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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Data recovery, open source to the rescue

Features of the week:

Nowadays, lots of people mistakenly delete their data, but with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), they can overcome the fret, writes REMMY NWEKE.

IMAGINE being a media practitioner in a contemporary society like ours, where practitioners, akin to Ogbeni Ayoola are and, where everything is going digital.

He had travelled on a three-hour air trip to a north-east town, Yola, Adamawa State, for a conference with a digital camera, Maginon 5.0 mega pixels to cover the events.

And after two days of extensive coverage of the event attended by the deputy governor of the state, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts from across the country; he took another three-hour trip back to base in Lagos.

Whilst in the process of editing and preparing the photos taken before and at the event, totalling about 224 exposures, something unexpected happened and those images were deleted from the main source, a 256 data memory card he inserted into the digital camera.

Ayoola had the hope he had successfully copied the photos into his Personal Computer (PC) hard disk, which turned out not to be.

According to Wikipidia online, A 32 Mega Byte (MB) High Speed CompactFlash Type I card, for instance, has its memory card in a solid-state electronic flash memory data storage device.

Other types of smart card exist and include a synchronous card, with features as 256 bit or 32 byte memory and suitable for use as a token card or identification card, as outlined by www.duracard.com/glossary.

Data memory card to a layman is an insertable electronic chip that comes in various memory sizes for data storage, depending on the user’s choice.

However, two days later, when Ayoola wanted to access those pictures, he realized that the intended hard disk copy was nowhere to be seen and by then, he had confidently erased the ones in the camera’s memory card to pave way for other assignments.

Pondering on the next step of action for a solution, he adventurously logged on to the Internet, where a quest on Google and Yahoo search engines gave him almost the same sources, with a display of top results for ‘photo recovery’ of about 1,482,952.

These include Photo recovery digital, www.drivesolutions.com; photo recovery for digital media, www.lc-tech.com; data recovery download on www.pctools.com; card recovery – photo recovery software on www.photorescue.net; photo recovery fast, all card types on www.eprovided.com; software recovers lost images on media www.recover.com, which precisely asks instantly that lost or deleted digital photo and image recovery software cost $29.95, about N3,815.33. Others like recovery photo charge $9.95, about N1,267.53 and recover digital images cost at $19.99, about N2,546.53.

Mr. Ayoola’s further search for an open source data memory recovery, specifically brought him to Digital Photo Recovery software solution for digital picture etcetera at www.photosrecovery.com, among others.

Open source:

According to Open Source organization, www.opensource.org, it does not just mean access to the source code, but the distribution terms of open-source software must comply with certain criteria so as to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

These criteria include free redistribution, source code, allow modifications, sustaining integrity of the author’s source code, and discrimination against persons or groups as well as field of endeavour and the rights attached to the programme redistribution must apply to all, even as it must stick to a product, thus not restrictive while maintaining technology neutrality.

Nevertheless, Photorecovery.com, promises to recover lost, deleted and formatted digital photos, audio and video files from all media types as well as recover digital images from camera’s memory card.

By clicking on the Universal Resource Locator (URL) otherwise known as website address link, Mr. Ayoola was taken to the home of photorecovery.com, where the URL takes you to Art Plus Digital Recovery 2.2. The solution site also initially displays other solutions available on the ArtPlus platform such as more programmes, which avails individual to run photography related business online.

So, Mr. Ayoola clicked on the sub-menu to behold a message, “You accidentally deleted some photos from your digital cameras, memory card? Or May be the card got corrupted? Don’t fret?”

Then he was invited to click ‘next’ button to select card reader or camera drive and another click took him to ‘select target folder’ indicating where possibly the images or files would be saved in a folder; displayed in options of desktop, my documents, my computer, my network places among other folders already existing with options to back, start or even cancel.

And with another click on start after selecting a folder, displayed one more “Working …” window frame imploring user to ‘please be patient! This process could take few minutes up to several hours, depending on memory card size, and velocity of PC in use.

Soon, found and restored images would appear as the process progresses with the view option offering details as well as total recovery are shown either successfully or otherwise, but often successful.

Noteworthy is that this programme recovered about 190 on the first instance but Ayoola knowing the number of images lost repeated the process and came up with 224 pictures. Given the number deleted, this was a great relief to a user as this usually cut across, Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG) or Temporary Internet Files (TIF) application files extension respectively.

These were files ordinarily unrecognized by Windows and are a plus to Free and Open Source community.

Eventually, ArtPlus Digital Photo recovery notified him, that it’s a free software supported by donations, requesting therefore, “if the programme had helped you recover precious images, please consider supporting its development by donating $10.

What matters …

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) activist, Ms Folashade Wisdom, noted open source as an ideal backup solutions for stand-alone data-critical servers, and also include disaster recovery modules and hot backup application plug-ins.

As said by her, sooner or later, “every business will be faced with a system failure of some kind, and the subsequent loss of business critical data. It doesn’t matter what size the business is, what capabilities the Information Technology (IT) department has, or how the failure occurred.”

What matters, she said, is the data protection and recovery plans the business has in place in order to ensure that data loss is merely an inconvenience, rather than catastrophe.

Open source has heterogeneous network backup solutions based on a Linux or Unix backup server. So companies with heterogeneous networks and distributed systems can benefit from the expertise of these solutions as well as individuals.

These solutions provide enterprise-class technology at competitive prices, and have been certified on the leading Linux distributions, including those from SUSE Linux, RedHat and Mandriva, among others.

Wrapping up

The fact remains that if a good job is done, as experienced by Ayoola, it would not be difficult to donate $10, about N1,200, when juxtaposed with the cost of his air trip to and from Yola; which amounted to about N48,000 excluding other expenses, not to mention the embarrassment he would have suffered as a result of the loss of such vital visual image information, no person would refuse to donate even more than the free software proponents were asking for.

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2 comments:

clsplasticard said...

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fernando said...

Visit us at Recuperação de dados in order to recovery your lost data in Brazil.

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