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What kind of storage is best for digital photographs? Zip disks, Jaz, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, Zip, DVD, CD-R, CD-RW are all for backup storage, for safekeeping, not for on-line access. When you need immediate access to your files you need all your files on-line. If you use Zip disks or CDs you have to fumble through countless disks. Since it is unlikely you can write on the cover all the contents or file names, then you have to try each disk one after the other (unless you were clever enough to catalog all your files on Canto Cumulus or Extensis Portfolio). But if you have all your key files on a hard disk or RAID system, then you can access them from a single directory. All your files are on-line.

RAID, Quantum hard disks, DVD-RAM, CD-R burner

We did our photography in the Museo Popol Vuh across the campus (www.maya-archaeology.org), and then print it in the digital imaging studio. The blue computer at the right (against the wall) is a hardware EFI Fiery RIP print server provided courtesy of Electronics for Imaging. The wide format printer in the back (right) was provided courtesy of Encad. The monitor was provided by Apple Computer (the corresponding computer happens to be in our studio in Essen, Germany).

Large format printers need only about 120 dpi per unit of print area. Rather than compress the original files or fool around with fancy software tricks, we maintain all original files at their full resolution. Although we use CDs and DVD-RAM for backup, it is a constant waste of time attempting to figure out which disk has which file. The best way to keep things in order is to have a CD/DVD-RAM jukebox, a RAID system, or stacks of hard drives, plus Canto Cumulus data management software. Repro shops don't have to store everyone's files, but if you are a photo studio, a museum photographer, or a photo archive, then you need lots of on-line storage space. If you do serious digital imaging you will need serious storage. Our digital cameras record about 800 MB of photos, per day, during our 5-month season in Guatemala. We use an 8x CD-R burner, a DVD-RAM, DVD-RAM disks from Maxell, and several hard drives. It is more cost effective to use the larger drives, which currently are about 34 to 37 GB per drive.

CD/DVD-RAM jukebox
CD/DVD-RAM jukebox

Today a 34 GB drive costs the same as a 2 GB drive in 1997. That's a legacy 2 or 4 GB drive on top. The other drives are a DVD-RAM burner/player, an 8x CD-R burner, and two 34 GB hard drives. We use two computers (laptop and desktop Macintosh). It is easy to switch the main SCSI cable from one computer to the other.

 

Last updated: Feb. 10, 2003.
First posted Oct. 20, 2002.

 
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As of June 2019, Dr Nicholas and FLAAR had 3,433 contacts in LinkedIn (and over half a million readers worldwide on the FLAAR network).

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Covers digital imaging, wide-format inkjet, inks, printable materials, digital photography, printer and/or signage trade shows around the world.

Maya archaeology, iconography, ethnobotany, ethnozoology, caves (Xibalba), ethnohistory (especially Popol Vuh).

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