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Old 01-29-2009, 03:41 PM   #1
Montana Master
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Grove City
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M.O.C. #5192
Neat Internet site for you with computer pictures

I had quite a few pictures on my computer stored as .BMP files. These are "bit map" files and take up a lot of storage.
I found a site that converts from one file format to another, for FREE !! (In my case I went from .BMP to .JPEG)
The site handles many types of files and converts from any one to any other.
It takes me about 1.5 to 2 minutes per picture. This is worth the time to me since it reduces the size of each picture from about 1.5 megabytes to about 45 kilobytes (roughly a 97% space savings per picture).
The site is and it is easy to use. There are only 2 steps to follow and they are clearly labeled.
I save the new picture as a .JPEG file and then delete the old .BMP file; it's that easy.
If you're interested in saving disc space, this is a good way to do it.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Not sure what you plan to do with your photos, but, if you ever want to print them, you might find the quality at 45 KB is just not up to snuff. A photo of 1.5 MB is not that large. Start doing the math (which Al will tell you I am really bad at), but you can store a LOT of 1.5 MB photos on just one CD, and if you can burn a DVD, goodness, that will hold just lots and lots.

I would prefer to see the photos saved/burned to a CD or DVD as a bmp, and then maybe keep the reduced jpg photo on your computer for every day use.

If you find a need for that larger file and have deleted it without any other format/backup, you might be sorry.

Another way to save your higher resolution photos is to purchase a external hard drive. There are also places online where you can store your photos, and some of them have FREE storage which a lot of room, I thought I saw over at hotmail where you could store, like 25 Gigs of photos for free.

As you can tell, I am a bit paranoid about ditching my higher res photos and scans. Partly because I have never been real happy with the resulting printout of lower res photos. Sometimes I am not even happy with the low res photos on the monitor or my computer screen.

I may have totally misunderstood your post, and if so, I stand corrected.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
Glenn and Lorraine
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Carol is correct about reduced photos and their quality but I don't necessarily agree with saving to CDs. I save my photos and any other important files to a memory stick. This way I can add or delete photos individually which cannot be done with most CDs. You can also put many many more photos on a single stick than you could ever put on any single CD. Also you can carry these memory sticks in a purse or pocket. They plug into any USB port on ANY computer. If you want to carry the photos to a freinds house all they would need is a computer with a USB port.

You could probably get 6 or 8 sticks in a watch pocket of you jeans.

Also, You can still save your converted photo in the same file as your original using the same name. One would be a XXXX.BMP and the other XXXX.JPEG.
If you convert a JEPG to a smaller version you can still save it to the same file by simply changing the converted name to XXXXCONV.JPEG
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:27 AM   #4
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In the last year I too have gone to using usb memory sticks for transfering and backing up most of my files. It just seems so simple to use which is exactly what my simple mind needs. These sticks should also be far more durable than any cd in the long run. JMHO.
Darwin & Maureen DeBackere
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:19 AM   #5
Mrs. CountryGuy
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I have not been able to afford memory sticks for such a chore. Ya, I know they are cheaper now.

I don't go for replacing old files with current files.

Part of my reasoning is, I want multiple sources of backup, I have CD's or DVD's, I have MyBook, I have the net. I use all three.

One thing I do, is NOT erase the old backups. Well, not ALL old backups, I save a lot of them.

So, I have a back up of photos from December 2007, February 2008, April 2008, August 2008.


Because, I want incremental backups of all data files, as time goes on, files morf. I may forget to back up a file (ya, I do that too! ) So, in April, I forgot to back up some files, but, they were done in December. Now, I have done something stupid, and believe me, just ask Al how many stupid things I can do with a computer, sighhhhhh, and now, in August, I discover that I have destroyed, deleted or lost a file that I want, a photo, a cemetery file, a data base file, something. I can now go back as far as necessary to reclaim the lost file.

Or, a CD may fail, yes, they do. I can go back to another set of backups and recover the problematic file.

I love my little memory sticks too, but, I use them for moving files around, visiting friends, stuff like that. Personal choice, and up till now, one of finance, I could not afford enough sticks at the prices we used to have to pay for them.

IF you can afford enough memory sticks to save your files, that is great! Go for it.

But, I would not be limiting myself to a single set of backups, or a single medium to store them on. That to me is a very scary thought.

I wanted a file, a few years ago, to base a Christmas present on. It had disappeared from my computer harddrive. I started pulling old CD's. It took a while, a few hours, I had to pull a LOT of CD's but I finally found that file and the Christmas present was a hit.

Point is, if I had recycled, or tossed all those old CD's, I would have had to come up with another idea, eh?? And it was a great idea if I do say so myself.

I have a lot of files that are eventually turned into books for the local genealogy club, I have had the experience of having one of those files crash and burn. One file alone will represent the work of hundreds of hours of 1 to 25 different volunteers. Such a failure is also my failure to protect and value that work, the work of other volunteers. If you have incremental backups, you can recover something, and if you do those backups on a regular basis, you will recover the majority and the rework time will be mimimized. Ya, you can ask how I know, one of those been there, done thats, eh??

I cannot urge strongly enough, don't trust just ONE form of backup. I also store the really important stuff, the photos, the family data base and its accompanying files and the book projects for the local club on more than one computer.

Am I paranoid? Probably. Having survived a number of hardware crashes, a virus that destroyed the computer and the hard drive and any number of Carol-induced stupid acts, I can tell you, the more backups in the more places on as many different medias as possible, the more the better.

And, think twice about reducing the size of your photos for storage purposes alone, and invest in CD's, DVD's, MyBook external hard drives, share those files with all, put em on more than one computer and maybe even on the net.

OHHHH, and label those photos, so the next generation knows who Aunt Lillie really is, hmmmm, is this Lillie or Susie or Martha, or???????????????? That alone should keep ya busy for a day or two.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:18 AM   #6
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All the above is so true.

I carry an 8Gb memory stick (USB) in my pocket. I think the cost was less than $25. I use it for transferring information from the PC laptop to the iMac.

I also use DVD's to backup my photos, plus putting them on a web site in a reduced format. Normally the web site will reduce to whatever size you want (Photobucket for example) when you are uploading them.

I am currently converting all of my old 8mm and digital 8mm to DVD. Why? Because over time there is a degradation of quality on film. It is a long process but doable. And besides, some of the 8mm have some great pictures that can be "grabbed" and turned into a print.

Something To Consider:

The media we use now may not be available several years from now. I hope to live that long. Remember when 5-1/4 floppy's were the thing, then 3-1/2, then CD, and now DVD. Try buying a computer with a floppy drive in it. I have an external one that I used to convert old files to CD/DVD.

Eventually, the media that you have your information stored on will disappear to be replaced by a more technological "enhancement." So keep up with technology. When the price comes down, buy the replacement unit and convert all of your file information to the new media. If you just throw those media that you presently have into a box, then 20, 30, 40 years from now, your offspring will have a hard time converting them to the "now" media. If you buy a new piece of equipment for your computer, like a replacement technology for the DVD, take the DVD out and put it in a closet space for possible future use. Oops! there goes the Montana storage area!!!

Remember Moore's Law

And also: Back-up, Back-up, Back-up, and then Back-up!

Edited: p.s., Larry, why are your pictures in BMP format? Is it a function of your camera? You may be able to change that to another format using the menu on the camera, thereby reducing the size of the picture. I typically use the 2mb or less menu size when taking pictures. All that really is needed for a good print is 800mb or less. The larger sizes like the BMP produces can be used very successfully for poster size prints, but does not do much more to a 5 x 7 print.

Double Edit: I know that this has been mentioned before, but here it is again just in case:

There is a "free" program called "Irfanview" that will convert your pictures in a whole lot less time that what you described. It is very intuitive. If you do deside to download it, make sure you get the plug-ins also. I highly recommend Irfanview. They would like for you to register it and make a donation, but I leave that up to those who download.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:58 AM   #7
Glenn and Lorraine
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Wayne, your statement
quote:Eventually, the media that you have your information stored on will disappear to be replaced by a more technological "enhancement." So keep up with technology.
is the exact reason for me to switch to the memory stick. Lorraine and I each have our own sticks (she-2, me-3) and we do at times back up the same files.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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Be sure to virus check your memory sticks on a regular basis as well. There have been problems reported on them recently infecting computers. We can no longer use memory sticks at work because of that...

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Old 01-31-2009, 05:25 PM   #9
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Mrs. Country Guy is so right about saving your high-res files if you ever intend to print them. Printing a decent 3" by 5" photo from a 40KB - 100KB file is virtually impossible because of the small file size, which results in a pretty crummy-looking photo.

For e-mailing, I use only the small files; the quality is still excellent, and you don't end up sending your friends a file that takes hours to open, and then reveals only part of an eyelash. (Note to my friends: I love to see photos of your grandkids, but not one pore at a time!)

For printing, you want larger files or else the print quality is compromised. What I do is the same thing that Mrs. Country Guy does: I save the big files on an external system and keep the small files for e-mailing.

Technology is going to continue to change, and trying to figure out how you can store something now that you can easily open and use 5 years from now is a gamble. Save, save, save. Save to an external drive. Save to memory sticks. Save to DVDs and CDs. Automatically save to an online backup service, like Carbonite, which I use. Then save again. Keep an eye on what's happening in the tech world. When a big change is announced (such as an industry-wide change in media storage), keep your old media, but start copying to the new standard, whatever it is.

Last but not least, you can usually change the format your camera is saving photos in, if you don't have any real need for the .BMP files. I switch back and forth when using my cameras because sometimes I need big files and sometimes I just need a photo to e-mail or use on a web site, where small file sizes work best.

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