OT: Archiving Photos (was OT: In defense of a GUI (was: atapicam, blah, blah))

Robert Marella rmarella at gmail.com
Sun May 27 21:01:37 UTC 2007

On Sun, 27 May 2007 09:43:10 +1000
Peter Jeremy <peterjeremy at optushome.com.au> wrote:

> On 2007-May-25 23:11:01 +0200, Roland Smith <rsmith at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> >CD-R and DVD±R might not be the most reliable form of long term
> >backup, though. I've seen test reports in magazines indicating
> >significant corruption after as little as two years.
> ...
> >I like USB harddisks for backups,
> Media requirements for archival purposes are different to backup
> requirements.  I agree that USB HDDs appear a good choice for backups
> but I'm less certain about using them for archival purposes.
> HDDs are not designed for long term storage and I would expect that
> stiction problems would affect both the heads and bearings if the
> disks were left in storage for long periods.
> >1.75 that of a cheap DVD disk. But problems like splitting up large
> >directories disappear, as does hunting through stacks of DVDs. 
> The downside is that a faulty HDD will affect several orders of
> magnitude more data than a faulty DVD.
> >Other people here are more knowledgeable about things like tape
> >backup, which still seems to be a popular solution for people with
> >large collections of data. 
> Techniques for long-term storage of tapes are well known.  The
> downside is that both tape drives and media are comparatively
> expensive.
> In general, whatever media is chosen for archives, the media needs to
> be stored in a controlled environment and verified regularly.  If the
> information needs to be kept for extended periods, it may be necessary
> to migrate the data (both physical and file format) to retain access
> to the information.

Thank you for your response. I have been thinking about a response
since the last post by Roland. I am sure I could not have answered as
well as you did.

For certain, daily backups are performed on each of the photographers
computers to external firewire HDD. In addition to the facts you
stated about long term storage on HDD i would like to add cost and
space. A decent external 500GB HDD will run near $200 whereas a package
of 100 DVDs is about $40 when not on sale. And this is doubled when you
want two copies.

I have a 18 gallon storage tub for one copy of the DVDs of photographs
taken in 2006. The photographer keeps the other copy on hand for quick
access. This would probably equate to 7 or 8 external HDD that would
have to be stored by each of us. 

Add to that the speed of pulling up the required photo. When the
required photo is double clicked in the Portfolio catalog it requests
the particular DVD be inserted in any optical drive. In the case of an
external HDD, the correct HDD would have to be located and connected
(USB/Firewire) and we would have to hope it would take on the correct
drive letter (MSWindows program).

We have discussed data decay on all types of media and are thinking
about the newer 100 year DVDs. It always come down to cost. How much do
we spend so that 4 or 5 years down the road a bride calls because Uncle
Elmer and Auntie Virginia want a couple of 5x7s from the wedding. This
is good business because is almost pure profit. 

Years ago it was easy. She just went to her file cabinet and pulled the
file and found the negatives. We still had to worry about the
environment because negative will also age but now about 95% of her
work is digital.

The real issue is technology. In the next couple of years who can guess
what the "hot" archival storage media will be. We may have a optic
drive no larger that a CompactFlash card that will hold 1,000TBs or

For now we will continue to use DVDs and verify it frequently.



More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list