January 26, 2015, 11:59:59 AM

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - RustyTheGeek

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 87
A fireproof gun safe is the ideal thing.  Provides protection and security.  I'm in and out of it frequently so it vents, plus I keep canisters of silica gel in there to keep the humidity low.  If you keep an eye out, you can find a decent one on sale for a reasonable price.

I was going to suggest this but since the OP has a husband that wishes to build the solution, this didn't really fit the request.  If you choose a gun safe, go with these guys... http://www.sturdysafe.com/  Their safes are the real deal and the fireproof option they use is similar to what is used in professional ovens/kilns.  It actually works instead of just vaporizing like other low quality safes do that use sheetrock as a heat barrier.  I bought one of their mid size safes, installed it in a 'weather safe room' in the center of our house and we got rid of our safety deposit box.  We love it.  I think I spent about $2700 after the purchase, freight and installer left.  We keep important papers, data backups, guns and all our skeletons in it.  Nice.   ;)

When you look at gun safes, you will also see humidity rods as an accessory.  These are simple low wattage lamps in a tube.  They raise the internal temp a few degrees to prevent humidity.  They don't cost much and could be used in any case you get.  http://www.amazon.com/Lockdown-222000-Dehumidifier-Rod-12-Inch/dp/B004QUDTZI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1420582446&sr=8-3&keywords=humidity+rod

There are many ways to look at this.  DIY as your husband has offered, vault/safe type enclosure for security or fire protection, or simple pelican as you are currently doing it.  I suspect most of us are doing what you are already doing.

I would give it a lot of thought with respect to how you want to access the gear.  If you want it to be simple and easy to take on the run, you probably want to pack your bags and then store them ready to go.  If you are more the 'pack for the shoot' or a studio kind of person, an organized cabinet with a place for each item is the way to go.  IMHO, the first scenario is more convenient if you do most of your photography away from home.  The second option would work better for a studio.  (Think like a mechanic in a shop where all the work happens a few feet from the organized toolbox.)  Having all the gear live in it's defined 'spot' is somewhat OCD but it makes it easier to find and more importantly, easy to know if it's missing.  But doing the whole 'pack-unpack' thing every time you go out or return tends to get old after a while.

Depending on your gear, another option might even be to create or designate a small closet, pantry or other small part of the house as your photography gear room.  Then put in shelves, drawers, etc to further organize your gear and expand as necessary.  Maybe also a metal 'bread rack' shelf where you could hang/lay things for easy access.  It could then be locked and secured easily and even perhaps camouflaged so a thief didn't see it or couldn't access it easily.  Depending on how it was done you could even store a few other items there that you would like to hide/protect like documents, data backups, Jimmy Hoffa, whatever.   ;)

Regardless of the choice of box, consider your climate in that area.  If you have lots of humidity, you should put something simple in the cabinet to raise the temp slightly above ambient to lower humidity.  (Only a few degrees.)  Otherwise, your home AC system is probably sufficient.

Photography Technique / Re: Portrait camera/studio
« on: January 05, 2015, 07:01:28 PM »
Very neat!

A 1080p video player for 300 dollars, Canon is partying it up like it's 2008. I could see this device being reasonable if it had an output for UHD(8.3MP), but HD(2.1MP) is being phased out. Hopefully a firmware update can fix this.

I see this as another Canon device created for the consumer that doesn't know any better.  If it takes off great, but it didn't cost much to make while having a high profit margin.

If this was made for the prosumer/pro market, it would have more features but probably cost three times more.  The wireless file transfer devices for DSLRs is a prime example.

Yep!  It's true!  It's nice to see a picture though.  Thanks for that.  Remember digital backs?

This was the cruel irony everyone saw when Kodak essentially died a few years ago with regard to film photography at the hands of digital imaging.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 04, 2015, 04:43:16 PM »
I do backups on the "3-2-1" plan, three copies of the file, in two different physical formats, and one copy off-site.  For on-site I copy files to independent Hard Drives, one internal, one external.   As to OP's question - for my off-site copy I started using 25GiB Blu-ray about a year ago.  It still meant too much time waiting for disks to complete writing. After all, a few of us are shooting with 128GiB CF cards, more of us use 64GiB cards, and many more of us use 32GiB cards in our cameras. ( I shoot a total of more than 1TB/year from three cameras.)

I've almost decided to go to LTO-3 tape.  Refurbished writers are less than $1K, used but functioning writers about 1/3 of  that.  Beside the longevity advantages mentioned in previous comments I expect non-attended backup software must be available so I don't have to sit changing cartridges as I now do with Blu-ray disks.  (Does anyone know of a consumer-quality Blu-ray writer that takes a stack of blanks and runs unattended?) 

I'd appreciate reading more from those respondents who have experience with LTO-n tape drives and media.

LTO Tape (or DLT, or QIC, or 8mm, or 4mm or 8 Track, or Cassette or whatever) is a bit antiquated these days.  I'm not saying it's bad to think outside the box or that tape backup wasn't used in a serious way for quite a long time but I think the problems everyone experienced with tape are the reason tape isn't very popular today.  In most cases when it came time to perform a recovery, there was much stress and holding-of-breath wondering if a recovery would even work at all.  In general, testing was problematic and time consuming.  Finding files was time consuming and cumbersome.  Same with recovery.  Everyone seems to forget that the most important part of a backup strategy involves testing the backup and being confident that the recovery process is not only reliable but that it is also understood how that recovery will take place and test it regularly.  This is where tape was the biggest  disappointment.  In addition, fixing drives when tapes would get jammed or "eaten" and keeping heads clean is also a maintenance headache.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:46:50 PM »
LDS - I won't argue with your replies to my points above.  I think we are both right and I suspect you probably would agree with that.  I'm glad you shared your knowledge because that way, we all learn something!   :)

In general, I think hard drive technology, after all these years/decades, is amazing and impressive but also somewhat disappointing.  Because it is a mass produced item that has continued to drop in profit margins it is a dying product and yet is still necessary.  So the overall quality is dropping slowly.  But I do think that the quality is fairly consistent across all products with there basically being two classes, consumer/retail and enterprise.  What you say is true about warranties and enterprise vs consumer lines but in this case, we are asking to copy data to a drive for a few hours or days and then store the drive away.  It doesn't need to be a mil-spec 15,000 RPM database grade drive to do that.  It just needs to hold the data.  If someone is smart, they will check it every couple years and eventually copy the data from it to (hopefully) a better and more reliable media in the not-too-distant future.  And that is all we need it to do.  Hold the data for a few (5, 10, 15?) years.  At least that is my realistic expectation.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:35:23 PM »
I have never bought drives with consecutive serial numbers, I do check to see that they are from different batches, they often have different firmware versions as well, but I do generally buy them from the same manufacturer.   My drives are powered up 24/7, they are on a UPS and protected from spikes and brownouts.  The raid 5 arrays can withstand 2 drives failing and keep on going.   My current set of six  2TB drives are reaching 5 years old, with no failures. I'll likely be replacing them with either 6TB Drives, or SSD's. The NAS before this one lived 5 years then the power supply died, but the disks were not affected.  Even before that, I had a 4 drive Raid Disk Array of 150TB Drives, no failures, Before that, 4 - 72 TB Drives, Before that, 4 36 TB and before that a 4 Drive Raid Array of 13GB Disks (1990's) with no failures.  All of my CD's made during the late 80's to late 90's rotted away, but I still have that old data on my hard drives.

I think Mt. Spokane is pretty sharp, has some great skill and experience with storage arrays.  In short, he gets it, he knows what he's doing and he is covering all the bases.  I also think that he is incredibly lucky.  RAID 5 has diminished in popularity because it is so fragile and only tolerates ONE drive failure in the array.  RAID 6 (among several other types) is becoming a more common PARITY Array type because RAID 6 can tolerate 2 simultaneous drive failures in the given array.  RAID 5 performance is fair at best, RAID 6 performance is poor.  Rebuilds after a drive failure in either array can take days, weeks or even months.  For this reason, RAID 1+0 (10) is also popular if performance is more important.  I won't go into the endless details of RAID here but I will say that unless you are ready to face a steep learning curve and a lot of stress and expense, don't implement a RAID array for yourself any more complicated than a RAID 1 mirror.  It's just not worth it IMHO.  Not only do you need to understand the technology, you need to understand the hardware and how to operate it.  And once you venture past a simple RAID 1 mirror array, the hardware is critical for performance, acceptable reliability and even the possibility of recovery.

In my experience, drives fail in an unpredictable way and I'm amazed that Mt. Spokane has had such a long timeline with no failures.  So while that is wonderful for him, I think it's a bit outside of the expected norm.  I also predict that once he installs 6TB drives, he will probably see his first failure(s).  It seems like as drive capacity/density has increased over the last few years, so has the failure rate (or at least the likelihood of data loss).  And just because a the drives haven't failed, doesn't mean there can't be data corruption or loss.  Backups still must be maintained and like you might expect, the more complicated the array, the easier it is for errors to creep in.  Which is why you need more expensive controllers, etc for any array more complex than RAID 1.

BUT - we are digressing.  This thread is about BACKUP.  A lot of ideas have been tossed around.  I stated my thoughts above and I'll repeat that if you put your faith in writable dye based media, you better test it every year or two because there is a definite history of this type of media failing after a few years.  As for what kind of drive to use, I won't argue about what drives are best.  All I know is that we all have a LOT of data to back up in the TB range.  So external hard drives, whatever kind you prefer, are about all that is affordable and fast enough to get the job done.  And while 'The Cloud' is big, it is very slow and out of your control.  (Hello Mr. Dotcom?)

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:26:22 PM »
2.5" Ext Drives.

These are usually cheap drives designed for laptops, and not designed to last long (you can see it from their actual prices). There are drives designed for long term storage, but it's not those. They may last longer if you connect them just for backups, and then store them properly, but don't expect much. They are cheap, though. Anyway, even magnetic archiving will decay with time (flash memories included).

The quest for the definitive backup media continues.... :)

Umm... you're off a bit on the 2.5" drives.  The 2.5" external drives are simply SATA laptop hard drives.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Yes, the drives are usually less expensive because they are typically not the highest performance, being 5400 RPM which is fine for their intended use.  Their price is usually market driven.  But they function just like any other laptop hard drive for better or worse.

I'm not sure what you mean about 'There are drives designed for long term storage'.  Hard drive technology is pretty universal when it comes to the platters and their magnetic retention.  There are drives designed for enterprise level use and durability but in this case we aren't talking about MTBF, we are simply talking about magnetic retention.  Hard drives don't typically fail based on any logic.  They just fail whenever they feel like it.  They are mechanical devices.  Use them less, they will usually last longer.  I spent time for years with a friend that owned a data recovery company and I know a thing or two about hard drives.  And all the companies make lemon drives, sometimes on purpose (profit) and sometimes by accident (bad parts lot, etc).  Regardless, hard drives are pretty reliable on the whole.  Sort of like airplane travel.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 04:41:53 PM »
We have to face a hard fact:

The files that we store today in hard disc, or any other media that allows you to delete will be deleted someday.

Imagine that after his death, his children will seek the childhood photos of a million RAW files ... What are the chances of it find the file he seeks, and can view it and process it before printing?

Does anyone have the illusion that other people have the same care you have with your files?

Yep.  Pretty much.  It's up to the 'person in charge'.  At this time, that is likely you.  Later, it will be someone else.  If I am any indication, based on my personal OCD habits and 'save stuff' mentality, we're all doomed because as much as I hate to delete or toss things, I still don't have much (or care much) with regard to my parents' stuff.  A few prized items that mean something to me but otherwise, nada.

So, I'm trying to force myself to realize deep down that 99.9% of my valuable stuff that I have worked hard to buy/acquire/care for/store/obsess over/worship/whatever will be gone in the dump or sold off in probably 20+ years.  Little by little that is helping me "detach" from it since it's essentially gone at some point anyway whether I am here and in an institution or dead and buried it will all still be out of my hands and concern.   :-\

That's pretty much it.  Back in my teens, 20's and 30's I was going to live forever and I wanted to acquire stuff.  Now that I'm in my 40's, my older relatives are dying off and I'm faced with dealing with their stuff, I'm realizing that it's all just crap that gets old and will end up in a garage sale, trash can or on eBay.   :-\

Ashes to ashes and all that...

The nice thing about photography these days is that a few great photos have the potential to live on for someone who cherishes them.  So in doing something that you love, you will brighten the life of someone else in the process.  There aren't too many hobbies that work in that way.  That's why I have so many images uploaded to zenfolio for everyone else in the scout troop, church and school to access.  If those images mean something to others enough for them to download and share them, they might live on down the line for others that cherish them and all my efforts will not be in vain...   :D

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 04:11:53 PM »
I agree with Analog as being superior.  Nothing beats a few photo albums in the cabinet that are easy to pick up, look through and enjoy.  Anything more becomes cumbersome at best and impossible at worst.

But our world is now digital.  Most seldom print anything.  So it all must be preserved somehow.  Print a few, great!  But wouldn't it be great if we still had the negatives to all those ancient photos from 100 years ago?  Now we do as long as they aren't deleted they can live forever in a digital format as long as they are cared for and maintained.

Unfortunately the true reality is that there is now so much overwhelming data that it is a real possibility that most of what we have now will never be seen after the initial creation and will likely be deleted/discarded at some point if not by us then by someone else in the future.  Sort of like a lot of the studio music tapes from the 50's, 60's and 70's of famous music artists.  Tape was expensive and if the music wasn't making money or it wasn't a "keeper", studios would record over the earlier sessions because they had no desire or need to keep hundreds or thousands of tapes 'just because'.

Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 02:08:31 PM »
OK, IT Geek here.  I'm just going to say this...

Burnable Media = DVD/CD/Blu-Ray/Whatever = NOT Long Term, the chemicals/dyes fade/die over the years.

Magnetic Media = Hard Drives ONLY = GREAT Long Term, the technology is mature and reliable over the years.  NOT RAID Arrays.  (RAID is fault tolerant working storage, not for long term archiving.)  KISS.  Simple is best.  2.5" Ext Drives, not large AC powered drives.

Pressed Media = CDs, etc that are actual metal media, not dye based = BEST Long Term, nothing to fade or corrupt as long as the physical medium, plastic, metal film, etc are not corrupted by heat, sun, or physical abuse like scratches, etc.

It all comes down to what the archive goals are.  In general, I put everything on large external hard drives and store them in a cool, dark, fireproof place and check them every year or two.  Refresh if necc.  Create two copies if necc.

Read about how the big boys, National Archives, etc are facing this challenge and all the things they are trying to overcome.  It's a fascinating topic.

Lenses / Re: Buying lenses (or bodies) right after Christmas (poll added!)
« on: December 29, 2014, 05:06:09 PM »
not sure what most stores do with returned electronics.  Generally if the item looks like it has been repackaged up, I would return it and ask for an item that had not been previously opened.  Most retailers I deal with would glad cooperate.

Some retailers may sell returned items as previously opened or return the item to the manufacturer.  Depends upon their agreement.

In my experience and understanding, most reputable retailers will sell returned items several ways.  If it is still factory sealed and in perfect shape they usually just sell it again as new.  If it is opened or used but still in perfect working order, it may be sold at a discount with disclosure that it was a return item.  And then if the item is faulty, it will go back to the manufacturer.

The problems occur when the retailer is scammed/tricked with return items that appear unopened but were not only opened but the item is removed (stolen) and replaced with a brick or something and sealed up to appear unopened.  (Rocks in Box situations.)  Or the retailer intentionally or accidentally makes a mistake that misleads the customer about the working condition, etc.  So some retailers will open every single box regardless of appearance to make sure the item wasn't stolen and returned.  So that means every single return must be sold at a discount.  And a lot of customers won't buy a return item regardless of discount because they don't want the hassle of possible problems.

The whole return process can cause bad outcomes for the customer and make the retailer appear incompetent or shady so some retailers just wash their hands of the whole process by selling returns off wholesale to help ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction, etc.  And then others distance themselves from the discount return item buyers a bit by selling on eBay, etc where buying used items is more tolerable.

To answer the OP question:  Would I buy from a retailer at this time of year?  Sure!  If it's a reputable retailer, they are going to sell new items as new items.  Otherwise, it will be sold as 'open box' or whatever.  If it's a shady seller, it doesn't matter when I want to get screwed over, they will probably do that whenever I am ready and willing.

CPW has never given me any reason to suspect a problem.  I have enjoyed some great deals through CPW so I think CPW works very hard to maintain trust between both the retailers and the customer/subscribers.

Technical Support / Re: How to remove a filter that is bent.
« on: December 29, 2014, 08:36:09 AM »
Good luck!  Hopefully the repair will be fast, complete and they will make it the best lens you ever owned.  (Or accidentally return a 100-400 vII!  Ooops!)  Happy New Year!   :)

With children I would recommend Bryant Park, if only for the carousel.

We were there briefly last night.  people were ice skating.  Both the wife and my eldest daughter were in moods... So it was an uneventful night.

Ahhh... traveling with the family.   ::)

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 87