What should I do?

My digital photography migration
Blog 15 20 June 2012

My digital photography migration

When I acquired my iMac two and a half years ago, I could not but help wonder whether I would ever buy another iMac. While I was working at the University of (KwaZulu-)Natal, one could expect to be provided with a new computer every four years. I have generally upgraded my computer every three years, and upgraded the operating system, every two years.

With the iMac came a new experience. To this day it remains a great system that I continue to enjoy. One of the services that came with the iMac, was six months of free photograph hosting on the Apple related gallery.me.com web site. I tried it out, was impressed, and signed up with real cash when my free subscription ran out. Now Apple is moving to the iCloud. My Apple email account, contacts and calendar, all of which I only use as a backup, are already o/in the iCloud. My photographs are not, and never will be, as Apple is not going to host photographs on the iCloud.

It really surprizes me that more has not been made of this decision, as sharing photographs is in the main-stream of social networking on the Internet. The reality is that I now have twelve (12) GigaBytes of image data that will have to be re-uploaded to the Internet from my iMac, if my collection of photographs and movies is to continue to exist there. I have wondered whether it is worth it, as let's face it, like the photographs that exist in hard-copy family albums, they may well never be viewed again. But we do not know, and so I will restore the collection over time.

In fact I already have, and after deliberating for a while, choose to use Picasa in order to do so.This is a little ironic, as I was not to keen on Picasa previously, when I viewed images of my grand children that were posted on Picasa. As it now turns out, Picasa also does in a sense work very well for me, as it allows me to simply replicate the directories (folders) I am using to store photographs on my iMac, on the Internet. It would have been even better, if Picasa allowed folders to exist within folders, to allow me to further classify my photographs. A system that allows one to do that is being built right now. When it is complete, it may well revolutionize the manner in which photographs are shared on the Internet.

As I have already mentioned, one does not know whether these photographs will ever be viewed again. However there is a scenario that I think is worse than that. What if one of my great grand children did want to look at them? Will s/he be able to do so. The question then may well be, "What on earth (presumably), does this 'JPG' stuff mean?". While I do not want to get into an argument about whether what is written on the Dead Sea Scrolls is true or not, what no one can dispute is, that they can still be read, and probably will continue to be, for as long as they exist. The stuff written on (stone) tablets and paper is like that. Untill you get your hands on the real thing, you can read about the Dead Sea Scrolls here

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