Technology

I have family vacation photos on those memory cards that go inside digital cameras.  I have important documents saved on floppy disks.  I have lots of home movies on VHS tapes, and on those little cassettes that go inside video cameras.

While I’m sure it’s possible to somehow retrieve and look at them, and perhaps even to transfer them to some other medium that hasn’t yet become obsolete (as I did when I taped all my albums onto cassette tapes and as I did when I paid a lot of money to have someone transfer our family’s old Super 8 home movies to VHS tape), for all intents and purposes they are as locked away as if I had lost them.

Just saying.

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23 comments on “Technology

  1. DM says:

    I just read an article about a week ago on this very topic in World magazine :
    http://www.worldmag.com/2015/03/digital_memory_loss

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It’s good to know there is a fairly inexpensive way to save the stuff on the floppys. At least until CDs are obsolete.

      But seriously I do need to get that done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    Yup. Apart from not being able to easily share, and apart from developing technology rendering storage formats obsolete, there’s the possibility of the entire cloud going down.

    Photos aren’t so much of an issue for me, although I have them all backed up and plan to print a few special ones. But I’ve finished backing up all my WordPress drafts on USB drives (note the plural) and am in the process of doing the same with my blogs. Once that’s done, I’ll re-edit and print them out, just to have a hard copy.

    The best reason I can think of for creating a real book is that it can be read by sunlight or kerosene lantern, once all this technology has been hacked into oblivion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I remember putting all that stuff onto floppys when we got rid of our first computer. Then I stuck them in a drawer. Now of course, computers don’t read floppy disks.

      This was prompted because I was going to blog about something (the Magna Carta anniversary of all things) and I remembered I had a photo that would go well with the post. But it predated flash drives (or at least my knowledge of them) and I can’t find it. I think it’s probably on what of the memory cards that I found in a drawer, that no longer can be inserted into a computer (not mine at least).

      Cherie has looked into creating a hard copy of her blog posts. I have some very old books. Keep the silverfish away and they’ll last a long time. The cloud? Who knows.

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  3. Dani says:

    Bill – That’s why I love my blog. I try and post a pic from every “group” I take onto my blog. That way, reading through my blog, or looking something up I am reminded, and, given that my posts are dated, I know where to look for more. I tend to transfer and save my pics from my camera / phone by date, and then file them in monthly folders, which are all kept in yearly folders.

    I have a LARGE box filled with photo albums in our garage – still from our move from town to our smallholding and no where / shelves to store the albums in our house. The likelyhood of our going through that box is remote, as it has other stuff piled on top of it.

    so, in our case, our digital pics are more like to be viewed than those in the photo albums. 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      You’re better organized than me Dani. Since about 2006 or so my computer has automatically dated the pictures I’ve saved (or more likely the camera did). So they’re easily navigable. But before that, they’re in no particular order. And I seem to have somehow lost the pictures from the early days of digital photography.

      We have lots of old photo albums we hardly ever look at. But at least it’s possible. Storing photos and documents digitally and then having the technology change so that the equipment won’t read it anymore is my problem. Of course it wouldn’t be a problem if I’d paid attention to it earlier. But still. I did go the trouble and expense of saving all the old super 8 movies onto videotape. But it’s becoming more difficult to watch videotapes.

      Oh well. First world problems.

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  4. Bill, indeed technology has evolved through many generations and one is not really compatible with the next. I have a whole pile of unused writable CD and DVD disks. I still had a bunch of the 5.25 inch floppy disks until I finally pitched them out a couple years ago. My first computer had two of those disk drives and no hard drive. It seems that technology is evolving faster and faster. My important pictures are backed up in the cloud, on a backup hard drive, and on the memory card from the camera. I don’t take phone pictures. Cameras are made for that and take much better pictures unless a very expensive phone is used which I don’t have. Maybe some day I’ll upgrade to a real phone as my daughter would say but in the mean time I’ll just clunk along with a phone that can be used to …. talk on …. gasp. Ok, I’m not totally behind with technology. I do text because it’s the only way I can keep in touch with the grand kids.

    I’ve mentioned before about my Mom’s fascination with picture taking and the yearly albums that my sister has stored away but as Dani said they are just stored in the book case and rarely get looked at. Even those pictures that are on my computer are not really looked at much. So my theory is that memories are the best way to preserve special events. Even those fail with age so I suppose there’s no real way to 100% preserve pictures.

    Have a great technological day.

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    • Bill says:

      And when the memories go away, the pictures sometimes lose their value. We found lots and lots of old pictures in the house that’s been in my family for a long time, but on most of them no one made a note on the back of who the people are. Why would they, since they obviously knew them. But now it means we don’t know who they are.

      When digital cameras came around I started taking lots more pictures (no more buying film and paying to have it developed). Back when I was commuting I liked to have lots of photos from around the farm to look at when I was away. I used to carry a little 35mm camera in my pocket, but after several were destroyed I gave up on that and just use my phone, even though the pictures aren’t very good.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. ain't for city gals says:

    I have always felt a little different on this….whatever memories I have I keep in my heart. And for some reason I just don’t enjoy visiting the past….I like to stay in the present. I am a big believer of The Power of Now, I guess.

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    • Bill says:

      That’s a better way to be. Back when I was miserable most of the time, my wife told me that I seemed to live entirely in the past or in the future–never in the present. That hit home and helped motivate me to make changes in my life.

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  6. I recently made digital videos of VHS videos by playing them in a quiet, dark room and shooting the TV with my camera. It’s not perfect, but puts them in a form I can look at. Then, I made discs and backup digital copies. The thing with tape is that it deteriorates fast so if you want anything on them, do it sooner not later.
    Nothing is perfect, but it’s worth saving whatever you want.
    I’m also often scanning old photos of family members to share with my siblings so we can all share them.

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    • Bill says:

      You’re smart to do that. Some of our old home movies go back to my childhood. They’re worth trying to save. I need to make that a priority.

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  7. I’ve always backed up and moved my photos (and documents) worth keeping from computer to computer, Bill. That way what I have has kept up with the technology. –Curt

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  8. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hopefully you still have all your spools of film, original photographs and negatives, where possible? As with most things, the original version (like super 8, reel-to-reel and vinyl; ) is still the best!

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    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      After all, “moving pictures” were originally viewed with a candle-stick projector (no electricity necessary; )

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    • Bill says:

      In some cases we do. But in others, I don’t.

      I once had a large record collection. With the advent of CDs I got rid of them (after first taping them all onto now-obsolete cassette tapes). Now, of course, vinyl is popular again. How was I to know?

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  9. avwalters says:

    I suppose I was lucky. In my divorce, I didn’t get the photo albums. I didn’t get a digital copy of the pics on the computer. Since I’ve never had children, there’s no warm and fuzzy–look at the kids’ pics–oh weren’t they cute, remember when…. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going with memories instead of photos. If it weren’t for my blog readers (who vehemently insist on pics) I’d toss the camera.

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    • Bill says:

      My sister and her husband were visiting us last weekend and went spent hours looking at pictures of the progress of restoring the farm. I noticed how rarely I take pictures of family. Instead I have dozens of pictures of things like our fence line. If some future descendants of mine discover my photos, they’re going to be disappointed to find hundreds of pictures of goats and very few of people.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. EllaDee says:

    Regardless of the media we can only seek to hold onto what we can while we can. Nothing is fool or event proof. Electronic hardware media becomes defective, obsolete or lost. Photo albums go astray in a myriad of ways, as do people. I try to back up everything. Most recently I’ve found the OneDrive cloud very useful. I’ve also created a couple of hardcopy photo album books, with plans for others and more comprehensive backing up when I make some time. Until then fingers crossed.
    A few weeks back I was browsing a second hand shop and found a beautiful old photo album with fantastic b&w photos from the early half of the last century but a few blank spaces. I deduce someone took the few pictures meaningful to them and discarded the rest. Sad, they would have meant so much to someone, once.

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    • Bill says:

      When we were cleaning out the old house on our farm, which was home to three generations, we found lots of photo albums and photos–dating back a hundred years and more. It wasn’t as easy to take photos then as it is now. All those pictures had great value at one time. But now for the vast majority of them we don’t even know who they are.

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