A few weeks ago, just as Dixie was heading out for a week-long adventure in the jungles of Palenque with her friend Loretta, her MacBook Air began experiencing problems. By the time she tried to import her first set of photos it wouldn't stay powered on long enough to log in. It was obviously possessed. That was just the beginning of several days of tech frustration. Dixie had almost 1,000 photos and no way to save them. In the end, she convinced Loretta to sign up for a Dropbox account and the photos slowly uploaded to their server over several days.
When she returned to San Cristobal de las Casas, I began working on it. As usual, I started the process by asking “What did you DO to it?” LOL I tried several different ways of logging on: safe mode, recovery partition, booting off of a USB stick. I checked and ‘repaired’ the solid state hard drive. Eventually I gave up and pulled all of Dixie’s files off onto an external drive and reinstalled OS X. This changed nothing.
Finally I gave up and took it in to a Mac repair shop in Tuxtla. Their official diagnosis: logic board. For a mere $850 USD they would replace it. [NOTE: Had I not somehow missed the deadline to extend the AppleCare warranty, this would have been a free repair] Given the fact that a brand new unit starts at $1000 with a full one-year warranty we decided not to have the repairs done. Since then we have decided to sell it for parts and replace it with an iPad and wireless keyboard.
In the meantime we haven’t updated the blog, as you probably noticed. One reason is that I was busy working on Dixie’s laptop while using my own for research. Dixie was stuck with her iPod. After diagnosing her laptop issues, I decided that I really, REALLY needed to get my own laptop backups all caught up. And that’s when my backup hard drive died.
Yeah, that was fun. Any way, I found a decently priced replacement drive at a local shop and spent a few days reprocessing my photos, which included moving them into a new folder structure, running a renaming app on all of them and then reimporting them into Aperture. All 30,000+ pictures. After that I ran a new backup on my external drive, and made a bootable clone of my MacBook Air’s hard drive.
The good news is that we didn’t lose any data. The bad news is that we could have! I was already working on a new, revamped all-encompassing backup strategy, but it was not in place yet. It will be, soon!
And that, dear reader, is why we haven’t posted anything in awhile. We didn’t have any photos or video from the Palenque trip, and our one working laptop was in heavy use for reorganization and backups. Still cleaning some things up, and still working on finding an iPad for Dixie, but hopefully we’ll be back up to speed in a few days. In the meantime, you should probably be backing up your own computers, right?