I'm with Richard on Microdrives and on backing up digi-photos. I have two
good friends who are newspaper photogs and they were very early adopters of
digi-photos (one works for Gannett Rochester, so they used the very first
super-heavy Kodak/Nikon cameras and have been digital since then). Both of
their employers experimented with microdrives and did not replace them as
they died off due to reliability problems. Those things are a neato idea
(and indeed my little portable Seagate dongle-drive uses a 2gig microdrive
inside and has performed flawlessly for 2 years now) but they're not tough
enough for cameras (or, probably, portable recorders) in the field.
This past summer, my wife and I went mountain climbing and this was our
first "no safety net -- no film" outing. Digicams for both of us. Her with
an Olympus snappy-type and me with my Nikon D70. I brought along my laptop
and our strategy was to transfer from camera to laptop every day and burn a
CDR for backup at that time. I carry 2gigs total of flash storage (4x512meg
cards), so I needed to recycle each day anyway. And yes, it's less than
ideal to lug a 10-pound Nikon rig up and down mountains, but the picture
results are so worth the extra weight.
One of the things that intrigues me about the M-Audio and Marantz flash
recorders is that they're small enough to carry along with a camera and can
share the same memory cards.
I think the world is moving toward solid-state memory for
anything/everything portable. There was a big article in Time or Newsweek
last week about how Apple went through a next-stage R&D evolution with the
iPod to move away from the hard drives, and killed off their best-selling
Mini line to move to that new solid-state with display model. Most kids I
know (nieces, nephews and my wife's students) who had first generation iPods
no longer have them in use because the hard drives died under field
conditions. I think the Minis are even more troublesome, which is why Apple
killed them. I know how rough I am on portable players (having killed a
couple of CD players and cassette players in my time), so I waited for the
iPod Shuffle before joining the fad. For what's worth, that Shuffle has a
much better audio-out section than the hard drive pods. For what it's worth,
one of my brothers has killed two 20gig iPod drives just from the vibrations
of using them in a car commuting between NJ and NYC (both were replaced
under warranty, but he's done with moving parts in portable players after
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CF or microdrive?
> At 07:12 PM 9/27/2005, Steven C. Barr wrote:
> >It seems to me that another possibility might be to equip at least
> >one computer with an exchangeable/insertable disk drive, save the
> >material as digital files to a disk drive used only for that
> >purpose and use that as a backup. Since the disk drive(s) wouldn't
> >be constantly spinning, useful life might be extended considerably?
> Hi, Steve,
> When I'm in the field shooting pictures, I copy the CF cards to the
> laptop AND to a LaCie tiny 40GB USB drive that is powered off the USB
> I would do the same with audio. The LaCie drive lives in my camera
> bag (which comes with me often). The computer stays buried in the
> luggage in the car, but comes into the motel every night. It's as
> much diversity as I can muster -- better than the film days, for sure.
> I think USB or FW drives are the way to go for this stuff.
> I don't think putting CF cards on the shelf makes any sense, and I
> think putting MDs on the shelf makes little more sense, how will we
> play them in 50 years? It's such a niche format.
> In my opinion, there are only two things better than a USB or FW drive:
> (1) A drive that has BOTH USB and FW ports
> (2) A drive that has an Ethernet port, although that is a bit more
> difficult to use in the field
> but easier to use back at the ranch. It's also, at least now,
> more expensive.
> While exchangeable drives are useful, I think the universality of the
> USB/FW drives makes them a better choice for this application. In
> fact, my two 1TB stores are made up of four 250GB drives. Two are in
> each main LaCie Ethernet Disk and two are FW attached to each
> Ethernet Disk. I can add a fair number of additional drives. As you
> may have read, one of the 1TB stores is now in my neighbour's
> basement at the end of a 100 BASE FX fibre link. He has an IOMEGA
> 250GB Ethernet drive in my basement.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Media web: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm