My Digitized Life

It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed by technology that is supposed to make your life easier. If I was to really spend some time with my cell phone, I’m sure I would find out that it does a lot more than make / receive phone calls. Sure, it takes pictures, but I have absolutely no idea how to get those photos off the phone.

These days, my pet project is getting a grip on al the photos and videos which have accumulated over the past few years. I’m in the process of putting together a DVD of the videos of the kids’ first year, and I’d like to go through all the photos and negatives I have from the last 36 years of my life, digitize them and put together an archive.

But, again, when it comes to technology, I’m pretty ignorant. Don’t assume that because I write software for a living means I know anything about technology. To me, software is just logic and a language and it’s easy, just like some people can learn French, Italian and German in a summer. I could too if I worked with them every day for a few weeks.

Anyway, I have 3 major projects, and if anyone has any advice on the best ways to do the following, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts:

1) How do I go about digitizing the collection of photo negatives I have accumulated? Would a camera shop be able to do it pretty cheaply, or would it be better to buy my own equipment. I’m pretty sure it’s the former, because I also don’t have much time to do these projects, but I thought I’d check.

2) Can you recommend photo and video editing software that isn’t too expensive, is easy to learn and helps to make good looking, high quality images and videos?

3) I’ve burned picture collections to DVDs and CD’s. What are the advantages of each?

Anyway, I’m playing with this stuff a bit tonight. I’ll see how it goes.

One Comment on “My Digitized Life

  1. Hi! This is James; Ania and I are Tracy’s friends from California. We’ve been enjoying reading about you guys’ adventures with the twins, and we recently joined the parents club too! saw a write-up of a service called ScanCafe that you might find useful for scanning slides & photos:“This service will digitize your old slides, negatives and photographic prints at high quality and at a very cheap price. “For very basic photo (but not video) editing, you might check out Google’s free tool, Picasa. It’s also very nice for managing & sharing (easy email & web upload) photos, which is its primary strength.I think the advantage of DVD over CD is simply density; we have over 6GB of pics & video from Arianna’s first month alone! (Mostly because our photo camera’s video is barely — if at all — compressed; this should improve some once we get a good video camera.) Also, if your DVD burner came with decent software, you should be able to easily make DVDs people can watch on a non-computer-based DVD player, which many find convenient.Keep up the good work, guys, and keep writing about it!

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