Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Computer cleanup.....A Ralph post

Encyclopedia's and computers are terrible – for me. Hours later, I come up for air. And food. The last time I was going to write about cleaning out old “stuff” out of my computer. I got side tracked. I had seen too many monsters hidden away in all those hard drives. To computers and cell phones, you can add these new fangled digital cameras. They are terrible. We went on a trip to Kentucky and came back with about eight hundred photos. They are a major part of our house hunting repertoire. The photos enlarge nicely on a larger monitor and you can see so many more things that you missed in person. The higher pixal count is great for doing this.

My Nikon is eight megapixal. Fiona's Nikon is newer and sixteen megapixal. All those photos take up a lot of space. She has about eight SD cards full of photos. Don't erase any of those bad shots. Three or four years later, you will be wondering where that one photo is. The camera automatically numbers them, in order. And one missing is an emergency of great proportions. That could be the one photo you have been looking for! So, what happened to it? It certainly wouldn't be a bad shot that you erased. But four years later, you don't remember.

My Nikon Coolpix 8500

Fiona's Nikon Coolpix P510

Anyway, as I said, we both have Nikons. And both cameras number their photos. In order. AND. Both cameras start their numbering system with DSCN0001. She had a Fuji before her Nikon. It put an “F” in there. For Fuji. For Fiona. Not Ralph. Ralph is not an F. Things were simple then. DSCF for Fiona. DSCN for that nim com pote. (you spell it right, I can't and the computer can't. I couldn't spell before and I am even worse since computers came along. In high school, I made better grades in Russian than I did in English.)

Over the years, I have gone through computers and hard drives and backups and reprogramming and updates and failures and... I had photos and music and documents and articles and research and... all over the place. I got the bright idea to sort through some of this “mess”. And I had copies of Fiona's photos on my computer. Just in case her hard drive or computer went south for an extended vacation. And I had backups of her backups. I had and have a mess. All over the place. I have been in computers since the early 80's Think TI-99A. That's alright. No one else has heard of it either. The hula-hoop at least had a come back. Needless to say, I had and have a large amount of work to do and I had to start somewhere. Photos was the victim of choice.

I got a sixty-four gig thumb drive and started to work. I started importing everything to do with photos and videos. I set up my folder and Fiona's folder. Then I had to add a folder for photos received from family and friends that didn't fit DSCF and DSCN formats. Then there was a need for a folder for commercial photos. And we both have a thing for Bateman paintings. A Bateman folder was needed. (RobertBateman is a western thing. He does outdoor paintings. “Eyes in the Grass” and “By the Tracks – Killdeer” come to mind. He likes to hide things and tease you. Find them if you can. They ARE there. He likes to blend things into a snow storm or the fog or the darkness under the trees. He is 84 now. He is special.) I have 61 Batemans in his folder, but I regret to report that we have none on the wall. Even his bad paintings are good.

I ended up with ten sub-folders. Then I had to start/continue sorting and adding photos. I have several photo programs. Most, if not all, sort by year and month and day of the photo, not by number, or subject, or location or... I have a couple of file managers. I went into preview mode. I started building up my new files on the thumb drive. I was stripping away the date, etc. and working on just the file number. That is when I started seeing blanks. Someone told me she just erased bad photos. I asked her if DSCN 2178 was a bad photo or a missing photo. We don't know. Don't erase. Memory is cheap. We have thousands of photos. And the number is still growing. We're still taking pictures and finding more lost photos. When I moved a file into my new file, it would take out the ones it didn't have and leave the rest (duplicates) behind. I would then just erase the old file. I am getting close, but still have some more files to go through.

Those monsters and memories are still in there. The Bateman file is one example. I had to call Fiona in to help me hunt for that Killdeer again. And those eyes. They are there, but so hard to see. We wasted over an hour admiring a masters work. And reliving when we first saw this or that painting. And how well he did his work. That is what memories are for – sharing together.

 Robert Bateman's "Eyes in the Grass"

We found bad files and corrupted files. We found “I don't know what happened” files. I think some of the problems were my fault. I got into too big of a hurry and pulled a cable before the download was complete or I shut down a program or the computer before the download was finished. But I had backups of the backups of the backups of the... I don't think I have really lost anything. But, I do have some things I haven't found yet. Yet. What I lost on one SD card or file, I found on another one. I have probably lost some things, but not much.

And the memories we haven't lost are many and precious. We spent most of the day living old memories, trips, walks, livestock and their antics, psycho Banana Squash, gardens, tomatoes, pets, walks in the woods, family, friends, neighbors, and, well, our lives. God has been good to us. He has blessed us in many ways. This is a great way to be reminded of how good He has been to us. 

Goldfinches at our Bird Restaurant last spring.

   Fiona chronicled the tomatoes from “nothing” to frost. She can show me the amazing growth in a week or ten days. She can show me the fruits of our labors, and of the vines. She can show me the treasures hidden in the vines and under them. And, she can show me that a tomato can not stand up to the attack of a psycho Banana Squash climbing over top of it.

And, she can show me why I shouldn't buy two Nikons the next time. I probably would, but shouldn't. Identical numbering systems make it hard to sort his and her photos. There was a lot of “Fiona, is this photo yours or mine?” and her “You took it with my camera”. It goes in her file because it is numbered to her camera. It can get very confusing around here. And I haven't touched the music and documents and downloads yet. The tree pruning stuff is in there. And how to care for asparagus. And the nutritional value of artichokes. And... Oh, well. That is tomorrows task. 

Artichoke Hearts Nutrition

Are you ready to sit down with God and look at his photo album of you and your life? He has pictures of you at your best and worst! Are you prepared? That is one photo album I don't want to see. I know too many things about me. And He knows even more - things I have conveniently forgotten.


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