Friday, October 17, 2008

30 Things in 30 days - #24 - Stop Storing Data on CDs

I am a photographer by profession. I got to a point where I was up to my eyeballs in CDs. Before external hard drives were affordable and easy to find at the local electronics store, I would burn images to CDs for storage and for bringing orders to my pro lab for printing. Now, don't even get me started as to why CDs are a stupid way to store important information. Have you ever lost important information because a disc was scratched to the point of no return? And they take up so much room. Maybe not to your average bear, but to me, volumes. I may be a professional but people these days are camera crazy and digital has made it even more so. So, really, everyone should have the same problem.

For data storage at home, I have an external hard drive. It is a My Book which has a 1 TB (One gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, One terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes). It will hold up to 285,000 photos! Yes! Awesome! So easy to set up and use. And I have no idea the cost comparison to buying CDs but I know that it is a lot smaller and more useful than scads of CDs.

But what really got me thinking about this post was taking an order to the photo lab the other day. I used to burn an order, no matter how small, to its own CD, so I could transport it to the lab (unless I was using a lab with FTP capabilities, then I just uploaded to the lab). This was before flash drives. As I was uploading something to my flash drive the other day, I realized I should post about this. If you are not planning to bring your actual memory card to your photo lab, don't keep burning discs. Invest in a compact flash drive or a travel hard drive. The flash drive is great for taking images to the lab. The travel hard drive is great for uploading photos from your camera or memory card while traveling, so you can clear your card for more images. There are many kinds of flash drives and travel hard drives out there. I have the travel drive that is in the link.

Shelve the CDs. Equip yourself and reduce the waste.

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