Monday, 3 August 2009

Free way to back up pictures while on the road

After a bit of fiddling around I found a good way to back up pictures while travelling, using a memory stick and a internet connection.
The idea was to create a free system of backing up pictures online; one of the biggest problems travellers face is the extremely unreliable internet connection of lots of countries making the process of uploading a bunch of pictures an endless and frustrating task, so to avoid those disappointments the images would need to be converted into smaller sizes before uploading. This idea may not appeal to lots of people but this way of backing up is a last resource in case you loss all your pictures and your backed up cd's get lost in the post. It is also useful for people back home to check your pictures.

- Put Firefox portable in a memory stick. Add the fireuploader add on to it, so the importing process is done quicker.
- Also put in the memory stick the portable version of image magick.

CAUTION. The following procedure WILL modify the original images, so make sure you are using copies of them.

Put the images in the computer (or memory stick if it has enough capacity) and use the following command to convert the images.
D:\ImageMagick-6.5.4-2\mogrify.exe -resize 640x480">" D:\magick\*.jpg
Providing the Image Magick is in the D drive and the images are in D:\magick\

This command will resize all jpg images in the folder to 640x480 keeping the aspect ration and not increasing the resolution in case there are small images. On average the images are of 100kb

Once this is finished, proceed to upload the images.

I tested the 2 major providers, flickr and picasa.

Each of them have different advantages and disadvantages.
In terms of upload speed I found their speeds were very similar.
The main advantage of picasa is that it allows you to upload as many pictures as you want and will display them all but it has got a size limit of 1gb.
The main advantage of flickr is that you can upload as many pictures as you want and there is no storage limit but it will only show the latest 200 pictures.

I really liked the flickr's interface but the 200 pictures limit made go for picasa.

Alternatively you can just pay the annual membership and get over those limits.

To upload the images I used the fire Uploader add on for firefox. It is quite quick and efficient. There are other tools to upload images into flickr and picasa, but they will have to be install in every internet cafe visited so that is why I prefer the portable version that has got every thing install.

Hope this is helpful information. I am writing this as I am about to start a long trip and need to remember the instructions in case I forget them :D

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WHAT a geek