Category Archives: Images

Photos, backup, iPhone 4S

Over at Librarians Matter, my friend Kathryn wrote a post about how to deal with removing photos from the Camera Roll on your iPhone when they become burdensome. In her case, it was 3000 or so photos from her recent jaunt around the world. Here’s an easier way to deal with photos on any iOS device, make sure you have plenty of space on your iPhone for more pics, and make sure that you have backups of all of your photos.

What you need: an iOS device with a camera running iOS 5 or higher, a Mac at home running the most recent versions of iPhoto or Aperture, and…well, that’s it, really. Oh, an iCloud account as well. But if you have an iOS 5 device, iCloud is a no-brainer.

Turn on Photostream on both your iPhone and inside iPhoto on your Mac (on iPhoto, it’s an option in the preferences). Anytime your iOS device is attached to a wifi signal, it will send any photo that is in your Camera Roll to your Photostream. From there, your Mac running iPhoto (just leave iPhoto running while you’re out) will grab the Photostreamed pics and save them to your computer. I assume that you are backing up your system in some automated way, including your iPhoto or Aperture libraries, so…as soon as the pic you take shows up in Photostream, it should be safely in the hands of your home computer and part of your regular backup process (I backup my Aperture library and other important files from my desktop automatically using Crashplan)

Your iPhone will show you your photostream, so you can actually check to make sure that the photos in question are uploaded (photos don’t show up in the “photostream” section of your Photos app until they are uploaded). Once they are in your Photostream, you can safely delete them from your Camera Roll.

If you are a techno-traveller and have a laptop with you on your travels, you can use it as a first-stop backup (sync your iPhone to it), and Photostream as a safety net. But in practice, Photostream seems to work amazingly well. During our trip to Disney World this past October, I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 pictures with my iPhone, all of which were waiting on me when I got back home to sync to my home computer. With iCloud and Photostream, you technically never have to plug your iPhone into your computer at all to get photos off.

Things that can go wrong

If your computer at home isn’t online for any reason (powers down, loses connectivity, etc) or if iPhoto or Aperture closes for some reason, your photos won’t be saved locally. They will still be in the magical land of Photostream, however, which holds the last 1000 photos that you took. So you’ve got a thousand pic buffer before you’ll chance losing anything. If you are never in a wifi area, and instead rely on 3G for all your data needs, your pics will never be uploaded to Photostream in the first place.

So while it’s not 100% solution at all times, I’m betting it’s a 99.999% solution for most people. Give it a try…iCloud and Photostream are free from Apple for this purpose, so there’s no downside.

Interfaces

I’m sure this isn’t an original thought (so very, very few are), but it was novel enough to me that I needed to write it down…and that’s pretty much what a blog is designed for.

I’ve written and talked about how libraries need to become comfortable with the containers of our new digital content, as since we move into the future the containers (ereader, ipad, tablet) will be important to users. We already know, more or less, how to deal with content. I’ve also been thinking about the interfaces that we use to access this content, and it just hit me:

Print is the only example of a media where the User Interface, Content, and Container have been, historically, the same thing. With music and video, we are completely used to the container, the content, and the user interface each being distinct: we put a tape into a player, which we control with kn0bs or buttons, and the content itself is ethereal and amorphous. With print, until very recently, the content, container, and interface were all the same thing…a book, a magazine, a broadsheet, a newspaper. All are content, container, and interface wrapped into a single unit. This may point to one of the reasons that people seem to feel a deeper connection to print materials than to the 8mm film, or the cassette tape.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these distinctions between container, content, and interface….I think that these three concepts could inform the way that libraries conceptualize what we do, and maybe find better ways to do it.

Griffey Men, circa late 1930

Griffey Men - 1930's

The Brothers Griffey in the late 1930s. Picture taken on Griffey Branch, Olive Hill, KY.

Left to right: Milton Griffey Sr., Van Gordon ‘Jack’ Griffey (d. 10/18/1970), James Morgan Griffey, Clay Griffey

Clay Griffey was my Father’s Father’s Father, or my Great-Grandfather…Eliza’s Great, Great Grandfather. Clay had a son that he named Van Gordon after his brother (who no one in my family knew as other than “Jack”…even his gravestone simply says Jack). That Van Gordon was my father’s father.

I had no idea this photo even existed until my aunt was googling for some genealogy information and found it online…amazing the things you can find online these days. :-)

Photo and information originally found here.

How broken is copyright in the US?

copyright symbolHow broken is copyright in the US? So broken that if you look at two different books, both published by the same publisher (Dodd, Mead & Co.), in the same year (1940), both with copyright notices, and neither with a copyright renewal…one is currently protected by copyright, and the other is in the public domain.

An amazing article by Peter B. Hirtle entitled Copyright Renewal, Copyright Restoration, and the Difficulty of Determining Copyright Status outlines this case, and others that are equally frustrating. Fascinating stuff, and shows how truly broken intellectual property laws are in the current market, with the necessity of international reciprocation and ever-increasing ridiculous time limits. Not to mention that the very model is now shattered with the digital revolution…even without the digital, copyright needs an overhaul. With it? It needs cleansed with fire.

Pick a random book in your library that was published between 1923 and 1964, and check this chart, and see if you can tell if it’s still protected. Now multiply that by a few ten million books, and see what kind of crazy legal situation our legislatures have gotten us into.

Product Review: Eye-Fi

As a part of having a new Eliza around, we went camera shopping for a new digital camera. I asked for feedback from a bunch of friends as to what digital camera they used and liked, and took those suggestions and matched them against my list of requirements. I wanted something that would do both still and video well, preferably HD video for future-proofing, and had a decent pocketability.

After a failed attempt at locating the Sanyo Xacti model that I wanted, I discovered the Canon TX-1. We’ve loved our Canons from the past…our last two cameras were Canon; one of the original Elphs, back with they were APS film based, and then our immediate past digital, a 4 megapixel Elph. With our history with Canon, plus the TX-1’s optical image stabilization, we decided to give up on the Xacti and just go with the Canon.

But that’s not the product I wanted to sing the praises of in this post. No, I’m beyond thrilled with the memory card I bought to go with the TX-1. Yep, the memory card…if your digital camera takes SD cards, you should immediately buy one of these:

eyefi

A brilliant little piece of tech, the Eye-Fi combines a 2 gig SD card with built in wifi, giving any camera the ability to automatically upload pictures that you take to your computer, to any of dozens of web photo sites, or both. The card comes with a little USB dock, and has the software necessary to tie the card to your computer and website on itself. You plug it into your computer, and it walks you through linking the card, your wifi point, the computer you’re on, and the website in question.

Once it is set up, the process is simply take a picture, and…that’s it. You take a picture and as long as your camera stays on it will upload your pics to your computer and to the web automagically. Now there are limits, and ways that I would love to have the product behave that it doesn’t.

For one, the card attaches itself to your wifi point…not to your computer. I would vastly prefer the card to attach via an ad-hoc network to my computer, and then have the computer do the heavy lifting to the web. That way it would work even when I was traveling, without having to logon to the Eye-Fi manager website and manually change the settings. You can make it work now, but it’s less easy than I’d like.

Still, if you do most of your uploading from home, it doesn’t get any easier than this.

Hot Library Action

From The Nonist, some Hot Library Smut:

Yesterday I came across a truly gorgeous book of photographs by Candida Höfer titled, Libraries, a title which pretty much says it all, because that is just exactly what it is, one rich, sumptuous, photo of a library interior after another. It’s like porn for book nerds. Seriously. They are gorgeous photos, nearly all without visitors and just begging to be entered. (ha. sorry.)

And boy are they some pretty pics:

BNF-PARISRIJKMUSEUM-AMSTERDAMHANDELINGENKAMER-TWEEDE-KAMBIBLIOTECA-DE-LA-REAL-ACADEREAL-GABINETE-PORTUGUES-DE-STRAHOVSKA-KNIHOVNA-PRAHA

If you want your very own library porn, you can order it from the publisher.