I’m still working in the archives, so I thought I’d explain some of this work today. That way, if you’re not interested, you can just skip to the gallery of doors that were unearthed in the process. The process? You ask. Yes, you see organizing my old digital photos wasn’t even the initial goal. The initial goal was to prepare several old desktop computers for the recycle center.
Each of those machines has folders on them that contain pictures. In theory, as I moved from one machine to another, I transferred the photos. Unfortunately, since I know some photos are missing from my current collection, I know that that theory has a few flaws. I will try not to bore you with too many technical details, but I will share one:
The way I am getting the photos from the old machine to the newer machine is to add the old machine to the network I have today – share the drives on the old machine and copy the files. Why go to so much trouble? Because the old machines are running Windows 95 and Windows XP and neither can work well with modern-day USB drives. Copying over a network is surprisingly fast, since both the host and target machine are connected by a wired-ethernet connection.
As you might guess, storing files like “IMG-0123.jpg” in folders is not what I was hoping for when I said, “organize my photos.” While the end goal is to upload the better images from these folders to Flickr, where I can put the photos into albums and tag them with metadata, that goal is down the road. In an effort to gain some benefit, I’ve decided to add folder-level metadata. I am storing a document in each folder with key words related to the photos in that folder and thumbnails of all the images. So, if there is a photo (or several) of Maddie, the document will include “Pets” “Maddie” and maybe “Park” “Windsor Locks” “CT”
If this sounds like a ton of work, it’s not. I signed up for a free account with a forms/survey service called Wufoo. I used to use Wufoo at work, and I knew that their forms support multiple choice text boxes. I’ve created a survey that includes the key words I want to use. Then the process becomes:
- Open a folder in preview mode.
- Start a new version of the survey
- Check any box that is not already checked that applies to the photo
- Continue until I’ve previewed all the photos
- Submit the survey
Once I submit the survey, Wufoo sends me an email with all the items that were checked. I save that as a Word document in the photo folder. I also print a Contact Sheet of all the photos in the folder
- Select all photos (in Windows 10 – select all files Cntrl-A)
- Right-click on any selected photo
- Click ‘Print’ and choose Contact sheet
- Print to PDF
- Open the Word document and insert screen captures of each page of the PDF
This takes a few minutes per folder but the result is pretty cool. I can search the Parent Folder of my photo folders for a term like “Maddie” and Windows will search all the sub-folders and show me the files that it finds. I can click on any of the files to open them and see the contact sheet which includes the file names. That makes it easy to decide if I want to review any of the photos.
- There are many other ways to do this, including letting Amazon search your photo images for keywords. I don’t trust Amazon, so no.
- I have highlighted my process here, a process that meets my current needs. I’m not suggesting this is a method that would work for others.
- This is an interim step. The goal remains to get these images onto Flickr
- The form, results and folder contents shown here are examples from a proof-of-concept test. The real form has many more fields.
Now, since this is a Thursday Doors post, well, you know the drill. You can view my doors in the gallery. Then you can skip up to Norm Frampton’s blog and look at his doors. Then you can breeze through his comments and find links to doors all over the world.