pef vs dng

Tom C cakaltm at
Thu Oct 8 13:42:48 EDT 2009

I've got 4 PC's wih images on hard drives that I want to get off and
archive.  The time involved will be substantial.  One of them, will
probably have to have the hard drive recovered.  Will I remember to do
it before it's too late? Much of what's on them is scanned from
transparencies and I have them, so I'm not totally worried  except
that rescanning wouldn't be fun.

Most of my images from the last 3 years are backed up on two different
external hard drives, but I really should burn them to DVD's as well.

Reminds me I have about 50 slides I absconded with from my Dad that he
took before I was born when he was in the Navy in Spain, Monaco,
Italy. I really need to scan them for viewing and/or printing.


On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 8:31 PM, William Robb <warobb at> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Graydon"
> Subject: Re: pef vs dng
>> Copy all your digital files forward; this is the way, the truth, and the
>> life with digital files.
>>> For paper, you need the paper.  For any digital storage medium, you
>>> need  an entire, *operational* system including peripherals and
>>> software.
>> For paper, you need paper, reasonably humidity, dark, lack of ants,
>> termites, wasps, weevils, and silverfish, and the blessed absence of
>> fungus.  For truly long-term, you need the blessed absence of oxygen and
>> atmospheric sulfates.
>> It's not an easy problem; all things come in time to die.
> I have prints dating back close to 100 years. They are in perfectly
> acceptable condition, even though they made a trip from Scotland to Canada
> with my grandparents and family in the mid 1920s, a train trip across Canada
> and were probably stored in a cardboad box under a bed at their homestead
> through the Dirty Thirties, moved a couple of times from the homestead to
> Mossbank to MooseJaw to my parent's hose, and finally to my own construction
> riddled house in 2002.
> They have recieved no special care, and are eminently copyable if I so
> desire (and if I can lay my hands on them as they are now in long term
> storage).
> I also have a stack of high end Verbatim compact disks that were burned
> using Nero Burn software on a top end Plexwriter CD burner around 6 years
> ago that can no longer be read.
> Prints will survive benign neglect. A box under the bed in an above grade
> room is all that is required to preserve them (dark fading and the like
> still is an issue of course).
> A digital archive will not survive being neglected. An active and ongoing
> strategy is required to preserve digital images, and this extends to far
> more than the media it is stored on.
> I've been at this digital photography game for less than ten years, and have
> lost serveral thousand times more digital images to media failure than the
> number of silver/dye based photographic images lost over the previous 3
> decades.
> The simple and sad fact is, digital image files cannot be trusted to last
> over the long haul, especially given most peoples rather lassez faire
> attitude towards how they keep their computer files.
> There is just too much more that can go wrong with them compared to a
> photographic print.
> William Robb
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