This post is both public service announcement/cautionary tale/brain quandary for me.
In my efforts to get rid of clutter and unwanted items of life, I decided to get rid of my old mac laptop, circa 2005. It got me through grad school and many work travel trips, but it’s quite slow and heavy. About a month ago I sat down to transfer all the photos to jump drive to then transfer to cloud storage. I was so proud of my efficient, proactive attempt at organizing life. My pride and excitement at this action was short-lived to say the least.
I deleted all the files.
I thought everything transferred to the jump drive, but when I plugged it in on the other computer, it was empty. When I went back to the laptop, the entire library of photos was gone because I was ’empty trash’ happy.
Oh this is the second time I’ve done this by the way, except the other time it was right after grad school and I deleted all my documents, papers, and research files. That didn’t seem to matter as much as the photos.
After some research and noodling, it turns out a lot of the data recovery software out there for Macs doesn’t matter for me because my system is OLD and can’t be updated any more and a lot of that software are not compatible. So I did find a software that does the scan for free, but then you pay to actually get the stuff back. I’m able to search through the stuff to see what I want to save, so that’s nice, except it is a hugely time consuming process ( the consequence of being so flippant about deleting is the penance of time to look through the stuff you want back!)
Last night as I was looking through photos seeing if there was anything worth saving, it was a.lot.of. feelings. There were lots of photos of happy times with family ( most of which I know other family members have) and of course, lots of photos with my ex. I only had a digital camera beginning in 2006 so anything that was on that computer was from them on and in the past year or so, I’ve been good about putting photos in multiple places or copying onto a disk, so really the photos that were lost are not entirely things that I would save anyway because they were with my ex and while it was happy at the time, I certainly don’t need photo reminders to keep for life.
The big uncertainty of whether to pay to do this or not is for one reason really- Dad. I know there are a few pictures of him in there. My original thinking was to see if there were enough of him to warrant spending the money ( he wouldn’t be offended at this line of thinking, my frugal nature comes from him!)- if there are a lot of good shots of him I want to keep, I’ll spend the money ( and the time!) to find them. I’m not so sure there are though. As I said, a lot of recent past few years have been saved in other places and the photos that would be on the computer might have my Dad with my ex ( and he wasn’t the biggest fan of him anyway so not sure how many smiles I’d find!).
I’m going to think on it some more. I know the memories live on in my mind/heart and that’s what matters which has helped a bit, but let this cautionary tale be your lesson to back up your computers ( and your memories!)