On memory, computers, and photos

Well, I've been busy... that's my excuse for not posting sooner. But, anyway...

I've had some of the worst luck with computer hard drives over the last year, than I've ever experienced before. I'm sure there are worse stories out there, but this is just not fair. I've had to use about 4-5 different hard drives through this year, on different computers. And it seems that every single one has decided to die or at least start problems while I've been using it. I'm beginning to not trust hard drives at all now. Which is why this article from eWeek was quite interesting to me. Flash hard drives? Well, no mechanical parts, for one. That fact doesn't seem to be mentioned on the site. That is one of the major reasons I'd go for a flash drive. As to flash taking over the world.... well, it's the world of technology, anything could happen.

But, for now, as we have to use mechanical hard drives based on magnetic discs, here are some useful programs to help warn of an impending hard drive failure:

  • HDD Tune is a very nice free application to check up on the health and performance of a hard disk
  • DiskCheckup is not as flashy as other software of this type, but it's free and it'll get the job done. It's also only 45kb, so takes no time to download.
  • There are many morecommerical applications, but these two are some of the better free programs I found.

On to the next, completely unrelated, part: photos. I love them! But, I'm a bit stuck about how to deal with digital photos. Don't get me wrong, I much prefer digital over regular film photos. They're so easy to share, change, and store. But the problem comes with printing them. I can't manage to get as good printed photos from digital than the film photos. And, since they're digital, I can already see them, so it doesn't really occur to me to print them out. Sometimes, I just want photos I can hold in my hand, and take with me on a visit and sit and look through with friends and family.

The next problem comes with the sheer number of photos that build up over time. Especially when any sort of event happens. It's great to have them, but how do you sort them out? And this brings me full circle to the question of storage. I don't trust hard drives. So, on cd's? on dvd's? What if I can't read cd's and dvd's in 10 years? What about my photos? So, printing them out seems like the best option to store them. The best ones, anyway. It's funny how old ways, that should be outdone by new methods, sometimes raise themselves as the best way... Progress isn't always good, I suppose. Maybe we should think in terms of more options, rather than replacements. And there's my 10 cents.