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Data Storage Printer Technology

Ask Slashdot: Best Option For Printing Digital Photos? 350

rrossman2 writes "With the birth of our son (who is now just over two), we have snapped and accumulated a ton of pictures — on Panoramio, Picasa, Facebook, etc. What is the best option for bulk printing the photos to a physical format? We all know how fast technology advances, as well as how fast sites come and go; I want a way to have these pictures for my son when he is older... just like my grandfather has photos of himself from World War II, my parents have photos of me when I was little, etc. Are there any affordable services that you can upload the photos to that print and deliver long-lasting pictures? How well do today's photo ink jets last, and what's the best type of paper? I do have a cheaper Samsung color laser printer, but color lasers don't make the most color-rich prints, and using normal photo paper you can find in big box stores doesn't work out too well, as the laser toner seems to peel off on the rollers and gum things up. (Is there a good long lasting paper that seems to work well with laser printers?) I can see what's going to happen in the future: all of the digital photos people take now are going to either end up on a website that won't be around in 20+ years, or get stuck on disks or flash memory that won't last, or for which interfacing with the media will become difficult or impossible."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Option For Printing Digital Photos?

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  • Why print photos? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @01:26PM (#39930263) Homepage

    ... when you can make photo albums?! I find that we print photo albums instead of photos these days. Photos themselves are a nuisance to store or archive. Printed photo albums are nicely self-contained, easy to pack and look much better than those albums with a bunch of loose photos in it. It's really not much more expensive. I personally just use iPhoto to design and then print the albums. No hassle. Product is fantastic.

    Of course there are many outlets to get these printed. I highly recommend them.

    As a side bonus, your guests will think you're some kind of pro, cuz honestly, even with no experience, they come out looking really really good. Nothing says pro like a full page bleed :)

    Then again, what do I know? I'm just an old fart with a 4 digit ID. ;)

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @01:28PM (#39930303)

    And they weren't printouts. They were actual developed 35mm film. Why go with physical photos when you can have the permance of a digital photo that never fades?

    What you should be asking is: "How do I save my photos & videos so they don't get lost?" Backup to a USB drive in a fireproof safe. Backup to an online place like google. Backup to another online place like amazon. And make sure google/amazon are not in the same building (in case it burns down). That's what I would recommend.

  • by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @01:29PM (#39930317)
    My friend does pro portraits and he gets all his stuff up to poster sized done via Costco. Having tried a few, he reckons they're the best and the cheapest too which is a bonus.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @01:41PM (#39930517)

    printing is more than just about 100% accurate reproduction. I occasionally print on canvas simply because it's another art/decor option for the house -- it doesnt really answer your question, as I don't know how to "justify" why I like a certain type of decor.

  • Effort, formats (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @01:48PM (#39930629) Journal

    It takes effort. Period. Why do you have photographs back from ww2? Because family expended the effort it took to keep them safe and sound all these years. That meant storing them properly, keeping them out of the hands of unsupervised kids, looking after them whenever family moved to a new home, etc. You simply have to do the same thing with your data. That means storing data redundantly on more than one format of physical storage. I would go with USB flash, micro sd and DVD rom all three. Then a decade down the road you may have to convert them over to new media of the day. No big deal. Regardless it will take effort, and if the data is important to you, then you'll expend that effort.

    I have a comment about physical media. Why did the 3.5" floppy replace the 5 1/4"? Smaller form factor and greater data density. Why was PC Card (PCMCIA) flash / hdd replaced by Compact flash, which was replaced by SD, which is being replaced by Micro SD? Smaller form factor and greater data density. Well guess what. Micro SD is the pinnacle of small form factor. You cannot make it any smaller or else the average human simply cannot physically work with the media. In fact, there are millions of people that don't have good enough eyesight or motor control to work with Micro SD card sized media. My point in all this is all that is left to improve is data density and transfer rate. It is my opinion that micro sd is going to be around for a very, very long time. Barring some sort of proprietary format war (like Apple finally including removable storage in iOS hardware, but going with a new proprietary media) I don't see much improvement over the sd form factor, and so I think it's going to be with us for quite a while.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.