Do you ever have moments when you just want to curl up in a ball and cry? Right now I am having one of those moments and even the frivolity of Spicks and Specks is doing nothing to cheer me up. You see I have spent the last few nights frantically copying photos from my laptop to my shiny almost new external drive. I was proud of myself for working out how to split the drive so that it could act as a time machine and also as a photo storage device. What I wasn’t proud of is the fact that I didn’t have any real system of backing up photos and as a result they could have disappeared entirely.
Once upon a time I backed up photos on CDs but when 2 of 6 disks of photos from our trip to the USA died without us being able to recover the photos I decided that it really wasn’t a viable option. Around the same time I found Flickr and I began uploading my favourites here and there before I had a pro account. When I got my own laptop, I copied all of my old photos on to an external hard drive and began filling up my laptop with far too many photos. Of course the hard drive that I used? That was the hard drive that died recently. Man-child was able to recover 34,000 odd photos but wasn’t able to recover any photos taken at the Empire State Building, a bus tour in New York, the Jersey Shore, photos from the many parks in Princeton, a day Children’s Museum of Manhattan and a truck load of photos from Central Park. I am sure that there are heaps of other photos that I have lost from that trip that I just can’t remember now.
With the death of that external hard drive I began the process of freaking the hell out. Slowly I began sifting through the memories, trying to cull the completely crap photos and then upload the ones that were left to Flickr as a secondary storage option. Simple concept right? Well of course I used up half of our internet limit within a few days and was relegated to uploading during off-peak hours, the hours when I am sleeping or too busy to do anything other than run around like a crazy person.
Naturally all of this coincided with my laptop being filled to exploding point. I really had to transfer files and photos if I wanted to be able to look at and edit photos from my new camera. I began to concentrate once again culling photos in a systematic fashion and moving them to the external drive so that I could upload them off-peak when I had the chance. I spent hours going through just the photos from 2008. I managed to transfer all the photos from January to November 2008 with the plan to finish transfing the remainder of 2008 tonight.
Fast forward to about an hour ago, the kids were asleep, the house put back together, the laundry caught up to date and the floors done. I sat down with my laptop and planned to transfer the photos. I plugged in the external hard drive nothing happened. I used all my help desk knowledge and restarted the laptop. Still no joy. I unplugged the external drive and went to plug it back in except there was no where to plug it in. The little port/plug/thingy that the usb cable goes in to was gone and there was something rattling around the case. I was now the proud owner of a pretty little metal case of uselessness.
Now of course there is a chance that the drive can be repaired but I am afraid to take it in to anywhere to get it fixed – it has almost a years worth of photos and I don’t really want it to leave my side, yet it is totally useless if it is just sitting here. I seem to be capable of permanently losing photos that are important to me and I am afraid that they will be gone forever, like the photos of climbing Rangitoto on our last trip to New Zealand. This time the photo loss was courtesy of a dodgy SD card that allowed me to take 4 gig of photos before magically becoming unformatted! Go figure. Perhaps all of this is a sign to say stop buying things online or maybe it is a suggestion to not learn how to use my camera and take photos? I feel like the world is conspiring against me and my ability to keep photos. Perhaps I should go back to the old fashioned concept of printing the photos although with my luck there is likely to be a very localised fire that burned only my photos.
As you can tell, I am in a pretty crappy defeatist mood right now. The upside of venting here is that I no longer want to throw my laptop or the defunct external drive. I still however want to cry when I think of all the photos that at the moment don’t exist. Hopefully the piece of the drive that has detached itself from the inner working can be reattached and all will be restored with my equilibrium. I really need to get the kids blog up to date that way if everything else is destroyed at least there will be a document of what the kids have achieved and enjoyed. In the meantime though, I think I will hibernate from the world of gadgets and electronic stuff that I seem to destroy.