How to digitize precious photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Photomax, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Photomax

    Photomax Guest

    Our traditional photographs are deteriorating with every passing
    moment. Faces and colors fade with the passage of time and someday
    these visual memories will be lost forever.
    Photomax provides an easy solution to the inevitable fate of your
    traditional photos with their Photo Saver service.
    Simply send photos, slides, or negatives to the Photomax Digital
    Imaging Lab, where trained photo technicians carefully clean and scan
    your photographs with state-of-the-art equipment. These new digital
    pictures are then placed into your personal Photomax account, and your
    originals are returned to you. You can then view your photos at any
    time and from any location on your personal website.
    Photomax is a photo website unlike any other. It is the easiest way to
    preserve, organize, share and enjoy precious memories.

    http://login.myphotomaxusa.com
    Photomax, Sep 28, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Photomax wrote:
    > Our traditional photographs are deteriorating with every passing
    > moment. Faces and colors fade with the passage of time and someday
    > these visual memories will be lost forever.


    In addition to a blatant commercial message where it does not belong,
    the message is a lie.

    The lie part is the idea that somehow digital images are archival and
    are safe from the ravages of time.

    The fact is digital storage media is often less reliable than
    traditional photographic media. Also the media and or file types may be
    impossible or very difficult to read ten years from now when advances in
    technology have made them as easy to use as an 8 track tape.

    My advice for anyone who really wants to preserve images is to have them
    digitalized by a honest reliable service, not one that would post this kind
    of ad. and keep one copy and send the other to someone you know far away.
    Think what happened on the Gulf Cost this year. Having copies stored
    hundreds of miles away is a good idea. I have mine with my son and daughter
    who live 3,000 miles apart. Also have good archival prints made of those
    that you really treasure and keep one set and send the other as above. Good
    archival prints will last over 100 years and don't need special computers or
    programs to view.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 28, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Photomax

    Jeremy Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    news:Coy_e.23739$...
    >
    > My advice for anyone who really wants to preserve images is to have
    > them digitalized by a honest reliable service, not one that would post
    > this kind of ad.


    Are we to believe that this "Photomax" place will digitize the photos for
    free, if they can put them on their servers? Did I read the OP correctly?

    What guarantee is there that one's private family photos won't be up for
    grabs by anyone, for any reason? And what guarantee is there that Photomax
    will do a credible job of scanning the photos? For that matter, what
    guarantee is there that they won't be inept, and subject the photos to
    damage?

    One would have to be really reckless to entrust their irreplaceable
    photographs to a place like that.
    Jeremy, Sep 28, 2005
    #3
  4. Photomax

    Mike Berger Guest

    On the contrary, making your photos public is how some of these sites
    make money.

    Jeremy wrote:

    > What guarantee is there that one's private family photos won't be up for
    > grabs by anyone, for any reason?
    Mike Berger, Sep 28, 2005
    #4
  5. Photomax

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Joseph Meehan wrote:
    > Photomax wrote:
    >> Our traditional photographs are deteriorating with every passing
    >> moment. Faces and colors fade with the passage of time and someday
    >> these visual memories will be lost forever.

    >
    > In addition to a blatant commercial message where it does not belong,
    > the message is a lie.
    >
    > The lie part is the idea that somehow digital images are archival and
    > are safe from the ravages of time.
    >
    > The fact is digital storage media is often less reliable than
    > traditional photographic media. Also the media and or file types may be
    > impossible or very difficult to read ten years from now when advances in
    > technology have made them as easy to use as an 8 track tape.
    >
    > My advice for anyone who really wants to preserve images is to have them
    > digitalized by a honest reliable service, not one that would post this kind
    > of ad. and keep one copy and send the other to someone you know far away.
    > Think what happened on the Gulf Cost this year. Having copies stored
    > hundreds of miles away is a good idea. I have mine with my son and daughter
    > who live 3,000 miles apart. Also have good archival prints made of those
    > that you really treasure and keep one set and send the other as above. Good
    > archival prints will last over 100 years and don't need special computers or
    > programs to view.
    >
    >

    I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    still read them on my current computer. I think your fears of
    media/storage format obsolescence are unfounded.
    Since digital images don't suffer deterioration from repeated copying,
    the only downside to archival storage is a need to change media every
    now and then.


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Sep 29, 2005
    #5
  6. Ron Hunter wrote:
    > Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >> Photomax wrote:
    >>> Our traditional photographs are deteriorating with every passing
    >>> moment. Faces and colors fade with the passage of time and someday
    >>> these visual memories will be lost forever.

    >>
    >> In addition to a blatant commercial message where it does not
    >> belong, the message is a lie.
    >>
    >> The lie part is the idea that somehow digital images are
    >> archival and are safe from the ravages of time.
    >>
    >> The fact is digital storage media is often less reliable than
    >> traditional photographic media. Also the media and or file types may
    >> be impossible or very difficult to read ten years from now when
    >> advances in technology have made them as easy to use as an 8 track
    >> tape.
    >> My advice for anyone who really wants to preserve images is to
    >> have them digitalized by a honest reliable service, not one that
    >> would post this kind of ad. and keep one copy and send the other to
    >> someone you know far away. Think what happened on the Gulf Cost this
    >> year. Having copies stored hundreds of miles away is a good idea. I have
    >> mine with my son and daughter who live 3,000 miles apart. Also have good
    >> archival prints made of those that you really
    >> treasure and keep one set and send the other as above. Good
    >> archival prints will last over 100 years and don't need special
    >> computers or programs to view.
    >>

    > I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    > still read them on my current computer. I think your fears of
    > media/storage format obsolescence are unfounded.
    > Since digital images don't suffer deterioration from repeated copying,
    > the only downside to archival storage is a need to change media every
    > now and then.


    Floppy disk have a live of from 3-20 years. I find that they were far
    tool flaky after three years to trust them. I worked in a government tax
    environment and we could not afford to loose data. After five years were
    were loosing about 50% of our disk. With a lot of effort we were able to
    recover much of the data. I suggest that you keep multiple copies of those
    files (the expensive gold CD's have much better, but not extremely long
    life). Keep more than one copy and make a regular schedule of making new
    copies every few years. That holds true for files on your hard drive as
    well. The worse thing we lost was the only electronic copy of a major
    manual that was one 5 inch disk. Almost all of the disk were bad some years
    later when we needed to access that data and the only printed copies
    remaining were poor copies of copies and would not OCR well.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 29, 2005
    #6
  7. "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote:
    >
    > Floppy disk have a live of from 3-20 years. I find that they were far
    > too flaky after three years to trust them.


    Same here.

    By the way, it looks as though Dell (Japan) is selling a 120GB USB2.0
    external hard drive for just a tad over US$100. If you consider the
    difficulty of storing (and the time for burning) 150 CDs, that's looking
    mighty attractive.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 29, 2005
    #7
  8. [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    David J. Littleboy
    <>], who wrote in article <dhgjas$cuj$>:
    > By the way, it looks as though Dell (Japan) is selling a 120GB USB2.0
    > external hard drive for just a tad over US$100. If you consider the
    > difficulty of storing (and the time for burning) 150 CDs, that's looking
    > mighty attractive.


    USB enclosure for 3.25'' drive can be had here for $9. Add $90 for
    300GB Seagate drive, and you get $100 for 300GB USB storage system.
    (One needs to watch xpbargains.com; and Seagate matters because only
    them have 5year warranty on non-SCSI drives.)

    However, the major problem with this setup is that *external unscrewed
    drives* do NOT have higher reliability than floppies/CDs/DVDs. You
    need to screw them to something stable to get life expectations well
    above 1 year... Currently, the storage situation is lose/lose...

    Hope this helps,
    Ilya
    Ilya Zakharevich, Sep 30, 2005
    #8
  9. Photomax

    bob Guest

    Ron Hunter <> wrote in news:fEO_e.5427$wg7.1488
    @fe06.lga:

    > I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    > still read them on my current computer.


    I went through a box of old floppies (maybe 75 or 100) and copied them to
    hard-drive recently. They ranged from 10 to 15 years old. I think about 85%
    of them read correctly. Of the 15% with problems, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 had
    completely failed; the rest I could read some information, but not all.

    We recently discovered some CD-Rs from 1993. I was able to read them
    successfully.

    Bob
    bob, Oct 5, 2005
    #9
  10. Photomax

    Jeremy Guest

    "bob" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96E69A6CB3430j123w123x123@216.77.188.18...
    > Ron Hunter <> wrote in news:fEO_e.5427$wg7.1488
    > @fe06.lga:
    >
    >> I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    >> still read them on my current computer.

    >
    > I went through a box of old floppies (maybe 75 or 100) and copied them to
    > hard-drive recently. They ranged from 10 to 15 years old. I think about
    > 85%
    > of them read correctly. Of the 15% with problems, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 had
    > completely failed; the rest I could read some information, but not all.
    >
    > We recently discovered some CD-Rs from 1993. I was able to read them
    > successfully.
    >
    > Bob


    Your experience with failed files underscores just how unreliable it is to
    rely upon digital media for long term archiving. To lose 15% of images over
    a 25-year time span is just unacceptable.

    This is a problem that will certainly be solved one day, and I myself
    archive images on CD, but the fact remains that digital assets require more
    TLC to remain readable.

    There is no doubt that for short time horizons, under 5 years, digital
    images are fine. But those people that take the attitude of "just burn it
    to a CD," may find that it is not quite that simple. Part of this
    misconception was caused by Kodak's ads for their Photo CD, where they
    suggested that the images would last about a century, and then they could be
    re-copied to new CDs and last yet another century . . .
    Jeremy, Oct 5, 2005
    #10
  11. Photomax

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 19:50:00 GMT, "Jeremy" <> wrote:

    >"bob" <> wrote in message
    >news:Xns96E69A6CB3430j123w123x123@216.77.188.18...
    >> Ron Hunter <> wrote in news:fEO_e.5427$wg7.1488
    >> @fe06.lga:
    >>
    >>> I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    >>> still read them on my current computer.

    >>
    >> I went through a box of old floppies (maybe 75 or 100) and copied them to
    >> hard-drive recently. They ranged from 10 to 15 years old. I think about
    >> 85%
    >> of them read correctly. Of the 15% with problems, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 had
    >> completely failed; the rest I could read some information, but not all.
    >>
    >> We recently discovered some CD-Rs from 1993. I was able to read them
    >> successfully.
    >>
    >> Bob

    >
    >Your experience with failed files underscores just how unreliable it is to
    >rely upon digital media for long term archiving. To lose 15% of images over
    >a 25-year time span is just unacceptable.


    These were files on floppies, which were never considered suitable for
    long-term file storage. A 15% loss rate isn't bad for 10-15 year old
    floppies.

    --
    Bill Funk
    Replace "g" with "a"
    funktionality.blogspot.com
    Bill Funk, Oct 8, 2005
    #11
  12. Photomax

    Jer Guest

    Jeremy wrote:
    > "bob" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns96E69A6CB3430j123w123x123@216.77.188.18...
    >
    >>Ron Hunter <> wrote in news:fEO_e.5427$wg7.1488
    >>@fe06.lga:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    >>>still read them on my current computer.

    >>
    >>I went through a box of old floppies (maybe 75 or 100) and copied them to
    >>hard-drive recently. They ranged from 10 to 15 years old. I think about
    >>85%
    >>of them read correctly. Of the 15% with problems, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 had
    >>completely failed; the rest I could read some information, but not all.
    >>
    >>We recently discovered some CD-Rs from 1993. I was able to read them
    >>successfully.
    >>
    >>Bob

    >
    >
    > Your experience with failed files underscores just how unreliable it is to
    > rely upon digital media for long term archiving. To lose 15% of images over
    > a 25-year time span is just unacceptable.


    His issue was unrelated to the digital files themselves, it was related
    to the magnetic media the files were stored on. Formatted magnetic
    disks lose sectorization data over time, making the file data
    unreliable. Couple that with a head crash or two and real problems result.

    >
    > This is a problem that will certainly be solved one day, and I myself
    > archive images on CD, but the fact remains that digital assets require more
    > TLC to remain readable.
    >
    > There is no doubt that for short time horizons, under 5 years, digital
    > images are fine. But those people that take the attitude of "just burn it
    > to a CD," may find that it is not quite that simple. Part of this
    > misconception was caused by Kodak's ads for their Photo CD, where they
    > suggested that the images would last about a century, and then they could be
    > re-copied to new CDs and last yet another century . . .
    >
    >



    --
    jer
    email reply - I am not a 'ten'
    Jer, Oct 9, 2005
    #12
  13. Photomax

    Guest

    The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    they are breakable. I use an online backup service that scans for new
    photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.

    - Rod
    , Oct 9, 2005
    #13
  14. Photomax

    Kayla Guest

    Websites are here today and gone tomorrow so how can you be sure that
    your photo's will be there there. I have seen on different posts that
    people trust an outside source to keep their photo's safe and I
    wondered about that.

    Lori

    >The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    >they are breakable. I use an online backup service that scans for new
    >photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.
    >
    >- Rod
    Kayla, Oct 9, 2005
    #14
  15. Photomax

    Roger Guest

    On 8 Oct 2005 17:53:31 -0700, wrote:

    >The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    >they are breakable. I use an online backup service that scans for new
    >photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.


    I don't trust any online site for storage.

    Whose CDs and DVDs are not off site? I create two sets, one local and
    one elsewhere.

    Have you ever tried to break a CD or DVD? If you ever do, wear leather
    gloves and goggles or a face shield. Those things are mechanically
    *tough* and when they let go sharp pieces fly all over the place. I
    was amazed at the effort it took to break one and more surprised at
    how the *stuff* flew. OTOH the recording surface (the back on CDs)
    can be scratched. Face scratches on the clear side can usually be
    cleaned unless really bad.

    DVDs are susceptible to flexing, but it takes a bunch, or course if
    the user always pulls it out of the case by the edges instead of
    pressing down in the center, it's their own fault. Still, they'll
    take a lot of abuse.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
    >
    >- Rod
    Roger, Oct 9, 2005
    #15
  16. Photomax

    Guest

    On 8 Oct 2005 17:53:31 -0700, wrote:

    >The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    >they are breakable.


    Those two statements only apply to people not bright enough to
    take/send them offsite or who treat the media as gorillas might.


    > I use an online backup service that scans for new
    >photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.
    >
    >- Rod
    , Oct 9, 2005
    #16
  17. Photomax

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Kayla wrote:
    > Websites are here today and gone tomorrow so how can you be sure that
    > your photo's will be there there. I have seen on different posts that
    > people trust an outside source to keep their photo's safe and I
    > wondered about that.
    >
    > Lori
    >
    >> The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    >> they are breakable. I use an online backup service that scans for new
    >> photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.
    >>
    >> - Rod

    >


    It is true that sites often disappear, but if one looks closely at who
    owns the site, then it is pretty secure, as long as it isnt' the ONLY
    backup.


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Oct 9, 2005
    #17
  18. Photomax

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Roger wrote:
    > On 8 Oct 2005 17:53:31 -0700, wrote:
    >
    >> The other problem with CDs and DVDs is that they are not off-site and
    >> they are breakable. I use an online backup service that scans for new
    >> photos every night. I also burn CDs reguarly for handy local backups.

    >
    > I don't trust any online site for storage.
    >
    > Whose CDs and DVDs are not off site? I create two sets, one local and
    > one elsewhere.
    >
    > Have you ever tried to break a CD or DVD? If you ever do, wear leather
    > gloves and goggles or a face shield. Those things are mechanically
    > *tough* and when they let go sharp pieces fly all over the place. I
    > was amazed at the effort it took to break one and more surprised at
    > how the *stuff* flew. OTOH the recording surface (the back on CDs)
    > can be scratched. Face scratches on the clear side can usually be
    > cleaned unless really bad.
    >
    > DVDs are susceptible to flexing, but it takes a bunch, or course if
    > the user always pulls it out of the case by the edges instead of
    > pressing down in the center, it's their own fault. Still, they'll
    > take a lot of abuse.
    >
    > Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    > (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    > www.rogerhalstead.com
    >> - Rod


    I have had some CDs and DVDs that became so warped they wouldn't work in
    the drives, or made horrible noises when they 'spun up'.


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Oct 9, 2005
    #18
  19. Photomax

    Guest

    It doesn't really matter. I'm not keeping the only copy of my photos
    online, it's just a backup. If they go bust I can always move to
    someone else. Of course there is a chance they'll go bust just as a I
    need to recover something but that's small.

    I also use a service that is dedicated to backup, no sharing or other
    distractions. They make a small monthly charge and hopefully they've
    done their sums right.

    - Rod
    , Oct 9, 2005
    #19
  20. Photomax

    ASAAR Guest

    On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 19:50:00 GMT, Jeremy wrote:

    >>> I have old floppy disks with pictures from over 25 years ago. I can
    >>> still read them on my current computer.

    >>
    >> I went through a box of old floppies (maybe 75 or 100) and copied
    >> them to hard-drive recently. They ranged from 10 to 15 years old.
    >> I think about 85% of them read correctly. Of the 15% with problems,
    >> maybe 1/3 or 1/4 had completely failed; the rest I could read some
    >> information, but not all.
    >>
    >> We recently discovered some CD-Rs from 1993. I was able to read
    >> them successfully.
    >>
    >> Bob

    >
    > Your experience with failed files underscores just how unreliable
    > it is to rely upon digital media for long term archiving. To lose 15% of
    > images over a 25-year time span is just unacceptable.


    Especially when it didn't happen. It was Ron that mentioned the
    25-year time span, and he is able to successfully read his floppy
    disks. Bob had the problems reading 15% of his disks, which ranged
    from 10 to 15 years old. Floppy disks can have problems depending
    on how and where they're stored. They also had problems because
    some brands were very poor quality, and files could become
    unreadable within minutes, not years. Several weeks ago I had to
    reinstall my near ancient Win95 system. It was done with 37
    floppies I had created more than 9 years ago as backup disks (using
    Dysan floppies). Before starting the install I copied every one to
    the hard drive and the number of disk errors was zero. No special
    storage precautions were taken, other than keeping them in a
    dust-free case, away from electrical equipment.

    Also, it's incorrect to say that Bob lost 15% of the images. What
    he said amounts to 85% of the disks being error free. Only 1/3 to
    1/4 of the remaining 15% were totally lost. So the actual number of
    lost images probably lies somewhere between 15% and either 3 3/4% or
    5%. That's still an unacceptably high loss percentage, but the
    storage conditions as well as the quality of the floppies that were
    used is unknown. Of those 15% of the disks having read errors,
    programs such as Gibson's SpinRite might have been able to recover a
    significant number of files, further reducing the error rate.
    Nothing's perfect, but as digital files are so much easier to copy
    and distribute than negatives and prints, in cases of accidental
    loss, friends and relatives might be able to help provide some of
    the lost images if you have no secure backups. :)
    ASAAR, Oct 9, 2005
    #20
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