When you live fulltime in an RV, like we do, life is a little different.  Instead of generally routine days and one memorable vacation, we have no routine, and can’t remember half of the places we’ve been!  I need my pictures to remind me about the places we’ve been and things we’ve done.  I look thru our Blog, or peruse my photos on Picasa Web Albums and say to myself, “Wow, what a life!”

Here’s a 2 ½ minute slide show movie, “Geeks on Tour 2008 in Review”, created with Picasa:

I would be devastated if I lost those pictures, so I back them up to CD/DVD each and every month.  Now that the year is over, I’m going to back up the entire year and take the DVDs over to my Mother’s house for safe keeping.  Picasa makes this very easy:

  1. Tools, Backup Pictures
  2. Click ‘New Set’ give it a name of 2008
  3. Check the box next to every folder of pictures in 2008 (that’s easy for me because I store all my pictures in folders by month)
  4. Picasa reports that I’ve selected 4,347 files and I’ll need 18 CDs or 3 DVDs.  I choose DVDs ( I use the DVD-R type)
  5. Put a DVD in the drive and click ‘Burn’
  6. Wait until it completes that DVD.  It will spit it out and display a message requesting the second DVD.  Then it repeats for the third.
  7. When it’s all completed, label the disks with a Sharpie marker then take the disks to another computer to test them.  There’s nothing worse than thinking you have good backups and finding out much later (when you need them) that they didn’t process correctly.  When you first put them in the drive, you should be prompted to do a Restore.  You don’t want to restore, you just want to look and see that the pictures are there, so cancel the restore prompt.  What you want to do is ‘Explore’ or ‘Open Folder to View Files.’  If you see that option, just choose it.  If not, you can go to My Computer and right click on the DVD drive, then choose Explore.  You should see a folder called $My Pictures. That’s where all your photos are.

Do it!  Do it now!

Chris Guld

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  4. Ken

    Good comments and excellent suggestion. Having just helped my sister with a crashed HD last night, so this post really hits home. Of course there is nothing like continuous backups like those offered by the very easy to use “Time Machine” that is built into the Mac OS. It seamlessly and wireless backs up our computers whether at home or on the road in our RV. However, being the nervous sort, I still want additional backups of my photos – a most treasured legacy. Previously, I did the usual CD and/or DVD back ups, but this has become too bulky to do regularly. Last year I shot nearly 14,000 images which came to about 12 gig of disk space. I decided to buy a small external HD for off site backups. Now in just a couple of minutes, I can back up the entire year(s) and the files retain the same structure as on the original drive. No compression, no reorganization, no labeling and its reusable. These drives have become so cheap (less than $50) that this is now a very viable option.
    I should also mention that there is some evidence that the sharpie ink will damage CD/DVDs over time and are therefore not recommend for labeling of archival media.


  5. I know it’s a bit too fast, but I just couldn’t cut it down to less than 160 pictures! And I used Picasa’s feature to ‘fit the slideshow to the music.’ So it does the timing automatically. Pretty cool how it worked out to change the photos with the beat!

  6. Dennis

    I think the show was great! And the idea helps also!

  7. Chris

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Stefan

    The video was too fast