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Old 10-11-2004, 08:00 PM
James Fee
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Default We're facing "a generation of lost images"

"Where will your digital photos be in 20 years? Or 10? Or even five? It’s a question those of us who are firing away with our digital cameras really have to think about. And act on. When it comes to long-term preservation, one thing is obvious—those images won’t be on your computer’s hard drive. Even if an all-out crash doesn’t wipe them away (as happened on my image-filled laptop last year), chances are you won’t still have that computer, any more than you’re now typing on an Osborne, Kaypro, or Atari. The diligent among us back up with CDs or DVDs. We burn them ourselves or have a photofinisher do it when we drop off our memory cards. It’s smart and easy. A typical CD can store 600 5-megapixel images; a single DVD, seven times that number. But it’s only a matter of years until these media become what the music world’s 8-tracks are to today’s MP3s. In the future, we might have to prowl yard sales or eBay, or some other land of bygone technology, to find a machine that can handle antiquated CDs or DVDs."

What would happen to you if turned on your computer tonight and your hard drive was fried? I back up my photos on DVDs, but I am always worried about how long that format will last. If I stick them in the attic and forget about them for 20 years, will they be dust in a plastic case? Of course Fuji Film says print them out, but inkjet printers don't archive well so are we to send our photos to the photo lab?

So what do we do about this problem? Does anyone have a solution?
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