To the scores (small handful? one?) of you who rush here every Sunday to see what photographic miracle I’ve managed to wrest from my surroundings each week, I regret to report that there will be no such wonder this week. It seems that Thursday night’s upgrade of Mac OS X led to Friday morning’s difficulty starting my computer, followed by Friday evening’s failure to start my computer at all, likely the result of a defunct video card. Whether or not that’s a strictly causal chain will remain a question for the ages, but regardless of the answer, I don’t currently have a working computer. I have taken many pictures this weekend (perhaps more than usual), but they sit on the SD card in my camera, unprocessed.
My initial experience of these problems was almost jaunty. Once it became clear Friday afternoon that my computer wouldn’t start, I was able to bring up the Apple Store app on my phone and get an appointment at the Genius Bar of the closest Apple Store for an hour an a half hence. Lugging the sixty or so pounds of the computer down to a cab and from the cab down to the Genius Bar in the store’s basement wasn’t all happiness and light on such a muggy evening, but once there, I was able to check in from my phone, grab a stool, and begin e-mailing and tweeting. In fact, I was able to continue to do so right through my appointment, when the video card issue was tentatively diagnosed. I just had to sign some paperwork, and was on my way home, trying to imagine what the analogous experience would be for the owner of a Windows-based (or even more unfathomable, Linux-based) computer. Where would they go? How many phone calls and discussions would arranging such assistance require?
I went home feeling somewhat smug knowing that all of my data–pictures, music, movies, everything–was archived at least two or three times over, and that everything I would need in the interim–e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, 500px, and all that the Internet has to offer–would be easily available through both my phone and my iPad. It would be like being on vacation, reading, staying in touch, and taking all of the pictures I wanted until I (or, in this case, my computer) got home.
But as the weekend’s worn on, I’ve found habit’s need to resume a bit stronger than is comfortable. It doesn’t help that I was in the process of revisiting and revising selected pictures dating from last fall to the present in preparation for moving a selection of my stronger (for lack of a more suitably subjective adjective) pictures to the newly discovered 500px. I was more than halfway through that process, and was looking forward to seeing it done. My sense of deprivation only increased as I took more and more pictures (several of which I’m really looking forward to seeing on a screen larger than that on the back of my camera) that I wouldn’t be able to process until some as yet undetermined date. I keep walking past my computer monitor, surprised that the screensaver isn’t on.
I’m taking advantage of the opportunity, if you can call it that, that having to reinstall everything will provide. With 2 TB hard drives now under $100, I can further increase my redundant storage capacity with fresh, new drives, and I can get rid of some detritus that, as geekily impressive as it is to have, really isn’t useful. That will certainly include VirtualBox, and maybe even Eclipse and XCode (finally signaling what is likely the irreversible entry into the post-developer phase of my life). But opportunity though it is, I’m not looking forward to restoring all those terabytes of data and backing them up anew before I can really get back to work. So pardon me if I’m a little grumpier than usual for the next week or two.