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Will Your Photos & Digital Media Survive?

Doug and Alice Lamb in 1950

My father-in-law’s passing this month has seen my wife (and her six sisters) realizing that there might be only one of a specific family photo. Since my bride had built a collage of photos when she was a young girl living at home, I offered to scan and retouch them so everyone could have a copy.

The issue? There are hundreds more where those came from and how do we create them digitally so 50, 100 or more years from now some offspring of ours can even see them?

Most of us have hundreds (if not thousands or like me, 20,000+) digital photos sitting on hard drives, at Flickr, or on some old and obsolete media? In my home office closet I have Syquest, Jaz, Zip, Mac OS 7 formatted CD’s, DOS CDs, and other media I can’t read NOW…and it’s been less than 15 years. My grandchildren or great-grandchildren will pick up a Jaz cartridge and say, “What the heck is this!?!” Viewing the photos on that cartridge? Not a chance.

But it gets worse since most of the digital media we’re creating today may not survive the media it’s on, let alone if it’s in a proprietary format. [Read more…]