I'm still working on photos. I will probably be working on photos for the rest of my life!
When I first got a computer it had Windows 98. Good program. But, as often happens, you get a new computer, you get a new OS. I got Windows ME. Oh my. It was so awful. I crashed with nauseating regularity. The first time I lost a lot. I quickly learned a new term. Backup. That was such an awful OS. Crashed about every 4 months like clockwork and hung daily. Then along came XP. Breath of fresh air. Though, I don't agree that it was the greatest ever, I'm just sure it seemed to be the greatest ever after having ME. :0) At any rate, I had a scanner. It worked with 98, ME and XP. It had 3 settings, 100, 200 or 300 dpi. It scanned JPG. I was happy, even though I didn't know what JPG or 100, 200 or 300 dpi was. The how-to book consisted of pictures of how to plug it into the computer, and how to push the button. So, this is how most of my photos were scanned. One could say blindly.
But, as you know, nothing lasts forever. Get a new system, end up with a new OS. I got Vista. Now, I have no complaints about Vista at all. I personally feel it is better than XP. I really like it. But my scanner would no longer work. So, I went over to the site to update the drivers. Bad news! They hadn't been updated since 2002. It was discontinued, of course. So I was forced to go get a new scanner.
I bought a 3-in-one. It is a little more complicated than the one I had. It actually has a learning curve :o) My old Memorex scanner had a button. You said 100, 200 or 300 dpi and pushed it. Now I have choices of file types, and the dpi is endless. And it has all kinds of little fixes. Quite an improvement. Took some practice too. I still accidentally learn a new trick now and then. A large number of photos I have since rescanned. Many I will not be able to rescan.
Now I have all these photos to tag and change into a safe format (.tif). Gigs of them. But I will hack away at them until they are done. Big job though.
I bet everyone has something they did in the beginning that they wish they had done differently. I wish I'd kept more careful notes and learned to cite sources right in the beginning. Wish I'd took scanning 101.