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  • Scanned Slide Storage

    I'm doing a typical old-guy project: scanning about 6,000 slides dating back to the....well, before Viet Nam, let's say. Since my Scanner produces a file of 50 to 55 MB per TIFF image, stacking CD's with 12 per CD seems daunting--even silly. I have a small pile already. I've been doing some research on external hard drives, and 500 GB seems to be a size that will be more than enough for the project, but it's hard to cut through all the computer babble and user "reviews." What I will probably be doing is creating some slide shows and culling the herd for printable "winners." My computer was built for me in 2006 and I believe the USB ports are 1.0.
    So here are my questions:

    1) Can someone recommend a brand that seems to be reliable, simple to use, relatively inexpensive and reads and writes reasonably quickly? I'd like to keep the cost well under $200.
    2)Do the drives come preformatted? If not, how is that done?


    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Bob Green

  • #2
    Re: Scanned Slide Storage

    Bob,

    I have several like this one and I'm very happy with them.
    If you don't use Firewire, you can have it for even less money.

    It comes formatted and with basic software that you can use to backup stuff from your system to it.

    Regarding your comment on USB 1.0: if your system was put together in 2006, it probably has USB 2.0, unless someone went out of their way to give you 1.0
    2.0 has been the standard for quite a while

    Originally posted by bobgreen1 View Post
    I'm doing a typical old-guy project: scanning about 6,000 slides dating...
    ----------
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Scanned Slide Storage

      Bob, welcome to RP!
      You can now get a Western Digital or Maxtor 500GB external drive at Costco for $149. For about $250 you can get 1 Terabyte (1000 GigaBytes)!! These are robust reliable drives from companies who have been in the HD business for a long time. You can also find these drives in your local PC store - they are pretty standard everywhere.
      If your machine was built in 2006 it is very unlikely to have USB 1 unless someone gave you some old surplus USB card or P3 motherboard. Even if that is the case, you can add in a USB 2 card for a few bucks.
      The other thing you can do is put a DVD burner in your computer. The std DVD holds 4.7GB of data and costs about 25 - 50 cents per DVD. A DVD burner (internal to the PC) costs under $50. That being said, the external USB hard drive is thousands of times faster.
      Good luck with your scanning.
      Refards, Murray

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Scanned Slide Storage

        Based on your figures, that's roughly 322GB of photos (6000 @ 55 / 1024). You're right, a 500GB should work fine - but there's a few things to keep in mind... like the old saying, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket".

        What if the drive crashes? In my limited experience I've seen IDE crash more often than SATA - which you may want to consider. Also, SATA is faster than IDE (higher bandwidth, especially if you go with Firewire).

        I'm going to guess you're scanning them in at 1200DPI (or there abouts). With that in mind, I would approximate such a scan at 90 seconds each (please correct if inaccurate). That's just under 7 days of constant labour. I guess if you're retired that's not a big deal, but also something you'll want to keep in mind.

        Anyways, if I were going to do this I would store them redundantly. Sure, you'll spend twice as much on hard drives (two hard drives)... but for me personally it's worth 150 hours of my work time to make sure my work is safe. Also, if you're taking the time to scan in 6000 photos you may want to consider storing the hard drives in a fire/watertight safe.


        Hope the above helps!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Scanned Slide Storage

          hi,
          well it looks like you already have some suggestions on what drive...

          some additional thoughts...
          a. as far as partitioning and formatting... some hard drive do come preformatted.... if not there several website that address that this is just one of them....
          http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/How-to-For...00000002056368

          note: with such a large hard drive... you probably want it to be ntfs and not fat32 ..... unless you want a lot of partitions..

          another thought is that you may want to get a good graphic manager program , if you don't have one, to help categorize your images... you may want to ask what other people have... my self i like GWSpro (shareware) alchemymindworks.com .. it's invaluable for me.. in addition, something to think about... you can easily add caption below the image and not on.... I hate trying to remember what a picture was about.. smiling... other choices... irfanview.com or xnview.com maybe picassa all those are free...

          those are my thoughts...

          Originally posted by bobgreen1 View Post
          I'm doing a typical old-guy project: scanning about 6,000 slides dating back to the....well, before Viet Nam, let's say. Since my Scanner produces a file of 50 to 55 MB per TIFF image, stacking CD's with 12 per CD seems daunting--even silly. I have a small pile already. I've been doing some research on external hard drives, and 500 GB seems to be a size that will be more than enough for the project, but it's hard to cut through all the computer babble and user "reviews." What I will probably be doing is creating some slide shows and culling the herd for printable "winners." My computer was built for me in 2006 and I believe the USB ports are 1.0.
          So here are my questions:

          1) Can someone recommend a brand that seems to be reliable, simple to use, relatively inexpensive and reads and writes reasonably quickly? I'd like to keep the cost well under $200.
          2)Do the drives come preformatted? If not, how is that done?


          Thanks in advance for any help.

          Bob Green

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Scanned Slide Storage

            Thank you all for your sane and sound advice.

            A further question or two on formatting and file management:
            1) I'm inferring that because FAT 32 has multiple partitions the the time it takes the computer to find and display a file is greater than with the NTFS format? Are these time differences significant (fractions of seconds versus seconds or minutes) or the kinds of differences that only the most finicky would argue about?
            2) The windows program for "my photos" seems to work nicely and my photoshop program works nicely with it too. I've seen Picassa, and the systems that come bundled with various cameras and printers but never felt the need to use them. Do they have advantages that I'm missing? I date and label each box of 36 or 24 slides as a folder as I go.

            I'm a bit concerned about a single storage device, but I think that as I edit and scan, I'll probably keep truly good stuff on discs too, and since I'm pretty hard on myself, that pile won't get too big. And if the unit screws up, I'll have another winter project. And by then I probably won't remember that I did it in the first place.
            Thanks again.

            Bob Green

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Scanned Slide Storage

              I'll try to answer your questions within your workflow context and not from
              the perspective of what I do for a living:

              Performance:
              The differences in speed between FAT32 and NTFS are so small that I wouldn't worry about. If the drive size was 2gb or less ( do you remember those times ? ), then FAT32 would have a clear advantage. Today it really doesn't make much of a difference.

              Doing a windows search for an item in a folder with 10,000 others will take longer than looking for that item in a folder with only 1,000. However considering the number of images that you will ultimately end up with, I would recommend that you invest in a piece of software to catalog your images ( digital access management ) . It will make your life much easier.

              The huge advantage that these programs have is the fact that they allow you to "tag" the images with keywords so you can later on search them based on those keywords.

              Let's assume you have scanned a couple thousand slides and have organized in in folders by year and sub-folders by month. Within each folder there will be probably several different topics: friends, family, vacations, events, celebrations etc.

              Regardless of where you save these files, be it one folder, multiple folders, one drive or multiple drives, when you do a search for "birthday" for example, you will get all the images that meet that criteria.

              The thing to remember is that, the magic to make this happen, is in the tagging logic: you will need to have the discipline to look at each image and decide if the primary classification is "family" and then "vacations" or is it "event" and then "vacation". Only you will be able to decide what the appropriate scheme should be.

              Regarding your concerns how long the drive will last:
              Unfortunately your drive, just as all drives, WILL die. It is not matter of if it is a matter of when. The faster all of us get used to the idea that hard drives be it internal or external all have a finite life span, the better off we are.

              Different drive technologies have different "life expectancies": generalizing, SATA drives are slightly better than IDE and SCSI are better still.

              It sounds like this project is pretty important to you...

              If I were "in your shoes", I wouldn't consider doing it without redundant storage, meaning, at least 2 hard drives and wouldn't get to concerned about FAT32 or NTFS evenstill there are very important differences.

              Let us know how it goes.

              Originally posted by bobgreen1 View Post
              Thank you all for your sane and sound advice.

              A further question or two on formatting and file management:
              1) I'm inferring that because FAT 32 has multiple partitions the the time it takes the computer to find and display a file is greater than with the NTFS format? Are these time differences significant (fractions of seconds versus seconds or minutes) or the kinds of differences that only the most finicky would argue about?
              2) The windows program for "my photos" seems to work nicely and my photoshop program works nicely with it too. I've seen Picassa, and the systems that come bundled with various cameras and printers but never felt the need to use them. Do they have advantages that I'm missing? I date and label each box of 36 or 24 slides as a folder as I go.

              I'm a bit concerned about a single storage device, but I think that as I edit and scan, I'll probably keep truly good stuff on discs too, and since I'm pretty hard on myself, that pile won't get too big. And if the unit screws up, I'll have another winter project. And by then I probably won't remember that I did it in the first place.
              Thanks again.

              Bob Green

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                Hi all. I notice plenty of mention about reliability of external / local hard drives, the issues on Fat32 vs NTFS or MAC osx, etc.

                Anyone considered using a secure online image archive?
                Have a look at http://pixelide.com/image_workspace.php

                The service offers large online storage without any limits on file sizes. Pricing is quite reasonable considering you don't need extra softwares to manage the image archive. Everything is done via their Image Workspace.

                Organizing, managing, distributing or sharing large image files is done seamlessly from Pixelide's online imaging solution. May work out very well in the case mentioned here.
                Wish you best!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                  For storing a large amount of photos like this, I like to burn them off to a DVD or a RAM DVD.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                    Just to follow up. Got a Maxtor 500 GB. It blinks nicely and slows down the boot up, but so far so good. (It even dims in sync with classical music streams) I have gotten the redundancy lecture from some others, notably A. Wrotniak (I'm an Olympus shooter), but I'm living on the wild side until the inevitable question comes up next Christmas: Dad, what can we get you.........And by then 500 GB may be going for under $100.

                    Thanks again, all.

                    Bob Green

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                      I scanned and restored 2,300 old slides for my sister-in-law. Because I can't resist playing with the image, I have multiple edits of the best ones with different effects. Even though I have a Nikon slide scanner, it took awhile. The results were spectacular and I want to make sure I don't lose them. So...

                      I added a 500GB second hard drive to my computer - bought it and had it installed at BB for about $150. I use it as a backup drive with the extra space designated as a scratch disc for Photoshop. I also burned the images to DVDs, although I had a problem that I didn't anticipate.

                      When I burned the DVDs, the files were all in the 50 MB size. On trying to view the images from the disk, the files were so large that my computers - both of them less than a year old with good RAM - would just hang after awhile, never loading all the previews. I'm making six copies of the collections for the relatives, and they don't all have new computers, so I reduced the files to about 28 MB each. I did it one by one, so it took forever. The slides were of different sizes so the final image sizes are not the same on all of them.

                      Next time I want to resize a large number of images, is there a way that I can do it automatically? I just purchased Lightroom 2 but haven't installed it yet. Will that do it and is it difficult? Any other suggestions.

                      I'm going to be doing this for a business and like to scan large images. I think the images are better and I like the ability to crop for a close up. Most clients are not going to want or need file sizes that large, so I'll probably do 2 sets. One to edit and one to burn for the client. Resizing suggestions anyone?

                      Becky

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                        I use a Nikon Coolscan V which permits the user to choose the format he or she wants to save it in. Does yours? I use jpeg format which reduces the amount of space a file takes up in computer memory. I used to save scanned slides as tiffs but they eat up memory and for my purposes I don't need that format. I use PSE to process my images. I don't know how powerful your computer is, but the larger the file the longer it will take to process, it would seem, even if the difference is marginal. If I work directly from the external hard drive, there's no signifcant lag. The difference on my old computer was significant. So maybe more processing power and/or smaller files may help.

                        Bob Green

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                          As I was logging off I remembered that PSE also lets you choose formats for saving images. I'm not familiar with Lightroom, but maybe it will do the same thing.

                          Bob G

                          PS How long did it take you to scan 2300 images? I'm slogging through 30 years of slides and hope to finish before I buy the farm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                            I have a new computer with adequate RAM. The files were just sooo big. Figure a whole movie's worth of information in about 90 images. Trying to pull up thumbnails was just too time consuming and gave the computer brain cramp.

                            I chose to save in TIFF because I wanted the quality image and the freedom to edit without the deterioration of JPEGs. I just should have reduced the image size when finishing the edit, instead of having to go back and open each one up again. Sigh... Live and learn.

                            It took about a month, but this was my first order and I did a bunch of serious restoration at the same time. Then I learned more and improved the images some more. Then I learned more... LOL! You could say I'm a perfectionist. I'm waaay faster now than I was when I started!

                            And now, when I go in to reduce each one, I tweak it a little more. Viveza is great for lightening shadows on faces, and I don't think I used it as much as I could have to begin with. I have a better eye now. I'm almost done reducing files. It's a good thing I have to burn and send these or I'd tweak forever. There will be some great prints if they decide to print them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Scanned Slide Storage

                              Hey Bob, I'm gonna stay away from the computertech stuff except to say that if you have a pc you are likely to find the usb 2.0's on the front with 1.0's in the back of the box.
                              http://www.scantips.com/calc.html
                              Here is a scanning calculator for you. I am actually scannning 35 mm film negatives for archive as I type and...
                              I'm scanning them in at 24 bit, at 1200 dpi. If your origionals are 4x6 and you scan at 600 dpi, you will have more than enough info for an 8x10 print, and at half the file size you quoted. Some scanners will quote huge numbers dpi but at some point they begin to use interpolation (ya, they guess) they just start throwing pixels in your image in an effort to make it bigger. Food for thought.

                              Comment

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