First Sunset Photo, March 2013**
Finally got the call yesterday morning that the new notebook was ready to be picked up. Then, after that great news, there was an awful pregnant pause, followed by a deep sigh, before David the tech guy said, "You don't have all your photos."
"What does that mean?" I ask as my stomach does the elevator drop thing.
"I could only retrieve halfway through the Rs. I worked until the drive completely died. I'm sorry."
I don't hear much of what he said after that because my mind has begun racing through my photo program. It's sectioned by years, then within each year, it's alphabetized. I start frantically cataloging the years and what comes after R. Oh gods. Italy (filed under Southern Italy); a multitude of photo files that begin with Scotland; an entire file called Sunsets, filled with all the sunsets I've photographed around the globe; the entire journey Alan and I made from NYC to the Pacific Ocean filed under Road Trip; Snow, Spring, Summer files...my mind is reeling. Then I have a moment where I think I actually whimpered at the realization that my most favorite photo of Alan was in the file called The Legend. 8 little letters of the alphabet. 7 years of my life. Gone.
Boggled, I mumble to David that I'll be in after walking the dogs. During the walk, a barrage of pictures roll through my head. How I wish I could download them into my new notebook. I cried a bit. Loss is so damn painful.
So, I get the new notebook, bring it home and spend several hours getting things set up, configured, managed. Windows 8 isn't terrible, but it's totally different. I had to load Microsoft Office 2013, which is terrible, and after the download, my entire desktop blanked out and I lost everything. WTF? I dinked and delved and cursed, but I couldn't find bugger-all. Called the store, David says bring it back. Crapcrapcrap.
An hour of his expertise and finagling, and he discovers that the new and improved (oh don't get me started) Office has mysteriously moved all my files and programs to this temp file on the SkyDrive--Microsoft's version of the Cloud. Flipping hell. Course, David says this is the first time he's seen this happen, but it's not entirely unexpected as everything about Windows 8 and Microsoft Office are "revolutionary" and we're all learning as we go. (I'll bloody give you revolutionary Mr Gates...and no, you won't get cake!)
Back home, sick and tired of the whole thing, I shut off the computer, pour myself a large glass of wine and throw myself into my cozy chair to decompress.
A vague memory begins to niggle. I can't quite...bring it forward--OMG!! When Alan and I returned to Edinburgh after our holiday in Italy, he asked me to put all the photos on a CD so he could add them to his desktop slide show. I leap up and start digging through a stack of CDs that he had in his file cabinet. I don't know what half these CDs are, but for some reason I haven't tossed them out. My heart is pounding when I actually find the very CD I made for him.
I turn the notebook back on, cross my fingers, and upload the photos to my photo program. And it worked. I have saved Italy. It's just a small save, but it's something, and I'm grateful for every wonderful picture.
There are still many things on the new computer to change, get used to. It's been a long ten days, with some tears and loss, aggro and alarm, but if nothing else comes of this experience, I've learned a valuable lesson.
So, learn from my mistakes, people. Change your passwords regularly. And for god's sake, back up your stuff, especially your photographs. Some things are just too important to lose...take it from me.
**Since I no longer have any sunset photos, I couldn't resist this beauty. It was like a little ray of hope when I glanced out the window last night. All my other pictures might be lost, but I can start again. Because no matter what happens in our lives, the sun rises, and the sun sets.