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Eight ZIP disks down...

...78 to go.

I haven't had a ZIP drive of my own since moving a little over a year ago. That didn't stop me from moving all of my ZIP disks, of course. I might need that data some time, don'cha know? As if having it is the same as being able to access and use it....

Last summer, one of the publishers advertising in the the Worldcon Souvenir Book sent the files to us on a ZIP disk. I borrowed a USB ZIP drive after confirming it worked with my current Mac. The idea was that I'd not only be able to get the ad files I needed, but that I'd also use the opportunity to retrieve all that data lurking on my ZIP disks. I can put it all on CDs, thus ensuring that they, too, will soon be as obsolete as ZIP disks are. Remember SyQuest 44s? They were ubiquitous. the data storage and transfer coin of the graphic realm for years. Well, two or three, at least. Until they weren't. ZIP disks held twice as much, cost less than a quarter that of a SyQuest cartridge, and were sturdier and more compatible to boot. Win, win.

That story has been on a repeating loop for years now, and it truly is a marvel, yes, it is. Hey, some of the files I'm copying are even in formats I can still open and use. I'll be surprised if I ever do, of course. Well, except maybe for the 25 meg tiff of Bridalveil Falls that I'm copying now. Hmm. There's probably some other interesting art lurking in these archives.

Much as I wonder just why it is I'm doing this, it's a help on the clean, flat surface front. Not the ZIP disks themselves, they were in my office storage area, out of sight. And I'll most likely return them there, to sit next to all those 3.5" floppies, and...hmm...did I move the 5.25" floppies? Or save any of the 8" CPT disks? I think they went the way of the SyQuests. Before I started writing this update, I was making great progress on yet another flat surface here in my office while the ZIP drive was busy copying files.

It's getting downright interesting watching the file names fly by as I write. I couldn't resist looking at "langford.tiff" -- a black and white from 1995, scanned for the Minicon 33 program book, most likely. Either that, or an issue of Idea. The couple thousand art files currently being copied include the pictures from the BaggieCon Program Book in 1995. That was the big one, "BaggieCon 8: The Fanzine," I think.

Yes, yes; I know. Hey, fredcritter, I just poked my way through the basics of ImageEvent. It looks like there's a lot to like about the service; have you run into any "gotchas" yet? I also took a quicker look at fotki, which lsanderson and dlacey both use. Comments, folks? Recommendations? Do any of these services have a reputation for raising their prices or adding new fees? (They're certainly good at making their pricing structure hard to find, if tonight's forays are any indication.)

Okay, all of that websurfing really took my focus off the file transfer job at hand. I'm going back to clearing flat surfaces.

Closing ZIP count: 21 disks copied, 65 to go.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)
That's what you get for being a graphics person. My entire backup -- everything, since forever -- fits ona single DVD. Text is small.

Feb. 6th, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
Whimper. Envy.

It's also what I get for being sloppy, based on hearing early horror stories of backups that wouldn't restore. Using those 5-meg Bernoulli's, IIRC. So instead of of using nice, clean backup software (I even bought some once; still haven't installed it), I copy everything. And then I copy it again. The bigger the project, the more copies made, especially during major crunch times. Sometimes I clean up those duplicates after the fact, more often I move onto the next project. I was pretty good about archiving finished projects for awhile, that was in addition to the in-progress backups. From time to time, I also copy everything that's still on this drive or that. Etc. Data recovered from disk failures gets its own set up backup copies.

Multiply that by the size of graphics files, and shudder. I do. My only saving grace is that I'm not deep into AV- or CAD-based stuff.

The amazing part is that I've usually found the files I was looking for on those rare occasions when I've needed to go digging through the data.

Still, whimper. Envy.
Feb. 6th, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
I keep old drafts of books, maybe a dozen or so. But when each chapter is less than 75K in MS Word, it still doesn't take up much room.

I used to carry around everything on my computer, all the time. I got out of the habit when I travelled more in Third-World countries; I feared that some customs official would take my laptop away and copy all my files. Now I only have with me things I have published and what I think I might need. Everything else stays at home.

Feb. 6th, 2005 04:53 am (UTC)
Ah, Syquests. We had a syquest 88 in the shop I worked in for a while: so buggy, so unreliable, so hated by our bureau. I found a box of zip disks the other day, and then the SCSI zip drive that was at the bottom of it. I should hook it up to my IIci and see what's lying around...
Feb. 6th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
Andrew is the one who first found fotki. I've had not problems with it as a photo repository. Their prints are quite reasonable and good. Their uptime is very high.

It's $30 per year for unlimited storage. (Less if you sign up for multiple years.)
Feb. 6th, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
Re: fotki
I've like what limited experience I've had with Fotki.

Feb. 6th, 2005 07:57 am (UTC)
I've had no problems with fotki either. I believe I signed up for two years last time but I don't recall exactly what I paid. I haven't as yet ordered any prints.
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)
>> ...Much as I wonder just why it is I'm doing this

I have a stack of more then a dozen hard-drives sitting around waiting for that rainy day when I can't think of anything more productive to do then installing each of them and siphoning out the data. Most of these are from old Dos and Windows 3.x machines which have survived since they breathed at the Old Courts and were the only disk on the only computer in the house. I've also got a few Colorado 80 MB tapes from the brief period where we weren't too lazy to back backups.

Among other things, I expect to find writings by Mom, Martin and Me, among the unique data somewhere in that pile. I know I'm interested in what's in there, as I remember typing up some poems &ct. which I wrote in the early '90s and some of the first C code I wrote, back when I was taking weekly lessons from DDB.

What I'm curious about is what other's reactions to being presented with a recovered archive will be. "Gee, thanks," I suspect.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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