Picasa Challenge: Can you Find Pictures from a Vacation 10 Years Ago?

imageQuick!  Can you use your computer to pull up a slide show of a trip you took 10 years ago?  If you were using digital photography then, you should be able to see them now.  I keep all my past pictures on an external  hard drive.  Picasa can span both the USB hard drive and my computer’s internal C drive to display all the pictures I see in the Library.  When I use Tree View in Picasa and look at my Folders collection, it reports that there are 48,612 pictures total on my computer.  11,460 of those are in the My Pictures folder on my C drive and 35, 291 of those are on S:, which is my external USB hard drive .


The other day we were chatting with our new friends, Don and Kim from Harvest Hosts.  We love talking about travel with them because we have never met anyone who travels more than they do.  They’ve even traveled by RV in Africa and Asia!  So, when they mentioned river barging in France, we were excited to say, “We did that too!”  To prove it, I sat down at the computer, opened Picasa, and searched for France.  Within seconds the computer was playing a slide show of all our pictures of a River Barge trip to France in 2001.  Kim was impressed, but she asked, “Where’s a picture of the boat in fog with a swan swimming by?  That’s what I remember about barging in France.”  I told her to wait, and after a few more pictures … there was the swan in the fog!

Picture Filing Procedure

Here’s the procedure I follow:

  1. File by Month: After taking pictures with a digital camera, I import them all to my computer, in the My Pictures folder, and a sub-folder by month.
  2. Backup to CD/DVD: Each month or so – lately I’ve been backing up by quarter – I use Picasa’s backup tool to burn DVDs of all pictures taken since the last time I backed up.
  3. Move to USB Drive: After a folder is backed up to disc, it is fair game to be moved from my C drive to the external hard drive.  I do this using Picasa, so it retains the location information in its database.  It’s easy, just right click each folder and choose “Move Folder” – then specify the drive letter and folder location you want, e.g. S:Old Pictures.  I usually leave a year or two on my internal hard drive, just because I don’t always have the USB drive plugged in.  But, when it is plugged in, Picasa is working with a library of all 48,000 pictures.

If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch tutorial videos of all of these processes:

  1. Tree Folder Structure
  2. Move Folders of Pictures to an External Drive
  3. Backup Monthly to Disk (CD or DVD)
  4. Searching for Pictures
  5. Picasa Short Course on Organizing your Pictures – 8 Videos

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

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Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

4 thoughts on “Picasa Challenge: Can you Find Pictures from a Vacation 10 Years Ago?”

  1. Sure can, but only as far back as 2002. Of course I have a folder from 1975! and one that must be mid 50’s these are scans of slides. This is on my computer, all on the C drive. Back up is to USB3 Terrabyte HD daily, and once every 6 months or so I copy everything to a 64 GB sd card and mail it to a son for off site protection. He returns the old one. My wife who has an MFA in photography and teacher of photography does the same with her computer and backup. We use DVDs for special project backup.


  2. I remember that trip very well and look at my photos of it rather often. In Picassa, of course! I’m sorta regretting I never got around to taking digitals of my slides taken on many trips before that. Too late now!


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