Home Again

Arch and Lone Pine peak. Alabama Hills, CA. ©David Gardner

I’ve been back home again in San Francisco now for about a week. The first order of business was to put the motorhome to bed for the next several months. That took a couple of day. It gets way dirty inside and out and it takes a bit of elbow grease to clean it up. The next step was to see what could be recovered from my destroyed hard drive. A call to Drive Savers gave me hope of a near complete recovery – for a price. As you may recall, the disaster happened when the power brick for my Macbook Pro fell from about 3 feet onto the open computer. Everything would have been fine I think if it had landed anywhere but where it did. The hard drive lives (or in this case died) on the left side of the trackpad and that is exactly where the brick landed. It wouldn’t have been too bad except I was just sitting down to do the backup of the first 4 weeks of the trip. All that data was lost. For me it was over 800 image files. Mary faired worse. She shoots probably twice what I do, so she lost in the relm 1500 images.

Drive Savers told me during our initial phone call that the price would be between $700 and $2700 to recover the data depending on the measures they would need to take. They would tell me more after being able to inspect the drive. This is a 100 gigabite laptop drive. It’s dinky. I’m thinking, OK, $700 bucks is a lot but worth it. I’m willing to go up to $1500 in fact, if I could get most of my images back. So I sent it in.

A day later they called back with the news. Yes, they feel confident in being able to retrieve 90% of the disk data. But oh, this was clearly a drive that was operating in a degraded condition for quite some time. Apparently it had a bunch of debris on the platter and what he called “rings” showing. So in order to get the data, it was going to cost in the upper third of the estimate – that being in the $2100 – $2700 range. This was last Friday and I had to think  about it over the weekend. On Monday I called back and declined the recovery. It was actually a hard decision and Mary and I (ahem) discussed it for some time. She did eventually give in, but later I decided not to go ahead. Just way too much for work I may never see any income from.

Four weeks work is tough to turn my back on and I am very disheartend at the moment. I haven’t really felt like working on anything since then – I’m just playing around with stuff. It’s tough to get back on the horse again, but when I do I will have a very clear backup plan. This cannot happen again. It is not a total loss though. I have lost all the work I did for the first 4 weeks of the trip, but I did manage to save some of it. The camera cards still had work on it from the days previous to the incident so I was able to retrieve that. And some of the work I did afterwards is looking really good, so it isn’t a complete waste of eight weeks. I’ll probably post a few more images in the coming week if I can stop moping around.

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