Sunday, January 06, 2008

Digital Photos: the next slides


When I was a youngster, my mom was our family's chief photographer.
For purposes of conserving money, she took photos on slide film.
Developing the slides, as I understand it, was significantly less
expensive than having prints made.

I have my own youngster now, and we're taking photos. Our primary
photo format is digital photos. They're stored in JPEG format on my
laptop hard drive. No, it's not a RAID. While I have taken backups in
the past, I don't have a current backup.

A computer typically lasts 3-5 years. And data is often lost when a
computer dies; often it's just that failure that prompts a purchase of
a new computer. The laptop could be stolen. The hard drive could just
fail.

The OS could go screwy and damage the files.

I could lose track of where the files are, even if they're still in my
possession.

There's a chance JPEG could become unreadable. There might be a court
ruling on some latent patent that makes it hard to find a JPEG viewer
in the future. (Surely, somebody out there has The Patent on
displaying digitally-encoded graphics on an LCD, or projector, or some
such.)

At least with slides, we know where they are. No, we don't have a
slide viewer of our own. The slides could be lost to a fire, or we
could just lose track of them.

With prints, as long as we know where they are, and don't lose them to
fire, we can view them.

I'm just concerned that by the time Oren is old enough to care, it
might be really very hard to show him photos of when he was young, or
when I was young.

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