I was going to be sending postcards on Saturday to everyone I met at the conference, to be friendly, for fun, the better to keep in touch, but I have been neglecting those plans and nearly everything else this past weekend, (the hundred other things that I wanted to get done before being sucked into CanSec), caught up instead by a personal catastrophe – the partial erasure of my only photography archive.
The quick and dirty background: Everything has been on one drive. Because I am financially strapped, I’ve never been able to afford a back-up. Tony, in his wisdom, was kind enough to give me a 2 terabyte drive as a holiday present, destined to become the new archive when my 1 terabyte drive filled up, which happened this past week.
The quick and dirty events: I let a programmer friend help set up the transfer of my archive of over 110,000 files from the 1 terabyte to the new 2 terabyte. There was an error, so instead of merely copying what was left to copy, it cross-referenced the drives and deleted a great swath of files before I could shut it off.
The quick and dirty result: I’ve spent the majority of the past two days on data recovery, staying up late, getting up early, trying different programs. I believe that I have recovered as many of the files as I will ever get back, approximately 50% of what was erased. It is difficult to tell what is gone, but so far it seems I have lost my childhood photos, an entire wedding, a massive block of personal pictures from 2007, 2008, and 2009, three days of 2011, seven folders of client work, and every video I’ve taken in the past five years. I expect to discover more gaps as time goes on, but the damage seems negligible compared to what it could have been.
Everyone who knows about the tragedy has assumed that I would be livid or heart-broken or a mix of the two, but instead the loss seems to have struck a far deeper, nihilistic chord, more appropriate for death, thickly flavoured with the acceptance and understanding that at the heart of things, we are all, every one of us, completely doomed, so why care? Odd, maybe, but I believe it speaks well of me, that I am depression-immune to this disaster, still carrying the seed of happiness that was planted at the conference, the new, uncorrupted self that refuses to be cursed.