100 years

 
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
3 photos of SAR passenger steam trains in action between Seacliff and Marino :

http://sar.4mg.com/seacliff.html

830 class looking immaculate on approach to the Marino platform. Two passengers enjoying a superb viewing position.

http://sar.4mg.com/marino.html

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  torrens5022 Junior Train Controller

3 photos of SAR passenger steam trains in action between Seacliff and Marino :

http://sar.4mg.com/seacliff.html

830 class looking immaculate on approach to the Marino platform. Two passengers enjoying a superb viewing position.

http://sar.4mg.com/marino.html
2001

Didn't there used to be a station between Brighton and Seacliff?
South Brighton I think it was
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Yes - Brighton was north of its present position roughly opposite the cinema, and South Brighton was south of the level crossing roughly where the switches at the down end of the present Brighton station.
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
Didn't there used to be a station between Brighton and Seacliff?
South Brighton I think it was
torrens5022
G'Morning,

South Brighton station was squeezed against the boundary fences of the adjoining houses on the west side of the single line to Willunga. When the line was duplicated to Noarlunga, there was just enough land for the 2 tracks and no space for a new station.

Regards,
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Those of us with the memories have still got the pics.

It is just that they are in a now obsolete fromat and can't downloaded on a "modern" system.
steam4ian
Slightly off topic, but I wonder if there are any threads on this topic?

There must be many people who have a similar problem - 35mm photos, 16mm films, Beta etc.
While they aren't digitised there is little backup, and the images are at risk of being lost forever.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Slightly off topic, but I wonder if there are any threads on this topic?

There must be many people who have a similar problem - 35mm photos, 16mm films, Beta etc.
While they aren't digitised there is little backup, and the images are at risk of being lost forever.
touring
One could always donate these type of things to a relevant Society the society then might be able to get them into digital format for safe keeping. But even digital copies are not safe, technology will rapidly leave things in it's wake. So even a DVD or something could be obsolete in say 10 or 15 years time.
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

I believe there is a handful of businesses that specialise in converting all the old picture and film/video formats to modern digital formats.
Definitely worth doing if you'd like to enjoy looking at and watching on modern equipment.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I believe there is a handful of businesses that specialise in converting all the old picture and film/video formats to modern digital formats.
Definitely worth doing if you'd like to enjoy looking at and watching on modern equipment.
SAR520SMBH
Pays to shop around for this kind of thing too, some charge through the teeth for it. I have seen quotes on doing stuff like this and some vary quite considerably actually.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I'd need a USB port just below my left ear to access my pictures. LOL

Come complete with sound and smell.

Ian
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

You're spot on there David.
I looked into getting a couple of our old family videos put onto DVD. It wasn't too expensive but I thought it would've been a bit cheaper too have done. Didn't help that one of the VCR tapes had snapped too.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

One could always donate these type of things to a relevant Society the society then might be able to get them into digital format for safe keeping. But even digital copies are not safe, technology will rapidly leave things in it's wake. So even a DVD or something could be obsolete in say 10 or 15 years time.
"David Peters"
The advantage of digital formats is that they are easily converted into the succeeding formats. Using just two free programs on my home computer I have everything I need to convert video on a DVD to the correct format for Blu-Ray authoring (not that I would bother, Blu-Ray will be dead as soon as we get true broadband in Australia), or upload to YouTube, or simply keep on a hard drive that I could plug into any standard computer or LCD TV.

The trick is to digitise sooner rather than later, before the analogue format degrades and the fidelity of the content goes out the window.

There must be many people who have a similar problem - 35mm photos, 16mm films, Beta etc.
"touring"
35mm photos and slides are easily scanned by this sort of kit and is a pretty fast process now scanners have switched over to using CCD sensors instead of line scanning. Buying a 35mm scanner and doing it yourself is going to be far cheaper than paying a business to do it for you.

Digital conversion of film formats such as 16mm and Super8 do require more specialist equipment, but Beta and VHS can be done using a relatively cheap USB capture dongle.
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Thanks justapassenger, that was the sort of practical advice I was thinking off. Many people are reluctant to let third parties have their precious media, and I believe it is rather expensive to use them.

Scanners
You linked to a variety of scanners including negative scanners. I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts, but I have found negative scanners very slow and tedious to use, and so far haven't had good results.


A flat bed scanner can often be bought for under $100, especially on sale. While not as slow or cumbersome as negative scanners, it still would take a long while to digitise a large collection at ~1-2 minutes per scan.

I bought a Fujitsu Scan Snap S1500 document scanner to digitise my large backlog of photos (now superseded by a later model). It is extremely fast, although the quality is lower than other methods - in my case not such an issue as many of the photos are degraded anyway.

Video/audio conversion
As you mentioned, USB devices are readily available to convert common digital formats, and the same is true for records and probably cassettes. Many people may be unaware that these devices are cheap and easy to use, requiring little technical expertise.

David Peters I recognise that digital formats also have limited lives, but at least they are generally lossless - much less likely to degrade than old negatives and photos. Of course a sensible backup policy is a good idea.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Thanks justapassenger, that was the sort of practical advice I was thinking off. Many people are reluctant to let third parties have their precious media, and I believe it is rather expensive to use them.

Scanners
You linked to a variety of scanners including negative scanners. I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts, but I have found negative scanners very slow and tedious to use, and so far haven't had good results.


A flat bed scanner can often be bought for under $100, especially on sale. While not as slow or cumbersome as negative scanners, it still would take a long while to digitise a large collection at ~1-2 minutes per scan.
"touring"
The technology has come a long way, the current negative/slide digitisers have switched to using digital camera technology which takes just a second or two per image, they are definitely not as slow and cumbersome as the old negative scanners which used scanning technology instead.

I've used one of the $99 QPIX digitisers shown on that Officeworks page. It takes about two seconds per image and is far more user-friendly than using negatives/slides on a flatbed scanner. The big plus is that you don't need to muck around with controls on a computer, it's an independent unit that saves straight onto a SD card in a couple of seconds.

The big downside of a flatbed scanner is that they are primarily designed to scan documents and prints, and you have to pay $$$ extra to get one which has the resolution needed to do a good job on negatives and slides. My general advice to people with large collections would be to get a $40 cheapy flatbed scanner if they have lots of prints (no sense spending too much when a print starts degrading the moment you take it home from the shop) and a digitiser for the negatives and slides rather than splashing out a much higher total amount on an expensive flatbed scanner with the resolution to handle negatives and slides.

Video/audio conversion
As you mentioned, USB devices are readily available to convert common digital formats, and the same is true for records and probably cassettes. Many people may be unaware that these devices are cheap and easy to use, requiring little technical expertise.
"touring"
If we're going to go into specifics, I would recommend the Elgato Video Capture for converting VHS or Super8 to digital formats with encoding in real time, software for both Mac and Windows computers is included. Pricing is anywhere between $140 and $199 or possibly even cheaper with specials - it all depends on how much time you're willing to spend on shopping around.

For audio, while virtually any new turntable purchased will come with a USB connection (and bundled software to get the job done) I don't really see the point. It's far simpler to just hook up the output from the turntable (this applies to a cassette recorder too) into a computer's audio line in socket and learn how to use a free audio editing program like Audacity.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
One note - I would disagree that a digital file or format would have a limited life.

Unlike a magnetic analog recording, which starts deteriorating as soon as it is made (or replayed), or a photo which may fade over time, a digital file will retain its fidelity indefinitely.

The medium on which it is stored may become obsolete but that's a common issue. Try buying a super 8 or 8 track player. I have digital recordings and pictures that are now over 20 years old and I don't have a single format I can't access, and I'm not using the original SW to play them today.

You may need to upgrade your floppy discs to CDs to BluRays (or flash sticks) about once a decade, but that becomes easier each time as you have more on each single device each time.
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
...... The medium on which it is stored may become obsolete but that's a common issue. Try buying a super 8 or 8 track player. I have digital recordings and pictures that are now over 20 years old and I don't have a single format I can't access, and I'm not using the original SW to play them today ......
SAR523
G'morning,

I know this is off topic.

On my current home computer I have, along with all the current dvd and cd burners, both 3.5 and 5.25 inch floppy disks drives. I have a number of working files stored on both of these medium. I know, they can be converted over to cds, however, that would interfere with my model railroading time.

When I purchased my current computer, I had to supply the 5.25 inch drive to the supplier to have it inserted into the computer. The young (to me) technician was most surprised and impressed that these devices existed. He had only heard about them by word of mouth.

I have a VCR connected as well because I do all my time shifting recording onto 2 VCRs via set top boxes, and sometimes I transfer the recordings to DVD, mainly for my wife. We do have a DVD player, however, when we come to use it, we have to disturb the spiders and have to refer to the manual for usage instructions.

I, however, do enjoy living in this time-warp. Now, all I need is for steam locomotives to return to the rails and I would consider it to be utopia.

Regards,
  davida62 Station Master

Hi justapassenger,

You mentioned that you have used one of the Qpix slide/negative scanners. Did you find it satisfactory? They get awful reviews on various sites. Every now and then someone finds it really good, but mostly negative. (Maybe only people who had problems wrote reviews??)
thanks
David
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Hi justapassenger,

You mentioned that you have used one of the Qpix slide/negative scanners. Did you find it satisfactory? They get awful reviews on various sites. Every now and then someone finds it really good, but mostly negative. (Maybe only people who had problems wrote reviews??)
thanks
David
"davida62"
Yeah, it was fine. Once scanned, the slides I did for my grandparents looked better on my iMac's LED screen than they did using a slide projector even in a reasonably dark room. Preserving a copy at a reasonably good quality was what we were looking for, and it ticked that box.

It is generally true that people generally only write reviews on consumer products and services if they have complaints or if they've been asked to review it, competence is quite rightly regarded as normal and not worthy of comment.

I'm included in that, I've written to DPTI about dangerous bike lanes that don't meet Austroads standards and filed police reports regarding illegal driving by Adelaide Metro bus drivers (with crash cam footage attached) which forced me to take evasive action a few times, but I've yet to come across anything that is actually praiseworthy instead of just competent. That's definitely true of their sadly underfunded Cycling & Walking Section, the staff are great but they aren't given enough money to build anything that's actually good instead of adequate at best.
  davida62 Station Master

Thanks for the prompt feedback. I agree about the proliferation of negative comment. Reminds me of feedback from students in a previous life!
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
One note - I would disagree that a digital file or format would have a limited life.

Unlike a magnetic analog recording, which starts deteriorating as soon as it is made (or replayed), or a photo which may fade over time, a digital file will retain its fidelity indefinitely.

The medium on which it is stored may become obsolete but that's a common issue. Try buying a super 8 or 8 track player. I have digital recordings and pictures that are now over 20 years old and I don't have a single format I can't access, and I'm not using the original SW to play them today.

You may need to upgrade your floppy discs to CDs to BluRays (or flash sticks) about once a decade, but that becomes easier each time as you have more on each single device each time.
SAR523
Digital material on a storage medium generally rely on analogue techologies such as optical or magnetic and are therefore susceptible to deterioration.  Digital technology is generally tolerant to a degree of impairment without loss of information.  However there comes a point where the digital techniques can no longer recover from the impairments and the effect can be a catastrophic loss.  A bad disk block can prevent an entire file or even disk being read.  Analogue certainly degrades but often more gracefully.

Alex C
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Digital material on a storage medium generally rely on analogue techologies such as optical or magnetic and are therefore susceptible to deterioration.  Digital technology is generally tolerant to a degree of impairment without loss of information.  However there comes a point where the digital techniques can no longer recover from the impairments and the effect can be a catastrophic loss.  A bad disk block can prevent an entire file or even disk being read.  Analogue certainly degrades but often more gracefully.

Alex C
"62430"
The defence against a "catastrophic loss" with digital storage is simple - multiple copies stored in multiple locations. The advantage over analogue media there is significant, mainly because the process of copying any analogue media degrades both the original and the copy.

Analogue media is also subject to catastrophic loss - if the house burns down and you haven't got copies stored on a backup hard disk kept at another location (family member or friend) or in the cloud it doesn't matter how "gracefully" it's degraded.
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Thanks for the useful information justapassenger. I too only turned up very negative comments for Qpix, but on the other hand Officeworks are apparently pretty good with returns.

Hopefully your feedback has given impetus to people who haven't converted or backed up their collections of old material. There must be a lot around that is at risk of being lost through loss, fire or water damage. It's now possible to store large amounts of data "in the cloud" quite cheaply, so makes backup of digital media more practical.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Digital material on a storage medium generally rely on analogue techologies such as optical or magnetic and are therefore susceptible to deterioration.  Digital technology is generally tolerant to a degree of impairment without loss of information.  However there comes a point where the digital techniques can no longer recover from the impairments and the effect can be a catastrophic loss.  A bad disk block can prevent an entire file or even disk being read.  Analogue certainly degrades but often more gracefully.
62430
With optical discs, the data cannot be read if the thin reflective layer is damaged, which means a scratch on the bottom can be buffed out, but a scratch on the top (label) side is unrecoverable. With CDs simply leaving it out in the sun is enough to detach most or all of the reflective layer. I've seen writeable DVDs that have never been used become useless, as the dye that stores the data has degraded, remember these are blank discs. The same issue can occur with DVDs that have been written to, the ink degrades and so 100% of the laser light returns, hence data loss.

Magnetic can be even worse, as with floppy discs and tape, the heads make physical contact with the storage layer. I've heard of archive quality floppy discs going bad, over decades mould would grow on the surface of the disc, and degrade the surface. Putting the disc into a drive would strip the entire disc back to the clear plastic layer, clogging the heads and destroying the drive as well. I know of at least one (small) software company's entire backup of source code/games from the 1980's is lost for ever as a result.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
This is continuing an OT discussion but I just wanted to make a final point in case any of the discussion above is putting people off of digitizing their media.

Short answer is - do it, and don't allow much of the above to put you off.  Your photos and footage are deteriorating whilst in even perfect storage conditions.

Once digitized, they'll be accessible on all sorts of devices and you can make numerous copies for backup and to share with others very quickly and cheaply (mostly for free).  

Many of the concerns raised above involve catastrophic damage to the storage media.  This is no different to a reader shredding a film or a photo getting burnt.  And if there isn't damage to the storage medium the digital file will be accessible and not degrade effectively indefinitely.  That is most definitely not the case with any analog recordings; they may degrade gracefully but they are still degrading.

As I noted in my original post you may need to update your backups about once a decade as storage options changes but there's a very good chance that everything is going to move to the "cloud" very soon and so that won't be a problem.  At worst you may need to update formats, again, maybe once a decade.
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
This is continuing an OT discussion but I just wanted to make a final point in case any of the discussion above is putting people off of digitizing their media.

Short answer is - do it, and don't allow much of the above to put you off.  Your photos and footage are deteriorating whilst in even perfect storage conditions.
SAR523

I totally agree! The other discussion about deterioration of media is largely immaterial, especially if you back it up.

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