in this area. Maxtor by and large bites the dust the most, with the IBM Deskstars taking that crown for the short amount of time they were in existence.

    Take that for what it's worth...which ultimately isn't much, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Now, as far as backing up, it doesn't really matter as to WHAT you use. That is guided by your needs and workflow. What does matter is that you have at the very least two copies of everything. Two local and at least one off-site is preferred. If you want to burn thousands of CDs, then go for it, nothing wrong with it. But optical media has to be kept away from light, is damaged by alcohol (sharpies are BAD, as are labels, only mark the casing for longest life, leaving the disc blank), as well as the oils from your fingers and humidity. Hard drives have many precision moving parts, and therefore are ticking time bombs, but they are cheap, FAST and store huge amounts of data. The lubricants need to be used to keep them from drying out, so shutting them off, pulling them out and hoping they will still be readable in five years is asking for trouble.

    Then there is tape. Good quality tape can last a very long time if it is stored correctly, typical light and humidity issues. A good tape backup with sufficient storage can cost thousands.

    Probably the most bang for your buck would be a hard drive RAID 0+5 setup, read more here:

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/...Level05-c.html

    Personally, I have two externals, one for online storage, one for backup. Both have identical data on them. If one croaks, the other restores to the first drive's replacement. That is the setup that works best for my workflow, your needs might be completely different.

    Good luck.
    -Seb

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  18. #18
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    I have owned 9 Maxtors, and 7 have died within a year of being bought. Three of them within the SAME year, the latter two being warranty replacements for the one before it. All were head crashes.
    Gulp... Been about a year with my Maxtor...

    I guess the thing to realize is that nothing is perfect. Multiple backups are good!

  19. #19
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Some very good advice from everyone! DVD's meet my needs right now, but I do have to be more diligent about making an extra copy. Right now I only have 1 copy of all my photos. I'm sure some day I will be ready for an external HD and it's good to hear all of your advice and experiences with them for future referance. I have never had a meltdown, but you never know when that could happen. The "it's not going to happen to me" attitude is bound to bite me on the backside one of these days, and I would like to be ready when it does. For now, DVD's & CD's are doing the trick.
    Mike

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  20. #20
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Re: Thought of the day....Archving photos and stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Gulp... Been about a year with my Maxtor...

    I guess the thing to realize is that nothing is perfect. Multiple backups are good!
    Maxtor a few years ago was definitely risky. I'd say about 1 out of 3 Maxtor drives died within a week of service on average seven or eight years ago, so I stuck to Western Digitals after that (had 1 out of 8 Seagate drives go south in 13 years). I've had 4 maxtors in the last 2 years, upgraded for capacity reasons, one died after I gave it away (cost my buddy 1400 bucks to recover the data). I had 5 Hitachi drives, one died after 3-4 days (the one I got from New Egg). I've had 4 or 5 Seagates in 13 years, none have ever died to my knowledge.
    Yes, I upgrade my desktop- a LOT. I tend to upgrade and build computers in bunches every 2 years or so.
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