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Tag Archives: Nexto
An upfront statement – I have spent the last fifteen years in the IT industry and if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that the importance of backups cannot be understated. In fact I’d go so far as to say that amateur or professional, if you don’t have your photographs backed up, you will lose them sooner or later!
So I wanted to write about workflow. This is the process that moves your images from camera/card to computer to print/client/website. Most of us constantly reuse cards and the wise ones reformat the card once the content is uploaded. But what if the computer fails – or what if one of those files is inadvertantly deleted or corrupted?
I use 8Gb or 16Gb SanDisk cards in the camera and like most people probably, upload the pictures directly into the laptop for sorting and processing. I do not delete the data from the card at upload time. I rotate the cards so that the oldest spare is always next in the camera – this means I have a window of opportunity to retrieve any corrupt data in the laptop, from the original card. A better way of doing this, and one which I use when I’m away from home for any length of time, is to upload the pictures from the card into a standalone drive. I have a Nexto Extreme, 250 Gb SATA disk which comes with firewire and card reading slots. As you can see, I can store a lot of 8 Gb cards on there, 30 in fact. I copy the files from the Nexto, onto the laptop for processing. Thus maintaining two copies.
Naturally I fill up the Nexto sooner rather than later, so I maintain two further separate collections on a ReadyNAS RAID device that will store up to 3 Terabytes of data. I have over a thousand music albums on there as well as about five years worth of photography. Its only 16% full. What are the two collections? One is the original RAW files, filed by date and event. The other is the exported, finished article. For those who are not familiar with RAID, it is a technology that maintains data across an array of several disks (I have four) in such a way that should a drive fail or even two, the data can be rebuilt. Once the original is uploaded to the ReadyNAS, I can relax about the card and the Nexto.
The other area where the data is vulnerable is on the hard drive of the computer. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t co-locate photographs with the operating system, the most obvious being the risk of the operating system crashing and wrecking data (Yes, Microsoft, I’m looking at you!). Apart from that, the fact is you will eventually fill up the drive and slow the computer to a crawl. To avoid co-location, you can partition the drive, install a second hard drive or as I did recently, invest in a G Drive 3Tb 3200 eSATA device or equivalent. This is a wonderful piece of kit. Over Firewire, it’s acceptably fast. Over eSATA it’s as fast as the internal drive. It’s quiet, unobtrusive and portable. The best bit is I can keep my entire Lightroom catalog on the disk and move between laptop and workstation as I please.
This is a setup that works for me. It might seem like overkill, but the bottom line is this:
1. Copy your original RAW files to a second disk
2. Don’t process Photographs on your OS disk
3. Keep two copies of your work at all times.
You will sleep much better at night, trust me!