Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Going Digital-Convert Analog to Digital

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Going Digital-Convert Analog to Digital

Article excerpt

The technology world is changing quickly as everything now is "digital." Newer cell phones can now take better quality pictures and videos! The election in Iran proved the power of cell phone video, YouTube, and Twitter. All TV finally changed to digital in June after a delay Digital radio is now becoming common. Music, TV, video cameras, phones, cameras - all have gone digital. Digital cameras sales have now exceeded all the previous camera sales - ever! What strikes me as I write this and look at a few shelves of photo slides and a rack full of my old LPs (vinyl records, for those too young to remember) and audio cassettes is how will I be able to play or preserve them over time? (No, I do not have any 8-Tracks.) For those who have old 5 ½'' and 3 ½''-InCh floppy disks, the new computers do not have any direct access to these old format files. In fact, new computers only have several USB ports to connect such devices, which must be purchased at an extra cost. CDs are becoming obsolete as we go to more portable modes of memory (SD chips). Even new scoring software (e.g., Conners) is on USB flash drives.

An article in PC World magazine (2009, August) on how to convert your older formats from analog to digital recently sparked my attention. The hard part is that it takes much personal time or money to do it. The first thing you must do is sort through what you want to "digitize." Then you must get a storage device or two. I bought two terabyte (TB) external hard drives for less than $100 each. Most of this is for digital pictures and later digital videos. I also use a smaller portable hard drive to carry files I need. Flash drives continue to get cheaper and have more capacity. If your computer does not have a 3 ½'' floppy drive anymore, they can be purchased for about $20. A reference system needs to be developed so you can locate the new digital files. You can also get an external case to hold old hard drives and then store them on a new hard drive through a USB connection. Laptops typically have a 2 ½'' drive and desktop computers have a 3 ½'' hard drive. These hard drive cases are about feo from Newegg. Make sure you check for Serial, SATA, or IDE connection compatibility. It should be labeled on the hard drive itself. I upgraded my older desktop to have an internal DVD Burner because they hold much more than a regular CD. I use NERO to do the burning and it works fine, but it has a somewhat confusing interface. However, it is very efficient in burning DVDs. I back up my regular everyday computer files to these drives regularly. So in the end, I have three copies of all my files.

Old psychoeducational report files can be stored as PDF documents. This helps preserve them from being altered (at least currently) and allows for completed protocols to be scanned and stored As confidential files, these must have protected access. You need a scanner - many times contained in an all-in-one printer.

I received as a gift a Crosley radio/turntable/ CD/cassette converter (ModelCR2404A), which I found in a Brookstone catalogue. I am sure it is on the Internet for less money but ... It is an old-style radio cabinet but packed with a way to convert cassettes and LPs to a CD. While it takes some monitoring to get the most of the conversion - flipping over the LP and cassette tape - the quality is quite acceptable. It will take more effort to convert only those musical tracks I like rather than the whole album. The built in radio is stereo and good quality. It needs a small table to place it on. This helps convert all my music to a digital format. It does have an RCA cable connection and a Line In port to play your MP3 player on it. …

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