We all have them...those items on the To Do list we put off for a rainy day. They're usually too big or too much work (or both) to take on until we have to. It should come as no surprise that a constantly-appearing message on the screen warning that the hard drive is too full is one of those "have to" moments.
It wasn't my dilemma; last fall's computer woes in my corner of the house were solved by a slick machine with mega-memory. No, it was my bit-loving buddy and his laptop. It's probably a sign of true love that my own personal computer guru has favored me with the newest technology while he gets by with the older, slower machine. And, apparently, the fuller one...at least relatively speaking.
So today was clean out and organize, digitally speaking. While I can't sit down and decide what to keep and what to toss from his hard drive, I was game to help. And as it turns out, there was a job right up my alley...photos. Me and my powerful machine would be the headquarters for all things pictorial with the external drives for backups.
Sounds simple, right? And to a degree it was. My computer already contained files organized by year from the very first year we owned a digital camera and those files were backed up on one of the external drives we have. But with two computers, three external drives, four cameras and who knows how many drives that have been re-purposed from old computers and used as temporary storage it got complicated in a hurry. Throw in a dozen memory cards of varying sizes and shapes not to mention in a variety of locations and you have...well, a day's work.
It turns out the files from 2001 through 2008 were is great shape, the ones from 2009 and 2010 were pretty good and 2011 needed some attention. Most of that comes from the fact that the system for keywording all the photos was on a computer that died a slow and painful death in 2009 and while it's still on the drive recovered from that machine, we haven't quite figured out how to transfer it to a new computer. Add in the fact that we bought a small compact camera we don't use often so we don't think about getting the pictures from it into the files with the ones from the big cameras and you've got an idea of what we faced.
The overriding focus was not deleting any photos that weren't somewhere else so it was a lot of looking and checking file numbers. It's a job we normally do in January...you know, part of that first-of-the-year burst of organizational energy but somehow we didn't this last year. There must not have been any rainy days. : )
At one point we were down to missing 50 photos from Wayne's camera between July and October of last year and despite looking at every card we had and in every bag and drawer for cards we didn't have, we didn't have those pictures. Have you looked on the card in your camera? I asked. I didn't really think year-old photos would still be in the camera but you never know...we haven't been taking as many pictures lately as some years. Sure enough, there they were.
Everything is copied and complete now; categorized and backed up too. He's got some working room on his laptop now...good thing because he's going to need it to organize and sort everything else that has accumulated there. If he was waiting for a rainy day, the forecast says we have seven of them coming. I'm just glad the part that's left can be done by him and him alone. My part's done.