Saturday, February 4, 2012

The problem with digital photos

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Digital photos look great. The problem is after years of taking them, they easily get lost and worse, even more easily destroyed.

Oh, they keep telling you how you can "save" the digital photos more easily. Sure. First we had reel to reel tape. Then we had 8 Track. Then we cassette tapes. Then mini cassette tapes. Then floppy discs in all sizes 8.5, then 5.5 and 3.5. Then we went to "tape" backup. Then CD. Then DVD. Now Blu Ray.

Do you ever get the felling that your just a cow that can speak?

They are breeding us to be pay-as-you-go consumers. They throw technology at us at lightening speed and then expect us to pay for it. And the technology doesn't really improve on what we already have. It does two things. First, it makes the technology we have obsolete. And then second, it forces us to go out and buy the new technology.

That was the world that Steve Jobs grew up in and why he turned out to be "Big Brother," seeking to control everything we did and taking the human quality of decision-making out of our abilities to choose. 

When I was a kid, my dad gave me a cardboard box that once held Kodak Film. We used it to store pictures that he had been given by his dad. It was great to look through the pictures -- which I still have and have survived in the same condition that they were in when I got them. I didn't have to spend $600 to by a computer to "view" the pictures. In fact, the only cost was to get them printed. And once they were printed, they could be shared.

Sure, it was the only copy, unless you went out of your way to make more. They said that was expensive but I would give up all the technology we have today if I could have that back, the minimal cost it took to duplicate a picture back then.

We look through the pictures. It is so much easier to hold them in your hand and look at them all at once and decide or look for what you wanted.

Nowadays, it ain't so easy folks. I have thousands and thousands of digital pictures on CDs and hard drive. And when a computer crashes -- and let me tell you the computer technicians and programmers and PC builders are not geniuses at all. Those computers break down fast. They don't last very long. And the software races past so even if you had a computer from 6 years ago, you probably couldn't use it for anything except a space-waster. When those computers crash and break, as they more often than not do, you have lost everything unless you have gone out of your way to keep up-copying. That's the process of moving your digital images from one antiquated system or storage device to another that is "more advanced."

Worse, the computer says it's hard to copy some files. They are "corrupted." No, what's corrupted in this technology system we've been forced-fed by greedy computer industry robber barons.

Feel the tug on that ring in your nose yet?

So here I am, with a pile of CDS that go back to 2005 wondering what the hell. I can't enjoy them. Hundreds and even thousands of images on CDS and it's a hassle to try and view them.

Worse, it's a hassle to try and make prints of them.

So as we speak, I have a One TerraByte Hard Drive attached to my laptop using a USB port. One day, we'll be laughing saying "One TerraByte?" That's not enough space to keep my bills! And I'm transferring them slowly (on a high speed laptop, Core i7 Windows 7) and it's taking forever.

I'll finally get off my ass and take them to Walgreens and use their machine (if they still have it) and select the pictures I like and print them out. Then, I'll sort the prints in a book so my daughter and son can one day enjoy them in the future.

I have about 6,000 pictures I have to sort through.

So in the end, even with all the money I have spent on computers, CDs, DVDs, hard drives, digital cameras of varying high resolution and other storage gadgets and jiggamabobs, I still have to pay through the nose to get them printed.

It would have been easier and cheaper if all I had was the roll of film and I was forced to take that one good picture instead of 20 lousy pictures just because I can. I would have had them all processed and printed long ago and instead of wasting my time copying them, I'd be sitting with my son and enjoying them.

But then, what would I be writing about on my "blog?"

-- Ray Hanania

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