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Make Flickr your external hard drive substitute

Any time you want to lose all of your data and the massive amounts of photos you have saved on your computer, just *think* about backing your data up and in that glorious moment that you’re thinking about it, the chances are that your computer will make a really loud sound (or worse, go silent) and stop working to the point where Fry’s says, “our computer recognizes the hard drive but there’s nothing on it.” “Uh, what? No!”

Yeah, I did this last year and although my laptop decided to magically work again (yes, within hours of plopping down the big bucks for a new laptop, it was perfectly fine as if nothing had happened), I thought I’d lost everything.

Frankie Say Relax

What I most worried about were my photos– family, social and (oh crap) business images were potentially gone. Had I put two and two together, I would have backed my images up on Flickr. But retrieving images in mass from Flickr has long been impossible, but Adobe offers a new service for free called flump that allows you to download an entire photostream (yours or someone else’s) to your desktop.

Sweet Uses for Flump

  • Back up your own images.
  • Search Flickr for Creative Commons images that are legal to use, download an entire photostream applicable to your city for blog images.
  • Find a photostream with amazing professional stock-like images for general business use.

I tested the service out and it works really well! What uses can *you* think of??

Article originally published on August 15, 2008.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Marissa Louie

    August 15, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Hey Lani,

    Try , scribd, and slideshare too for sharing/storage.

    -Marissa “malouie” Louie

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    August 16, 2008 at 7:57 am

    …I was just thinking that as soon as the world as FIOS, non of us will have hard-drives any more. It’ll all be on some webpage.

  3. Missy Caulk

    August 18, 2008 at 5:31 am

    I have so many photos, getting ready to get a new lap top, I was debating what do do with all the photo’s bring them over, back up to a CD. I’ll take a look at this and see if it might be a solution.

  4. Bruce Lemieux

    December 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Oh man, you gotta keep your stuff backed-up. My entire business is on my harddrive, so to lose it would be a disaster of epic proportions. I use (and love) Mozy which backs-up everything every day “to the cloud”. When my harddrive crashed this summer, I didn’t loose a thing.

    Another approach – Windows Live Sync keeps files in sync across multiple PCs, so if you loose one copy, the other has a duplicate copy. I maintain all of my files on all PCs (office PC, notebook, etc), so I have all of my files all of the time. It’s free and fantastic.

    Whatever you do – find something that’s automatic. Your harddrive will fail, you just don’t know when.

  5. Fred Griffin

    December 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks, Lani – nice Tool.

    Photobucket is also a great site for backing up photos.

  6. Paul Francis

    December 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I got the dreaded death blue screen last spring with loads of pics. and documents on my drive… Had to shell out $300. You don’t realize how important everything is until you don’t have access to it.

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