Technology Tuesday–Have you checked your Picture CDs

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The other day, my daughter asked me if I had any photos of a friend of hers (and mine). Sure, I said. But ….

The end of the story is, “yes, I did”. But ….

How many of us have Picture CD’s from the 1990’s? Have you tried to view those CD’s on your current computer ?

I had been using Seattle FilmWorks. Send them a roll of film and you got your pictures back on a CD. You may have gotten physical pictures and perhaps the negatives.

Here is a link to what Wikipedia has to say. Please take a look at that article if you used them. Oh, and pull a CD out of your archives and see if you can View the images.

What is a .SWF file ? It is NOT a JPG file or any other photo viewer that we might look at on our computer. Yes, there is a program on the CD, but have you tried to use is?

I am guessing, that like, me, we forgot to update our technology so that we can see those images now. But, that’s only 16 years ago, right?

Not done with the bad news yet. Seattle FilmWorks had a name change to PhotoWorks. They used the same SFW file format.

Try to find a Windows based program to move from SFW to JPG or something my computer can run. I found a Mac program and a Unix program, but not Windows. I did find a couple programs that did one image at a time, or ones that cost money. I figured there had to be some website with a downloadable program. I then remembered the name change. So, I searched for PhotoWorks.

I found PhotoWorks Version 2.41 at www.photoworks.com  downloaded it and spent some time learning how to use it.

The good news is, that not only have I been able to convert my SFW files to JPG, but there is an Album that can be opened with that program. The trick is learning where to find that file.

The biggest issue is to learn how the program works and where to put your SFW file and where do you want them to be stored.

The steps I am using:

  • Create an EXCEL file with Date and “Roll” number from label on the Disk
  • Create a Folder on my Hard Drive, Photo Folder in the Library
  • Folder Name format I used is YYYY-MM-DD-Roll Number
  • Copied from CD to PC
  • Converted SFW to JPG
  • Added a description of the content of that CD

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As you can see, I have a lot of work to do, but I will have them converted and Inventoried. The picture at the top of this blog post is one of those images.

Lesson Learned: Keep up with the Technology

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5 Responses to Technology Tuesday–Have you checked your Picture CDs

  1. mcphilbrick says:

    I recently encountered a similar situation with Microsoft Works database files. I had used the database to create ‘indexes’ for some of the local records. So far, I haven’t been able to open the database files. I put that task on hold but will likely have to revisit it if RootsWeb doesn’t come back. (I’m fairly certain the output from those databases was published on RootsWeb.)

  2. […] This article by Russ Worthington demonstrates why it is important to keep up with technology. The systems, software and platforms you use to manage and maintain your research and personal archives are constantly changing. Don’t let technological progress leave your data out in the cold. […]

  3. Jana Last says:

    Russ,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2016/03/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-march-4-2016.html

    Have a great weekend!

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