Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life


My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Friday, September 29, 2006

New Camera, New Drives, New Plan

Okay, for those of you who might be interested in my picture-taking efforts, here's an update. Everyone else can go ahead and move along, unless you're interested in backup schemes and such. Really, though, save yourself a few minutes and just move along. In fact, what the heck are you doing here in the first place? Don't you have something better to do than read my drivel? Anything? No? Well, okay then, read on, McDuff.

As you may know, shortly after Jared was born, I bought a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera. It's a 5mp point-and-shoot and, at the time, was about the best prosumer digital camera on the market, short of a true DSL. (*was* the best, in my opinion.) Since then I've taken something like 14,000 photos with it. It's a great camera. (You can see some of them over here and, yes, I know I'm way behind on updating that.)

Well, times change and, while still a great camera, the 5700 was getting a little long in the tooth. Now I just happen to be married to a pretty wonderful gal who puts up with an awful lot, including my rather expensive tastes and serious gadget-lust.

Her latest (okay, there have been plenty since, but one of her latest and probably one of her biggest) example of unwarranted generosity has been to let me get a new camera -- a Nikon D200 digital SLR. This is way more camera than I deserve and probably more than we can afford, but she knew I wanted one and she said we could use part of our tax refund to get it. As good a camera as the 5700 is (was) for a point-and-shoot, this one is even better. Aside from all the benefits of being an SLR, it is, simply put, an awesome camera. I just wish I was worthy of it.

Anyway, if you think the 5700 was bad on diskspace (I'm pushing 200GB of photos), the D200 is worse. A 1GB memory card holds somewhere between 40 and 55 photos. (I take images at the highest resolution possible -- why buy a fancy camera otherwise -- and the camera saves both the raw image file and a JPEG version.) I've blown past 20GB and would have a lot more photos if I hadn't been swamped with other stuff lately. It's only going to get worse, of course. So I need more disk drives.

Well, thanks to writing for Blogging Baby, I just got two new 400GB hard drives from Outpost.com for $110 each. 400GB is an adequate size for now; I'm hoping they'll last for at least a year before I outgrow them. You see, they're destined to hold all those photos, replacing some existing drives. Here's the rundown of what I have now:

Victoria Falls -- the computer that handles the photos -- has an internal 160GB drive that has Windows on it and some miscellaneous data, including the calendars I put together from the photos. That drive also has the 20GB+ of photos from the new D200. Vicky also has an internal 200GB drive which is nearly full of the photos I took with the 5700. Lastly, I've got another 200GB drive in a removeable tray that lives at my mother-in-law's house and holds a backup of all the 5700 photos.

Kurobox -- the network file server -- has a 200GB drive containing another backup of the 5700 photos and a few other files that needed to be moved from one computer to another. I'd like to be able to put my 30GB+ of MP3's on there as well, but I'm not going to worry about that for now. One of these days, when I have a spare (smaller) hard drive, I'll put it in a USB case and attach it that way for the MP3's.

My plan for the two new drives (since that was all I could really afford) was to put one into Vicky to hold both the 5700 and D200 photos and the other in a removeable tray to be used as the offsite backup. That didn't help with the file server, unfortunately, although it would free up at least one 200GB drive (I'd probably keep one intact as another archive).

Then I had a brilliant flash of inspiration -- I can put one inside Vicky as originally planned, but put the other into the Kurobox. Then the drive that was inside the Kurobox can be put in another removeable tray and used as an off-site backup of the D200 pictures. I'll keep the existing off-site drive as well, basically having one for the 5700 photos and one for the D200 pictures. They don't take up much space, so I don't think that will be a problem and I won't need to update the 5700 backup very often since I'll be taking most of my pictures with the D200.

The other advantage to this is that I can give the Gentoo operating system a try and possibly get one of the remote network MP3 players working. The big downside is that finding the time to do the research on how to set up Gentoo and to actually do the install won't be easy. Still, I think it's the best route to take overall.

[ Posted: 23:00 | home | print ]