Digital Photography of Plants and subsequent manipulation

John Lonsdale
Wed, 18 Dec 2002 08:50:13 PST
I thought I'd take a couple of minutes to expand on something that came up
in a couple of recent postings on the TOW - namely backing up files.  It is
impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this, especially in the case
of plant photographs or other images which may well be impossible to
replace.  As I mentioned, I do this by backing up to hard drives which are
located separately from my main boot hard drive - I favor this because it is
dynamic and your backups always mirror your main collections.  Tony G
mentioned backing up to CD - this is also an excellent suggestion and I do
keep a single copy of all my originals in this format - they are never used
but are there should total disaster strike.  I can't think of a better
guardian than the Mother-in-Law, just make sure you look after her daughter

Backing up can be tedious but I use a small program called FileBackPC to do
this automatically.  It is available from  It is
simple to use, with either an 'expert' or a 'wizard' interface - the latter
makes things very easy.  There are both synchronization and full back up
modes available, the latter allowing you to keep multiple file versions.  I
use synchronization to keep a real-time copy of my data files, updated
automatically upon the program detecting any changes to the files under its
supervision.  The back-up mode is scheduled to do its stuff overnight - thus
if I delete a file which is also immediately deleted from my synchronized
back up, I know there is an untouched version safe in the full back up
location.  This sounds extreme but has come to my rescue many times.

One last useful utility I use very infrequently but which I wouldn't be
without is an 'Undelete' program.  There are several flavors available  and
they are all cheap.  Their purpose is to undelete files which have been
deleted from all your directories and appear to be totally gone and
destroyed, at least as far as your operating system and programs are
concerned.  The reality is that they haven't gone (unless you run something
like Evidence Eliminator), they are there but the tags that identify them to
your programs are gone.  Using an undelete program will allow you to restore
them, as if by magic.  A couple of weeks ago we got all our daughters in the
same place at the same time and I took some images for our Christmas cards.
When I came to process them and send one off (to EDI) they were nowhere to
be seen - I must have deleted them accidentally and enough time had passed
for the back up utility to remove all traces of them.  I should have paid
extra for the version that 'knows' you didn't really mean to do that !
Anyway, they were gone but running 'Undelete' found them and restored them
in a jiffy - and saved me from a fate worse than death.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341,  USA

Phone: 610 594 9232
Fax: 801 327 1266

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at

Zone 6b

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