External Hard Drives – WARNING

I am a BIG advocate of using external hard drives to store your images and data. This is of course in addition to other back-up sources. Things such as DVD’s, extra external hard drives and additional computers.

External Hard Drives

New Drive

Recently I went out and bought another external hard drive. Picked up a Lacie to transfer all my nature pictures to. That way I would have them in one place and be able to take it with me when I am on the road without taking other files. Spent a Saturday night and part of Sunday transferring and organizing the new drive. I have several other Lacie drives as back-ups and have had no problems to date. Then I took the to the studio to download the files there.

I plugged the drive into one of the studio computers and watched as it said “New Drive Detected”, “Installing Hardware”, “New Device is now ready to use”. Then I clicked on My Computer to find that the device is not there. Tried a second computer then a third, all with the same results.

External Hard Drive
External Hard Drive

That not good

I was finally able to locate the drive through a couple of backdoor routes and found that the drive was running. But after a lot of research I found that even with the computer recognizing the drive it was not accessible. After looking into it I found out that it is the way the drive was set-up from the factory.

So a word of warning, if you have an external drive that you are using make sure that it is readable on other computers! You should do this ASAP!!! I would actually try several computers to make sure if your computer should die, or be upgraded, that the external drive is accessible.

Check your drives NOW!!!

Again as a word of warning, if you have an external drive check it on another computer ASAP to make sure that it can be read, before you need the drive to work and it doesn’t. This is one of those issues that if you find out when you have a computer problem it is too late!!!

Please follow and like us:

Camera Cards

Camera Cards – Are they archival?

Another thing that I am asked by a lot of people is “How archival are digital camera cards”? People wonder if they should fill up a camera card then store it and buy a new one. I was not sure so I contacted Sandisk and asked this question and the response is below.

Question:

How archival are your digital camera cards?

Answer:

Camera Cards
Some old camera cards that still work great!

Hello Mike, Thank you for contacting SanDisk Technical Support. It is our goal to make sure you have all the resources you need to get the most from your product. Let me assist you with your concern. The files/pictures can retain on the card for 10 years, without using the card again, meaning just for storing the card. If you are continuously using the card, like adding more and more pictures (when taking using the camera), please understand that there is no guarantee that those pictures will never going to be corrupted. Data corruptions on the card can happen any time on all storage device, (Cards, Flash drives, MP3 player, and including the Hard Disk drive). Should you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to this message. Best regards, SanDisk Technical Support

So I would say that it is still the best practice to get the images off the cards. Shot, download then back-up and reformat the card. If you do want to keep the image on the cards I would still download and back-up. Then store the cards in a safe place like a safety deposit box or at a friends house.

Camera Cards Archival?

The biggest issue with digital media, unlike film, is that it does not fade. It just corrupts! So if you take a card out in ten years and it is damaged that is it.

Be Safe…. PRINT!

I still say that the best way in addition to backing up your images is to print them. When they are printed you are not relying on technology to keep your images viable. I scan more prints than I do negatives or slides as people can find their prints. It is not perfect but it is better to have something to look back on even if it is fading a little.

Printing services

Please follow and like us:

Web Site

Do you have a web site? Many of you know I design web sites mainly for myself and a few clients that have become friends. Doing this has given me the chance to see the bad side of web design and hosting!  In the past couple of weeks I have been contacted by people with huge issues with their web sites. So here is a post about what to watch out for so you do not get stuck or worse…..

Some thoughts

Read moreWeb Site

Please follow and like us:

Balance your monitor

Do you need to balance your monitor? Well as I have said before it seems like I cover off the same things over and over. Today’s post is once again addressing an issue that I have covered off in the past.

I get people coming in regularly that tell me “My monitor is balanced, the pictures look great on my screen”. Or “Of course I have a balanced monitor I have a Apple”. Or “I have an expensive monitor I don’t have to balance it”.

If you have not balanced your monitor with either a reference print and doing it manually. Or you used balancing equipment (the equipment is the best way) then YOU DO NOT HAVE A BALANCED MONITOR. Sure the colors may look good on your computer but that is it. This does not mean that your monitor is balanced! PLEASE don’t waste a lot of time adjusting your images if you have not got a balanced monitor!! I hear from people so often that the image looked great at home, then when I bring it up it looks horrible and they are so confused.

If you are unsure stop in and I can give you a printed test print and you can take it home to see if your monitor is at least close.

Also, If you have not balanced your monitor then please at least use adjustment layers in Photoshop so if they are off we can just delete them and it does not ruin your print.

#photoprinting #LethbridgePhotography

Please follow and like us:

Always back-up – even your passwords!!!

I have written many times about making sure that you back-up your digital files but I also want to remind you to back-up your passwords, as well as to use passwords that are not easy for others to guess.  I know that many say you should never write down your passwords but lets be realistic, how many people can remember all those passwords.  As a quick tally I looked and found over 100 passwords that I have to remember and I am sorry but I cannot memorize all of them.  I know that there are many more but I cannot even remember the sites that require a password. Also if we are all using 123456 or similar easy to remember strings then really there is no sense in having a password, I know many people that do this as they say they can never remember all their passwords.

So I advocate something a little more secure than 123456 and that is to record your passwords in either a secure data base (see below) or even easier a recipe box with cards listing all the sites that have passwords. Honestly how many of us have people visiting that are going to be searching for passwords?  If we are concerned with people accessing these cards then get a fireproof locked safe and put the box in there.

Another way is what I have been using in addition to the recipe cards is an app. A number of years ago I installed an app on my tablet that helps with keeping track of my passwords.  It is secured with a password (yes another one) and you can even set it so after a number of wrong passwords are entered the program will erase the entire database, a little extreme in my opinion but I guess if you are a fan of 007 or other spy thrillers then this would interest you.  I do like this system as I can carry it with me on my tablet but this company keeps asking me to buy the “free” program so it makes me nervous that some day they will not allow me access to the app without me paying so I also use the above recipe card idea at home and lock it up in a safe for even safer keeping.

I did hear of a new (at least new to me) program that also allows you to secure your passwords, and again is free, and it is installed on your own computer.  I need to investigate more into this before I recommend it.

But even if you are not going the more high tech route of a program lets take some time today, or this weekend, to make our passwords harder for others to guess and at the same time to record them so we do not loose them!!!

Please follow and like us:

There’s no free lunch!!

There’s no free lunch is a saying that I’ve heard since I was a little boy, and it rings as true today as it did those so many years ago.  I was just doing some work on one of my blogs and updating a few of the programs and I found what was called a “free” app that I thought I would install.  So I installed the app, activated it, and then I got the request for extra information that they require before I could use this “free” app. So what is all this information that they require?  First they wanted my e-mail address, then they wanted my name, my age, occupation, sex, country of residence, then they wanted me to sign up for their “free” newsletter.

Read moreThere’s no free lunch!!

Please follow and like us: