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Point, Shoot, Become Obsolete

Kodak Disc 4000Speaking of the technological wonders of 1983, do any of you remember the Kodak Disc camera? You know, the one with those tiny little negatives arranged like spokes around a plastic center? While going through all my old negatives (spanning from about 1982 until the present) and the treasure trove of old negatives I just got from my dad (spanning from about 1968 to 1983), I’ve found at least three dozen of these obsolete babies. Of course, since he and I shared the camera from about 1983 to 1985, these have negatives contain some of the most incriminating shots ever taken during my awkward years.

This whole effort to gather all these negatives was a desire to capture them digitally before it's too late, with the help of my trusty new film/slide scanner. I’d completely forgotten, though, about the variety of old formats buried within those old boxes: the discs, the strips of 110 film, and the other stuff I can't even identify. I guess, I'll have to hope my crappy desktop scanner with the crappy transparency adapter can salvage somethng from all these tiny relics. I’d be surprised if there was even a way to get anything printed from the Disc negatives at this point: I'll probably have to pop the plastic core out of them so I can make them as flat as possibel for scanning.

I’ve worried for years about the threat of obsolescence posed by various digital formats and storage media (I’m a nerd I worry about these things), but I hadn't even started to worry about the related problems posed by the various attempts to come up with new, cheap film formats for consumers during the last few decades. I wanted to preserve all these old images before they deteriorated in someone's attic, but now it looks like my preservation project may be even more crucial than I thought it would be.

Of course, once I digitize everything, I'll have to worry about which storage medium and file format will last the longest...

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