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Planning Retirement Online

How Technology Can Help

The previous page of this Guide, The Media and the Internet, looks at how radio, television and the Internet can help us in our search for nostalgia. They are, of course, examples of technology but what this section looks at is how modern technology can help us turn some old-fashioned things into more modern versions and by so doing make them more accessible, easy to look at and be nostalgic about. We'll be looking at such things as putting old photographs onto the computer and transferring vinyl records into DVDs. Some people like to keep them in their traditional format, of course, but for those of us who would like to modernise our old things, this is the section to read.

This is not a detailed technological guide. It's for those of us who are not quite so technically minded and who might not even realise the possibilities that exist. For those people it'll give you some food for thought and also point you in the right direction if you need help.

Many of us have old photographs that we like to get out every now and again in order to  indulge in a bit of nostalgia. If they're getting a bit dog-eared and tired we can now put them onto our computers so that they will never wear out. It's very easy to do providing you have a scanner: you just put the photos onto the scanner and it will do the rest. Alternatively, you can take the photos to a film developing company who will put them onto a photo CD or to a professional print shop who will convert them into a high quality Web graphic format. Go to eHow to see more details.

How about those old records that we want to transfer to DVD? Don't throw the vinyl records away because they could be worth lots of money but it could be worth transferring the music to a CD or DVD for ease, convenience and better quality sound. You'll need some software for this because you have to put the music onto the computer and then put it onto the CD (or mp3). Go to NCH to get information on the software. You can also take your records to someone who will do it for you using their technology. There's an organisation in Milton Keynes, MKvinyl, that will do this, there's also thetapemen, or look at Fader Music. Thetapemen and Fadermusic will also transfer old video tapes onto DVD. If you don't live near someone who can do it, you can post your records or tapes to them. If you're going to get some software and do it yourself, you might get some hints and tips from answerbag.

Guide to Nostalgia links

We can also convert our old 35mm slides into digital photos to make them much more convenient to look at and to protect them from wear and tear. If you want to do it yourself, you will need some relatively cheap equipment but it's not very difficult to do. Go to eHow for a step-by-step guide on how to do it. If you would like to put your slides onto CD or DVD, you can send them away to be done. Go to Saugus to get full details. With a scanner, we can also put all those newspaper clippings and other nostalgic items onto our computers.

We probably won't want to get rid of all our old records, tapes, photos, slides and so on. Looking at them is part of bringing back those old memories. However, if we can update them they will last longer and they will be much easier to preserve for future generations of our families. If we want our grandchildren and their children to know and understand their heritage, our old photos, records etc are invaluable. By putting them into a modern format we can ensure that they will stand the test of time.

Most of us like to look back on things and think about the 'good old days'. So just click on the links in the box, get your appetite whetted and get nostalgic. For a quick start, go to Coldal to see the kind of things that people get nostalgic about. It's definitely a feel-good website, so get yourself into the mood.

If you have anything in particular that you're nostalgic about or you can help other people with their nostalgic longings, let us know through the feedback form.


This Guide to Nostalgia is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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