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author: Andrew U. Frank image: '' bibliography: webBiblio.bib language: en_US title: Managing my Photo Archive date: 2010-06-07 keywords: application abstract: This is an old (possibly 20 year old) reflection. The problem is still actual and I will soon to address it! The collection of images is just much larger now. ---

Having more than one computer and a large collection of photographs poses the question how to manage these. The old fashioned version of putting prints in a shoe box was convenient, mostly technology invariant (I recently looked at picture of the marriage of my grand parents in 1914!). Computerized is more complicated.

What I would like to achieve: having more than one copy of the full collection on several hard (USB) hard disks, use a screen saver to show me the pictures at random, organize pictures by time and tags.

Only f-spot is working with a screensaver (at least this is the result of my tests with Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty), but it is not convenient for managing the files long term. For this I prefer KphotoAlbum, primarily because it identifies the pictures by md5 and not only by directory and filename. If files are moved, the tags are not lost. This permits for example to have more than one full copy of the pictures and connect any with the tags.

On my two major computers I have a directory fotoarchive which contains archive directories per year, which contain directories with pictures from trips and other events. These are included in KphotoAlbum. The whole fotoarchive is kept in sync with the copy on an external hard disk not always connected using unison.

If storage gets tight, a full year of photographs is replaced with a link to the corresponding directory on the external disk. If the disk is connected, then no difference in KphotoAlbum is visible. If the disk is not connected, not all pictures are available for editing (the thumbnails are still available).

For the screen saver I use f-spot and include all the pictures which are stored on the computer (not the external disk) but do not copy the files when inserting them in f-spot (uncheck the corresponding option when importing each time!). This gives a database in .gnome2/f-spot/photo.db which is used by the screen saver f-spot. The pictures which should be shown can be tagged as favorites.

On the netbook, where disk space is tight, I import the last year or so into f-spot from the external disk where I copy the pictures while importing. The copies there are for viewing only and uninteresting pictures can be deleted at will – they are safely kept on the disk.

The procedure to add new pictures from the camera is typically initiated on the netbook: pictures from the camera are copied to the Pictures folder in a folder with a descriptive title the pictures from the new folder are imported and copied into f-spot

the files are copied to the main computer when synchronizing all files on the netbook. Occasionally, the folders in Pictures are moved to the 'foto_archive' folder of the year and detected automatically next time KphotoArchive is run. To include them in the screen saver, the directories must be imported without copying the files.

Sync with the other major computer copies the files to the other disk. Synchronizing the archives (and other long term storage items) with the external hard disk (or disks) keeps them save.

Produced with SGG on with master5.dtpl.