Tagged With archiving

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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With the amount of data we store increasing at an exponential rate, many of us turn to archiving technologies as a way of protecting the most important information. I have a pile of CDs and DVDs with photos on them but none of my computers have an optical drive. NASA found itself in the same situation.

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Disk is now the predominant backup medium, but tape still plays an important role. What do you do if you've migrated your main backup strategy to disk but still need to access older archives that are stored on tape formats? Rather than paying to maintain little-used tape readers and the backup software that goes with them, one solution is to put a company on contract to perform that work.

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Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): Having an automated, secure, off-site backup solution is a great idea, but for many folks, burning their data and system files to CD and DVD is just more manageable. Free indexing app Virtual Volumes View (VVV) helps you keep track of exactly which file is located on which of those numbered DVDs. Once you've let VVV take a look at each of your discs, it can show you them in a physical view (each disc and its contents), a virtual view (one giant file system), or let you simply search through files, including MP3 metadata, to find that certain folder or file you need to restore. The app helps you make sense of large folders you have to break up into multiple discs, and is smart enough to properly index a newly-burned, updated disc it already is tracking. Virtual Volumes View is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems; Linux users, hit the Linux.com link if you need help installing.

Virtual Volumes View

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Windows/Linux: Open-source file archive manager PeaZip creates and extracts files from a number of the most popular archiving formats, including ZIP, RAR, 7Z, and more. Our nod for file archive managers normally goes to 7-Zip, but with an attractive, user-friendly interface, customizable right-click options, and a standalone portable version you can add to your thumb drive, PeaZip has a charm worth checking out. PeaZip is free, Windows and Linux only.

PeaZip

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Productivity writer and Inbox Zero advocate Merlin Mann shares some of his recent updates to his talk about email-wrangling, including a bit of advanced common sense about why stashing away your emails isn't productive. Acting on them, and then killing 'em off, Mann says, is where you want to be:

The idea here is that you probably don't have a place in your home or office where you store the shells from every peanut you ever ate. If you did, you'd definitely want to organise them by the year in which you ate them, perhaps keeping separate jars per-month or per-location where you ate the nut. You know. For posterity.

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If you've got a drawer full of photographs you'd love to preserve digitally but don't feel like going through the work of scanning every one yourself, send them to web site ScanCafe for cheap and professional scanning. The service charges $0.19 for each negative and $0.24 for each slide you accept (you can reject up to 50% for whatever reason, whether you don't like the quality or you just don't want the image). The door-to-door round trip will take approximately seven to eight weeks, but the quality is excellent and price is very competitive. If you've ever used ScanCafe, let us know how it worked out for you in the comments. If you've got another preferred digitising method, we'd love to hear about that, too.

ScanCafe