Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cheap photo storage/backup hint new Amazon announcement

  I am sure everyone has a backup plan. If not you should. Photography is my hobby, and I have about ~300GB of pictures, RAW and JPEG collected over the years.  I've been using crashplan since it has a linux client, but recently Amazon announced a great plan, just for photo's, at $12/year, it's dirt cheap for unlimited photo's. It also supports some RAW formats, my old CR2 (Canon RAW) format is supported, I have not tried my new Olympus RAW, or Panasonic RAW, so that test will be later. You also get 3 months free trial as well, and it has an iOS and an Android app, so I can upload my phone/table pictures, having a kid sometimes forces you to grab what's near by, and not necessarily your camera. 
  Currently Google Drive, and Photo's, which I guess is being moved into Drive, has one big drawback, that it can't give you a link to send or embed into a blog or webpage, except blogger. I use WordPress for my photoblog, and I also have a little gripe about posting from WordPress to facebook. If I upload the images to WordPress, and post using it's publicize post, the images get uploaded to Facebook. I want to keep the pictures in one spot. For that I use Smugmug, but this Amazon Cloud Drive can change all that, we'll see.
  Amazon's Cloud Drive has an unlimited plan for $59/year, which is almost what I pay for Crashplan, but 99% of what I backup are images, the rest, documents, and other random files are on my Google Drive, or OneDrive, or dropbox, as you can see I don't keep them in one place :)
  Since I'm using a Chromebook, which is basically a cloud laptop, this whole idea of not storing locally is becoming more convenient, and efficient.  If I ever upgrade/change my Chromebook to a Chrome Base, or a newer Chromebook, I don't have to worry about my content, it's all up there in the cloud, safe and sound.
  I remember in the past, you needed an external drive to backup all your content, so you can format your machine (when I used Windows) and then copy things back it was a pain and a long process. It looks like in the future you won't really need a hard drive or local storage, specially if prices keep dropping so fast. What's your storage/backup strategy?  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

home user in a browser

  Being confined in a browser for all my computing needs, does have it's frustrating moments. I can't batch edit pictures, or add watermarks.  I thought I had a work around for this.  I select the images I want to upload, upload it to my Smugmug account, then I have to open each one to add my watermark to it, this process works fine when you have less than 10 images, but when you have more it can get annoying.  A second mistake I had in my workflow, is replacing originals, after adding my watermark with picmonkey, one of my favorite online image editors. As I realized after adding my watermark, and editing the same image again, I can't undo, or bring that layer to the top :( well, it was a lesson learned.
  Now my photo processing workflow will look like this, Select the images locally, using the built in gallery-viewer in chrome OS.  Add a -up to the filename.  Then go to Smugmug's upload, select all pictures with -up in the photo's file name, and upload.  When editing, I should always save a new copy, rather than replacing, since Smugmug offers unlimited storage anyways. I also use G+ photo's mostly for sharing with family and friends, but that also has it's limitation, as I can't get a link to it, that I can use in my WordPress blog.  Otherwise in general I am happy and satisfied with my Acer C720, but starting to realize more and more what it's not a good fit for, mainly photo editing and manipulation, and that's not due to it being underpowered, rather not having good tools available. It does cover my 90% of usage, the 10% is the photo editing part that annoys me. I can figure out workarounds, and I hope in the future this will change, by the time I upgrade my chromebook.