As I wrote the last post I remembered that I should probably back up my screenshots again. It’s a little IT chore that I try to do at least once a quarter to give me some security for the thousands of screenshots I have spread across nearly a dozen games folders on my computer’s hard drive. As I started writing I looked at my Dungeons & Dragons Online folder to see if I had a screenshot of a particular jump-scare moment, and was initially shocked at how few screenies I had for that venerable game.
Although I’ve had this computer quite a few years now, I actually rebuilt it only last summer with a new SSD drive, so the game installs aren’t so old. I keep backups of screenshots for all games in an archive on an old hard drive. I store computer parts stacked on a shelf out of the way and can use a USB hard drive caddy to plug any of the spare older drives in to access if needed. That way I can get access to my screenshots of old if I need them.
Sadly I only started keeping an archive about four years ago, and I’ve been playing MMOs for ten years now – so a lot of old screenshots are long-lost. The bulk of my DDO screenshots would have dated from around 2009/2010 when I was playing on the EU service. That’s three computers ago and a lot of windows rebuilds past. I know that I lost several years worth of World of Warcraft screenshots from the early years because that game stores screenshots in the game install folder (WoW is not the only game to commit this games programming crime) and thus they are shared by all users on a computer and easily overwritten.
The other archival issue I have with screenshots, one that has a big time impact on blog-writing, is the lack of any meta-data by default in Windows. If I could easily tag pictures with key words (e.g. “DDO”, “mirror”, “scare”), it would make finding suitable images among the hundreds or thousands I have per game a lot easier. It’s not something I’ve looked into before, but as I write this I may give it a go, at least for the screenshots I take going forward. Does any readers have a system for this for their screenshots, or any suggestions of software to make it easier?