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Travel, Blogging and Paranoid Data Wrangling

When I set-off on my trip to NAB in Las Vegas followed by a whirlwind tour round the Southwest USA I had it in my mind that I would be blogging as I went.  Each day I would recount my adventure for the benefit of the internet in word, picture and occasional video.  What actually happened was that...I didn't.  This was not me being lazy or a fit of pique that the Internet did not seem to be paying attention.  It was more a case of lack of time and just being plain knackered.

Generally most days would be filled with shooting or driving or both.  Usually both, because I had my GoPro set filming even when I was driving. So at the end of the day it was likely I would have about 4-5 cards in a mixture of CF and ND to upload.  This is the most paranoid I have been to date about footage so I will share what I did.  I took with me 2 Firewire bus powered drives.  One was Seagate and one WD but that was just what I had.  I also had a 320Gb NexTo Drive.  The Nexto stays in my camera bag in case I have to off-load during the day but I regard this as a last resort and I try to have enough cards not to have do that.  The other drives get split between my 2 suitcases.  I also have a 2011 Macbook Pro 13" and a UDMA FW800 CF reader.

So the cards go into the Nexto first which has a 1 button copy operation.  Next I will pop the CF into the FW reader or SDs go in the Macbook's own SD slot.  I had the Seagate drive plugged in.  One pain is that these drives don't daisy chain and neither does the reader so I have to use USB with CFs for the drive which slows things down.

I use Aperture and this will find all the Stills and Videos on the card.  If your laptop is a secondary machine and you will be moving them when you get home it probably a good idea to create a library just for this trip.  I leave it at the default check all and create a project for that day.  I also create a folder on the Seagate to select as a secondary backup location.  As the GoPro was doing 3D I needed to keep the left and right camera footage separate too.  

So by the time Aperture finishes I should have three copies of the footage.  I then vault the library which was copy #4.  I then used the WD drive along with the backup software it ships with to backup the Laptop HDD.  This includes the vault so that means I now have 6 copies.  With what energy I had left I would now look through the still and choose my favorites and use a plug-in to upload these to Smugmug.  Technically this is even more copies but hotel internet tends to be so slow that I could only send half-res jpgs.  Ideally it would have been nice to get everything into the cloud but it just ain't gonna happen at 100Kbps.

So, the actual travel blogging is going to have to wait a bit. I have started the process of going back through my stills selects and refining the images and their selection.  The video is going to have to wait a while longer.  I think I might make it my first FCP-X project if Apple deliver on their timelines.

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