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Opions sought on using the USB Photo Stick for photo storage

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Greensands29/07/2020 10:20:29
370 forum posts
49 photos

Hi all - Has anyone had any experience in buying and using the USB photo storage system such as "Photo Stick" or similiar device? Most of the reviews I have seen have been from the US. Not sure where they might be availablefrom in the UK

Ian Parkin29/07/2020 10:55:33
1035 forum posts
243 photos

Are you not able to find your photos and transfer them to any usb stick?

all the photo stick does has a piece of software on it which searches for jpeg files and transfers them for you..

if you can do it yourself it saves lots of money

SillyOldDuffer29/07/2020 11:17:17
8863 forum posts
1995 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 29/07/2020 10:55:33:

Are you not able to find your photos and transfer them to any usb stick?

all the photo stick does has a piece of software on it which searches for jpeg files and transfers them for you..

if you can do it yourself it saves lots of money

All down to the cost. As long as the storage isn't overpriced, it's a very easy way of backing up photos. Not so sure it would be quick to find a particular photo again but that's a problem with all backup systems. (And all those boxes of 35mm slides in the loft.)

Reminds me - must do a backup! Photos are the least of my problems if a disc goes pop.


Ady129/07/2020 11:31:09
5161 forum posts
738 photos

I use Integral sticks for important stuff, swiss bank account numbers, bitcoin addresses, photos, pdfs etc

Not had a single failure yet, (about 2005 for my 2MB sticks) and they are reasonably priced

Up to about 128GB nowadays

roy entwistle29/07/2020 11:51:20
1551 forum posts

You can get independent hard drives for not much more than USB sticks. I save JPEGs on a CD and RAW files on a independent HD. I print thumbnails of all JPEGs and label them so I can find them if needed

Greensands29/07/2020 12:36:22
370 forum posts
49 photos

Do they only work on JPEG files or can they also be used to store data files and the like?

Anthony Knights29/07/2020 13:19:46
629 forum posts
244 photos

USB memory sticks/thumb drives or whatever else you care to call the are just blocks of non-volatile memory that you can store data on. I have USB memory with DVD's stored on them, but you have to use NTFS format as the old FAT32 format cannot handle files larger than 4GB. My computer hard drives are backed up onto memory sticks as well as onto spare HDDs.

roy entwistle29/07/2020 13:22:38
1551 forum posts

They can store any sort of file. provided that they are big enough I've got Microsoft Office XP on one.

Circlip29/07/2020 15:26:10
1524 forum posts
I only use sticks as a transfer medium, Have external hard drives for "Storage". 1Tb drives are cheap now.

Regards Ian.
SillyOldDuffer29/07/2020 16:13:55
8863 forum posts
1995 photos
Posted by Greensands on 29/07/2020 12:36:22:

Do they only work on JPEG files or can they also be used to store data files and the like?

It's an ordinary USB Memory Stick with a pre-loaded application. When the stick's plugged in, File Manager starts (as usual), and the user double clicks the application. The software scans the disc for all the common media files, not just jpg, and copies them on to the memory stick. I guess it's clever enough not to copy files more than once, so it builds an ongoing archive of photos as they're added to the PC. As there's nothing special about the Memory Stick any files on it can be read, written and deleted in the usual way.

The attraction is extreme ease of of use. Doesn't do anything that couldn't be scripted by a programmer, or by any of the many back-up/restore tools. But general purpose backup tools are complicated compared with this. Clever idea: a super-simple way of copying photos for safe-keeping; so simple I'm amazed it's not been done before.


Nick Clarke 329/07/2020 16:17:59
1475 forum posts
64 photos

I too have been using USB sticks since they first became available and I have a 64M one here that is still working from years ago. The advice to buy quality is reasonable, but in the day job I buy between 30 and 50 a year, usually Kingston and there are still failures after repeated use, even after fairly short periods of time. These seem to be more often down to software on the computers using them as the sticks will usually reformat with the appropriate software, but by then all of the data is lost.

Portable SSDs are basically the same thing, and over the years I have had several hard disk failures.

Saving to the cloud is quite reliable, but unless you have a paid account check to see what your provider guarantees - it is often very little!

The only way to totally guarantee your data is through two things - Firstly redundancy - save your data in two or more places and refreshing - rewrite you data from time to time.

It is up to you to decide how much your data is worth. At home I back up to two different NAS storage systems every so often, and the main one of these is a RAID array.

If this sounds a pain remember that when we used film we all had boxes of negatives and prints or transparencies that, short of a fire, were permanent. Now we use digital photography we are sometimes hard pressed to keep digital files for more than a few years or so. The life of re-writeable CDs and DVDs is 10-15 years as blank disks, CD-R or DVD-R recorded data will be safe for more than 100 years but in the case of the - RW versions it is apparently only 25 years or so.

If that sounds like a long time remember that the first photo of Niépce in 1826 still exists and my own wedding photos if they had been stored on DVD-RW, had such a thing been available then, might not be readable today!

Neil Wyatt29/07/2020 19:42:07
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

I use sophisticated backup software for all my business files (Macrium).

I also use Microsoft File History (although it has an uncanny ability to switch itself off). I just checked and it hasn't run for two days despite telling me it's set to run every hour.

I am still searching for a simple piece of software that will maintain an external drive as a mirror of my main disk, and automatically update of I swap that drive for another one.

My concern is always to have a backup no more than a week old that isn't connected to the computer.


Steve Neighbour29/07/2020 19:56:45
120 forum posts
1 photos

I used to use umpteen USB memory sticks, and then ended up with far to many.

Moved almost all of what I value to a cloud based storage system (Dropbox and other similar providers) and also have a WD 'Home Cloud' which is connected to my router via a 256 bit firewall for security, this has 8TB of space, so I doubt I'll fill it anytime soon. It also has a 'mirror' drive as back up in case one falls over.

Just google 'My Cloud'

The advantage is the TV can access it for films, photos etc, my smart phone for backing up every picture I take (automatically) and my PC for everything else,

The great advantage is I can access stuff from home, work, and anywhere worldwide.

When my time comes to go to the 'workshop in the sky' my kids will just inherit a Lathe and Milling machine (they won't really want them I suspect) and a few passwords on a post-it note (if I can remember them by then !!)


Edited By Steve Neighbour on 29/07/2020 19:58:18

Enough!29/07/2020 22:54:00
1719 forum posts
1 photos

You (Greensands) could get a decent search program and do a full computer search for files with graphics filetypes. A good one will should let you search multiple filetypes concurrently. You should then be able to copy all those files from its listing to the USB card of your choice in one swell foop.

That's basically all Photo Stick does ... it just saves you the trouble of remembering all the different graphics filetypes. Chances are you neither use not care about most of them.

Edited By Bandersnatch on 29/07/2020 22:55:29

Grindstone Cowboy30/07/2020 01:24:36
893 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 29/07/2020 19:42:07:

I am still searching for a simple piece of software that will maintain an external drive as a mirror of my main disk, and automatically update of I swap that drive for another one.

My concern is always to have a backup no more than a week old that isn't connected to the computer.


Neil - you could do worse than have a look at Karen's Replicator available here. It may do what you require.

Free for home use and not very expensive for a work license. I've been using an old version for years - didn't even realise there was a newer version until I went looking for a link to post here - and it's simple, lightweight and reliable. Sadly the author passed away quite a few years ago, but someone seems to be maintaining and improving her various "Power Tools", although in all honesty I can't think what could be improved in the Replicator.


Ian Usmar30/07/2020 07:47:07
70 forum posts
10 photos

Does anyone know if "Karens Replicator" will work on the Mac ?

AdrianR30/07/2020 09:01:08
597 forum posts
36 photos

I am not a Mac user but at work, they used Time Machine which Mac's come with.

Peter G. Shaw30/07/2020 09:07:52
1454 forum posts
44 photos

I have what is essentially a manual system based around two computers along with their internal hard disks, and two external hard drives.

The original idea was to have a spare computer just in case the main computer failed. The system then blossomed into a system whereby there are two copies of everything I want to save associated with each of the two computers, one on the machine itself and one on an external hard drive. So four copies in all. Both computers, although not identical machines, are more or less identical in terms of software.

Photos, including some ancient & clapped out 35mm colour slides which have been transferred to electronic & cleaned up, are kept in a single folder with sub folders for various categories. Probably the biggest problem I have is determining where a particular photo was taken - to this day I have a slide photo of our two eldest children along with a caravan somewhere, and I cannot determine where or when it was taken.

The actual duplication of files for backup purposes, and let's face it, when I'm gone, it is unlikely that anyone else will wnat this stuff so it's mainly for my security, takes about 2 hours once a week.

Happy snapping,

Peter G. Shaw

Frances IoM30/07/2020 09:29:55
1281 forum posts
28 photos
I have some 200,000 photos of documents done for research over 20+years (easier to photo in archives + read etc at home) - just choose a good long term stable linux system (eg Mint or Debian) + database (in my case this is an old Filemaker than has now been used for 25yrs) + merely duplicate harddrives overnight - linux unlike windoze or apple allows transfer of hard drives between cpus - in my case Lenovo laptops of various vintages none of which cost me more than ?120 + often less + a collection of desktops for various duties (eg in absence of a special hd duplicator to duplicate hard drives using dd command.

Edited By Frances IoM on 30/07/2020 09:31:03

Steve Withnell30/07/2020 09:46:41
848 forum posts
215 photos

I don't like manual backups of anything, because they get forgotten and the media lost. I have a load of USB sticks. Somewhere.

Cloud storage is often free depending on storage requirements and fully automated and 'always on'.

If you are like me and can't quite make the move to moving the electronic copy of my life onto some remote hard drive, then you can buy a NAS drive and have the 'cloud' copy tucked away in the house. I use 'Allways Sync' so that hard drive always contains upto date copies of work from any of my devices. The weakness in that plan, is that I make manual copies of the remote drive onto a portable hard disk once a quarter and then lock that away, off network.

Manual sticks I only ever use for file transfer - typically from the Laptop that generates gcode to the PC in the workshop that runs mach3, though I am tempted to put the workshop PC onto the network and get rid of those sticks altogether, because the temptation then is to alter the drawings on the stick, which then don't match the 'Final' versions on the laptop.

The irony is that I first got involved connecting cnc machines to ethernet to eliminate paper tapes in 1983/4 so I'm a bit behind at home!

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