Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Paradox of Digital Minimalism, Digitizing Life, & The Cloud

I've found that as you Digitize Life (as we're doing in Operation Cloud), sometimes, you have to accumulate stuff to get rid of other stuff?

Sounds crazy, right?

Here's the deal...

To move our music to the cloud, we needed a turntable (a Stanton T.55 USB in our case). That wasn't cheap, but thankfully, when the vinyl portion of the project was done, we got 40 cents on the dollar through Craigslist.

While there was definitely some out-of-pocket cost there, the benefit (in my mind) outweighed the cost.

Scanning all of our old printed documents was another matter.

It strikes me that a scanner is one of the most important tools when it comes to Digitizing Life. We use an Epson WorkForce 610 "all-in-one," Epson's legendary "glitches" with auto feed notwithstanding (be prepared for paper jams), it's a decent machine with an amazingly good scanner.

In fact, of the inexpensive scanners I've owned over the years, it's among the best in visual quality (as long as you don't count on the auto-feed).

But, it's slow.

REALLY slow.

That's OK - We're getting to the point where we'll only need it for new incoming paper, and there's not much of that, anymore. All of the paper we had (and there was a LOT) has already been scanned, and is now "living" electronically on Evernote, and countless other Cloud Backup Solutions.

But a scanner is something we'll need for the foreseeable future.


However, I remain puzzled with some other media.

I have (countless) boxes of old airchecks from my radio days on cassette, and my beloved Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck , arguably the best cassette deck ever made, needs replacement parts I just can't get at a reasonable price.


Then, there are my reel-to-reel tapes.

Don't get me started on the irreplaceable "Beatles Lost Sessions" from the BBC, or the pre-1997 "Outtakes" of Mick Jagger & Co. swearing in the studio, plus my old radio recordings. I used to be able to listen-to them on my Teac/Tascam deck (also on the list of things I can no longer get serviced, or parts for, reasonably).



End result... I'm sitting on a LOT of "old media" (cassette, and reel-to-reel) that I can't digitize at the moment, pending hardware.

I tried looking for old cassette (& reel-to-reel) decks on eBay and Craiglist, but am Leary.

I just need to "borrow" one of each for a few days, to resume Digitizing Life.

Suggestions are welcome :-)