Uncle Bertrand and Auntie Lucy
Last week I decided to unpack yet another box I had carried over to my new house almost a year ago. The thing with the last remaining boxes is that these contain the non essential bits and pieces, the memorabilia and stuff that was either passed down to me or which was prevalent in my life many years ago. Opening these boxes isn’t an act of simply unpacking and sorting stuff but one of reminiscing through my and my ancestry’s past. This box contained photos taken during the 60s and 70s. And I always thought that only punk rockers had funny hair styles!
Up to the advent of digital photography, taking a photo was a costly process. Even though one could purchase relatively cheap cameras, the cost of film and the development of the same were such that taking a photo would be a planned event for many people. Since each photo carried its own cost, a photo would be discarded only if it was horribly wrong. A photo with half of Aunt Lucy missing or Uncle Bertrand being slightly blurred would be retained and would be passed around on those infrequent family gatherings when old photos would be passed around.
Today we live in the digital era. Ones and zeroes have replaced paper and chemicals. Cameras are cheap and even the cheapest models have sufficient functionality built in to make anyone a respectable photographer. It is becoming impossible to get a blurred, overexposed or underexposed photo. Who knows, someday we will be asked to pay for some of these retro functionalities! Now-a-days when taking a photo we keep on recording one shot after another until we get the one we are happy with. All we have to do is delete the ones we do not want and eventually transfer everything to a folder on our computer.
Yet will a digital photo of Uncle Bertrand taken today be available to someone in 40 years time? The answer is a probable no. Your hard disk in your home computer will fail sooner or later, the notebook on which you keep all your photos will suffer a fall, get stolen or lost and maybe a virus or component failure will wipe away all the data on your computer. Even CD and DVD-ROMs have a shelf life after which the manufacturer no longer guarantees the readability of data.
Taking regular and repeated backups of your computer’s important files is the only way to ensure that someone will be able to comment on your hairstyle somewhere down the line. Fast online backups to offsite servers ensure not only that you are backing up the things that matter to you but also that you are safeguarding against losses as a result of fire, flood, and theft.
Go on, let others have a good laugh at you – protect your data by taking a backup.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.