Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Backup Your Photos NOW! BUT NOT to Google+

If you are a windows user now is an important time to back up your digital photos, only don’t back them up using google+ …!  The 29th. July & 1st. August are possibly two significant dates for digital photographers using Windows PC, Tablets and Phones.

The 29th is the date microsoft is planning to roll out free version of windows 10 to anyone with a valid windows7 or 8 licence. If you are one of those you will probably have already seen the little get windows 10 icon on your task bar. (if you think you should have received this invite but haven’t, then log on from the computer concerned to the microsoft window 10 site and find the reserve windows 10 button).  I doubt this is going to be a Y2K style non-event.

However I really do expect to see some heart ache and sad stories. Upgrading an operating system generally comes with some such hickups. So what should you do to avoid any grief?
  1. Backup up all your photos now. It doesn’t really matter what software you are managing the photos with at least backup up all the original photos (be it .jpeg, DNG or other RAW formats) just make sure you have a viable copy on a separate media (ie not on your computers hard disk) I would strongly recommend a media that is easy to selectively restore from (ie avoid large compressed archives or cloud solutions) just use removable media (like CDs or DVD, probably lots of them) or better still USB style backpack drives (a 1TB drive should be less than $100, and will be a useful backup well after any upgrade). Why not make two copies and store one off site (ie a proper backup strategy)
  2. Look at the key software you have and search out the original install disk and/or the registration codes for downloads and updates. Check the suppliers web sites because they are likely to have important driver updates or other advice. If the worst case scenarios eventuates and you have to reinstall, you are ready.
  3. If you are still worried, wait a while. Even when to get the message windows 10 is ready you actually don’t have to update straight away (you have one year to do it) and might prefer to wait and watch complaints from other users. I have several PC and I am planning to just update one at a time, starting with the least used.
The 1st August is apparently the day google is planning to kill google+ photos. Ok there is a fair bit of hype around but I have already read Goodbye Google+ Photos, hello +Google Photos! What I can make of this is it really about the google+ android and IOS phone/tablet apps. They will be removed and soon stop working, yep stop working on the photo side. It doesn’t really go into what happens to the photos already in google+ photos (or picasa web albums). Still the mention of having to get them via google takeout (and thus shift through zip versions) doesn’t fill me with confidence. Right at the moment I know you can still access your photos  in the old picases web album interfaces (see te link in yellow below), I really want that ability to stay, However be aware that google+ Autobackup may not create that viable backup I’ve suggested in point 1 above. Again best to wait a while before you need to panic, but there is a google photos version, so updating now is a good idea if you want to use the backup feature .  I’ll be amazed if photos you have already uploaded can’t remain being access from the new google photos.
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1
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