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Old 07-10-2016, 01:10 PM
 
493 posts, read 1,023,535 times
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Hi -- I need to put together a household photo inventory for insurance purposes.

I have no disc drive in my Macbook Air (that was Apple's tradeoff for making it lightweight).
What's the simplest way to approach this? Get a portable external plug-in burner/writer disc drive? Or use an SDXC card? Or something else I'm not even aware of?

I also want the ability to add to the photos (or delete some) as time goes by.

(Sadly, my IT expert -- my college senior nephew -- is out of pocket, so I hope some of you can pass along your opinions!)
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:07 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,764,037 times
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Either a SDXC card or a USB external disk drive will work and are both equally simple.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:50 PM
 
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cloud is best of all. Problem with either of your approaches is that when the house goes, so goes your inventory. Also consider that DVD and flash cards have limited lifespan measured in years, of course, but not decades. They're also easy to lose, unless you put one in, say, a bank safety deposit box.

OTOH, you never know when/if your cloud storage choice will go poof either.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:07 AM
 
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Burnable media can fail 50 years from now or it could fail tomorrow, if you are going to use disc at least make a few copies and store offsite at relatives house or whatever. Cloud storage as already mentioned is ideal.

I would use a video camera for this instead, one person taping and someone else with a flashlight. Describe what it is as necessary. Be sure to record the model numbers on things like TV's and the manufacturer of things like furniture. If you have expensive furniture you will want to record who made it. Make sure you do the whole house, kitchen is going to be an important place. How much value is sitting on the spice rack? Open desk drawers and show your supplies, those things are going to be covered under some policies.

If you have anything of particular value take detailed pictures and make sure your insurance company is aware of it.

I have little bit of experience with this because I went through a fire, between the fire, water and smoke most things were unusable. They sent an inventory specialist with helper and they spent 3 days there. They counted everything they could, when I say that I mean she opened a desk drawer and had a voice recorder.... "one box of rubber bands, 50 count, next item.... one box of pencils, 20 count, next item...." on and on for three long days. She'd take pictures of anything that had larger value or the cost may be hard to determine. She did estimate things like a sock drawer fpr example but she was always very close and her estimate was always just little more.

One last bit of advice, check you insurance policy to see if it's cash value or replacement cost. Cash value is what you might be able to sell it for. I went through a fire and I can tell you that you are going to be in for a shock if you need to use that policy and have cash value. The cash value for things might be 20 or 30 percent at best if you had to buy it new.

Last edited by thecoalman; 07-11-2016 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,814 posts, read 13,951,598 times
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Wow you guys suck at the advice today.

Teasing, but surprised no one mentioned this route.

https://www.amazon.com/Enfain-Flash-...rds=usb+drives

FAR easier then anything else mentioned. Get a slew of those and duplicate what you put on them.
$30 for a 10 pack?!?!? Crazy how prices have dropped on these.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:40 PM
 
2,895 posts, read 1,699,942 times
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Peregrine, I believe JPP mentioned flash drives. So where do you recommend they go? How would they be updated? (I guess you gotta find them...) When the house burns down or is blown away in a storm, what do you do then?

It's unfortunate that safe backup strategies are a bit more complicated than an Amazon flash drive order.

Yes, I guess SOME advice sucks today....
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:18 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Just be careful of the cheap USB thumb drives ... they get corrupted or have a very short shelf life. I suppose you can get that 10-pk, put your data on all of them, and sprinkle them all over your house and a close relative's house. Not sure how you can update them all.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,814 posts, read 13,951,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Peregrine, I believe JPP mentioned flash drives.
He was referring to an external USB Hard drive, not a stick.

Quote:
So where do you recommend they go? How would they be updated? (I guess you gotta find them...) When the house burns down or is blown away in a storm, what do you do then?
I don't give bad advice. Ever. Don't believe me? Check me.
Cocky? Yea, some times. But I am good at this IT stuff.

This is for a one time photo shoot to catalog items in the home for insurance purposes. Not something that needs to be updated often.
Take your photos. Put them on a memory stick. Copy that stick to another stick. Copy it to a 3rd stick. At <$30 for 10 of them, heck copy it to a 4th stick.
Put one stick with your computer stuff. Put the other stick in your fire proof safe box. Every one has one of those, right?

https://www.amazon.com/SentrySafe-HD...rds=fire+proof

https://www.amazon.com/SentrySafe-50...rds=fire+proof

If you DON'T have one of those.... get one. Or give a stick to your Aunt Sally. Or cousin Joe. Or the next door neighbor. or a Safe Deposit Box at the bank. That's still a thing, right?
Get a new TV and want a picture of that stored? Then you need to remember where you put your copies and do it again. I would hope you haven't forgotten you gave the neighbor one...

This will not take long and is reasonably inexpensive.

Quote:
It's unfortunate that safe backup strategies are a bit more complicated than an Amazon flash drive order.
In this particular case...it really is that simple.

You want to back an ongoing collection of all your pics that you take with your phone and your DSLR camera? I have a solution for that, too.

Quote:
Yes, I guess SOME advice sucks today....
I was just teasing, as I sometimes do, but now you gotta go be all.... mean.

Don't like or trust generic? Get 2 brand name sticks:
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruze...rds=usb+memory
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:09 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,764,037 times
Reputation: 19664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Wow you guys suck at the advice today.

Teasing, but surprised no one mentioned this route.

https://www.amazon.com/Enfain-Flash-...rds=usb+drives

FAR easier then anything else mentioned. Get a slew of those and duplicate what you put on them.
$30 for a 10 pack?!?!? Crazy how prices have dropped on these.
How is it far easier than an SD card? They're both just as easy ... plug and play.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Southern California
4,448 posts, read 5,445,682 times
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1) Create a drop box account
2) Use the built in camera of the Mac Air and use the Photos Booth Application to take Videos or Photo.
3) Right click on the photo or video and export to the dropbox folder
4) Buy a network attached Western Digital my cloud or Apple Time Capsule, configure and use Time Machine. If the Time Machine icon on the upper right indicates that the backup is not recent or failed, you may have to reboot the network device.u
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