Samui Wining & Dining
Get ’em Down!
Ways to make sure you never lose your holiday photos.

96When was the last time you backed-up your computer? No – stay with me a moment, this isn’t about computers and it’s not going to be full of techno-babble, either. Because nobody, I repeat nobody, ever takes backups seriously until they actually need to; i.e. when it’s too late. And so if your answer to the question above is something like, ‘a month or so back’, ‘never’, or even, ‘what’s a backup?’ then keep reading. Because, as with computers, none of us really bother about keeping our holiday data safe. And in this case what this means is your holiday photos.

I will bet money that already quite a few readers have moved on to the next page. This is one of the problems with this kind of thing. There’s a dual-edged mind-set attached to it, as in, ‘It’s never happened therefore it’s meaningless, so why bother’, alternating with, ‘I’m not very technical so I’m not going to be able to understand this kind of thing’. But that’s exactly why I’m writing this article!

Some people come here to Samui with their laptops, but not so many; it’s nice to leave all those kinds of things behind and forget about them for a while. Many people bring and use their phones here. And increasingly more are bringing their iPads. But everyone under the (hot tropical) sun brings a camera. And, whether you’re using the camera in your phone or a nice slim little purpose-built digital job, there’s a significant percentage of folks that’ll end up with no photos of their trip. The reasons for this are various and I’m not going into these. Because right now you are looking for an excuse to not bother with a backup of your photos, and if I start to list reasons why you need to, then you’ll find ways that this somehow doesn’t apply to you! But it does. It applies to all of us, be assured of this as I’m one of the multitude who’s learnt from bitter experience.

Every photo and video you take are stored on your camera’s memory card. Ninety-nine percent of people never take this card out of their camera and half of these won’t be able to tell you what size (memory-wise) this card is. All they do is just plug the camera into their computer when they get home and transfer their photos there. No problem; quite normal. But this card is the heart of your camera. And the best advice here is first to clear away all the existing pictures before you leave home. What’s the point of carrying around half-a-camera-full of Julie’s wedding, your dog, and last winter’s snow pics? All this will mean is that you’ll probably have to delete all of these because you’ll run out of camera/card space on holiday. You’ll lose what you’ve already taken, and more than a few folks have been known to delete everything by accident. This is not a camera function that’s often used and after a few cocktails it’s all too easy to hit the wrong button.

The second thing to do is to go out before you leave home and buy three or four small memory cards to use on your holiday instead of the (probably) one big one that you already have. Use them, fill them, and then store them safely in your suitcase. Put them somewhere that can’t be lost or stolen whilst you’re out and about. But, then, if you already know this you probably don’t need to read further. You’re already on it!

There’s a huge difference between a two-week holiday and ‘travelling’ for six months (travellers are in the know already and have found ways to keep their photos safe; they know that it’s going to happen sometime). Which makes it even more heartbreaking when you’re on Samui for just ten days and suddenly – no photos. So what can you do, without making it an irritating and major excursion, to protect what you’ve taken already? Something nice and easy to ensure that your photos continue to exist, even if your memory card might die or your camera somehow disappears when you go on a big night out?

Simple. You regularly (every two or three days, depending on how many photos you take or how special they are) copy them to somewhere safe. The most direct way to do this is to get them transferred to a CD (small size, good for about 500 photos) or a DVD (nothing to do with videos, simply a disk which holds more; lots more, probably 4,000 photos). And how you go about this depends on your circumstances. If you are so inclined you simply take your camera to somewhere that has the equipment to do this, a Kodak or Fuji shop, leave it whilst you go about your business, then pick it up again an hour later with the CD of duplicates. But do check. Before you leave the shop ask them to check your disk in their computer just to make especially sure that it’s yours and not somebody else’s precious wedding snaps. Now and then there might be a blip in the system and better that you find a wrong (or dead) CD now than when you look again back home. There are photo shops that offer this service all over the island, or, simpler still, just ask your hotel to take care of it for you; they can probably do it ‘in house’.

If you’ve come here with a laptop/netbook/tablet, the game-plan changes. But, then, if you have, you’ll already be aware of what to do and I’m preaching to the converted: you transfer your photos safely onto your computer. But even computers are fallible, especially here on Samui, where the humidity is so high and where power cuts and spikes are the norm and also, just once in a while, where such enviable hardware has been known to somehow disappear from one’s possession! So what you do to prevent this is to dump everything up and away via online storage. Flickr, Photobucket, Snapfish, PhotoBox, even Google’s Gmail, plus a dozen others, all allow you to upload photos (for free) and thus they are stored safely, no matter what happens to your camera or laptop.

It’s the folks that have already switched-off and moved to another page that concern me. They are precisely the people that I’m writing this for. Not many bother backing up their computer until it’s already crashed and it’s too late. And even fewer people ever bother with their cameras. But every year hundreds of people all over the world go home with no photos to show for their trip – because it’s never going to happen to them. Hopefully you won’t be one of these!

Rob De WetWays to make sure you never lose your holiday photos. When was the last time you backed-up your computer? No – stay with me a moment, this isn’t about computers and it’s not going to be full of techno-babble, either. Because nobody, I repeat nobody, ever takes backups seriously until they actually need to; i.e. when it’s too late. And so if your answer to the question above is something like, ‘a month or so back’, ‘never’, or even, ‘what’s a backup?’ then keep reading. Because, as with computers, none of us really bother about keeping our holiday data safe. And in this case what this means is your holiday photos.

I will bet money that already quite a few readers have moved on to the next page. This is one of the problems with this kind of thing. There’s a dual-edged mind-set attached to it, as in, ‘It’s never happened therefore it’s meaningless, so why bother’, alternating with, ‘I’m not very technical so I’m not going to be able to understand this kind of thing’. But that’s exactly why I’m writing this article!

Some people come here to Samui with their laptops, but not so many; it’s nice to leave all those kinds of things behind and forget about them for a while. Many people bring and use their phones here. And increasingly more are bringing their iPads. But everyone under the (hot tropical) sun brings a camera. And, whether you’re using the camera in your phone or a nice slim little purpose-built digital job, there’s a significant percentage of folks that’ll end up with no photos of their trip. The reasons for this are various and I’m not going into these. Because right now you are looking for an excuse to not bother with a backup of your photos, and if I start to list reasons why you need to, then you’ll find ways that this somehow doesn’t apply to you! But it does. It applies to all of us, be assured of this as I’m one of the multitude who’s learnt from bitter experience.

Every photo and video you take are stored on your camera’s memory card. Ninety-nine percent of people never take this card out of their camera and half of these won’t be able to tell you what size (memory-wise) this card is. All they do is just plug the camera into their computer when they get home and transfer their photos there. No problem; quite normal. But this card is the heart of your camera. And the best advice here is first to clear away all the existing pictures before you leave home. What’s the point of carrying around half-a-camera-full of Julie’s wedding, your dog, and last winter’s snow pics? All this will mean is that you’ll probably have to delete all of these because you’ll run out of camera/card space on holiday. You’ll lose what you’ve already taken, and more than a few folks have been known to delete everything by accident. This is not a camera function that’s often used and after a few cocktails it’s all too easy to hit the wrong button.

The second thing to do is to go out before you leave home and buy three or four small memory cards to use on your holiday instead of the (probably) one big one that you already have. Use them, fill them, and then store them safely in your suitcase. Put them somewhere that can’t be lost or stolen whilst you’re out and about. But, then, if you already know this you probably don’t need to read further. You’re already on it!

There’s a huge difference between a two-week holiday and ‘travelling’ for six months (travellers are in the know already and have found ways to keep their photos safe; they know that it’s going to happen sometime). Which makes it even more heartbreaking when you’re on Samui for just ten days and suddenly – no photos. So what can you do, without making it an irritating and major excursion, to protect what you’ve taken already? Something nice and easy to ensure that your photos continue to exist, even if your memory card might die or your camera somehow disappears when you go on a big night out?

Simple. You regularly (every two or three days, depending on how many photos you take or how special they are) copy them to somewhere safe. The most direct way to do this is to get them transferred to a CD (small size, good for about 500 photos) or a DVD (nothing to do with videos, simply a disk which holds more; lots more, probably 4,000 photos). And how you go about this depends on your circumstances. If you are so inclined you simply take your camera to somewhere that has the equipment to do this, a Kodak or Fuji shop, leave it whilst you go about your business, then pick it up again an hour later with the CD of duplicates. But do check. Before you leave the shop ask them to check your disk in their computer just to make especially sure that it’s yours and not somebody else’s precious wedding snaps. Now and then there might be a blip in the system and better that you find a wrong (or dead) CD now than when you look again back home. There are photo shops that offer this service all over the island, or, simpler still, just ask your hotel to take care of it for you; they can probably do it ‘in house’.

If you’ve come here with a laptop/netbook/tablet, the game-plan changes. But, then, if you have, you’ll already be aware of what to do and I’m preaching to the converted: you transfer your photos safely onto your computer. But even computers are fallible, especially here on Samui, where the humidity is so high and where power cuts and spikes are the norm and also, just once in a while, where such enviable hardware has been known to somehow disappear from one’s possession! So what you do to prevent this is to dump everything up and away via online storage. Flickr, Photobucket, Snapfish, PhotoBox, even Google’s Gmail, plus a dozen others, all allow you to upload photos (for free) and thus they are stored safely, no matter what happens to your camera or laptop.

It’s the folks that have already switched-off and moved to another page that concern me. They are precisely the people that I’m writing this for. Not many bother backing up their computer until it’s already crashed and it’s too late. And even fewer people ever bother with their cameras. But every year hundreds of people all over the world go home with no photos to show for their trip – because it’s never going to happen to them. Hopefully you won’t be one of these!

Rob De Wet
 


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