Moments: Data Loss

Data loss is the worst.

Shortly after college one of my hard drives failed, and while I was able to recover the data after a long sleepless night of researching the interwebs and figuring out how to reindex all the pointers to the data (Thanks CS61C!) I recovered most of the drive, but had to sort through the mess of files and pick out what my files were vs other software bits. Not a fun week I assure you. I lost a bunch of papers I wrote in college through that blunder. *sigh*

So when I’m asking Laurie how her day is going and she mentions that the backup drive for all her iPhone photos was overwritten, I feel the loss. It’s harrowing (also time for a shameless plug to store all your data in a reputable cloud source. Crash Plan anyone? Anyone?). She’s especially sad to have lost the photos of her dog Toby from when he was a puppy.

Toby is one adorbs doge.

Toby is one adorbs doge.

Laurie’s birthday was coming up in two weeks and it was fortunate that she requested no presents, as it forced me to think outside of the box for a gift. With these two events happening in succession I decided the best gift that we could give her was data. We take hundreds of photos yearly of friends, outings, pets, food, travels etc, but yet we don’t share all of them with each other.

Planning this gift was easy as we have a wonderful set of loving friends. I start an email thread to our group and begin a Google Photos collection to fill with memories. While certainly not the same feeling as the pictures you take yourself, I thought it might be nice to feel like the memories weren’t lost as there are records of them.

Now for the tech bits…


Some people preferred iCloud as they have paid for upgraded storage, but this isn’t always the case when sharing photos and we needed to consider Android users if any. While trying Google Photos Carol found that they had an upload limit. I didn’t run into that issue, so at the end of the day I ended up being the funnel to posting the photos because well, I was orchestrating this endeavor and I prefer to use free services that are backed by major companies.

An odd thing about Google shared albums was that it didn’t always notify me when others loaded photos to the album. I’d harass Sharon or Jen, but then they’d send me confused messages about how they already did load their photos. Oops! GOOGLE! You ruin friendships in the name of friendships! The other issue I had was that comments for the album were at the bottom of the page, this normally wouldn’t be a problem for smaller albums except we managed to gather 707 photos! No one knew where the comments were or could see when Laurie posted the sweetest thank you to us all.

This is amazing… thank you girls SO VERY MUCH!! I can’t even begin to describe how it feels looking through all these pictures and reliving all these memories with all of you. While it’s somewhat weird seeing so many pictures of myself (a ton I haven’t ever seen before!), the memories and feelings they bring back is the best present I can ever ask for. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart… I love you all so very much. <3

Now to try to stop crying floods of tears at my desk at work… 🙂

Sourcing the Photos

iOS10 has made things incredibly easy with faces and visual search. I was able to type in “dog” and filter out and create an album of just photos of Toby. Then in terms of any photos with Laurie, I was able to use Faces to group together photos and also upload these to the album.

The best gifts are the memories forged from time and friendship. But sometimes we need pointers to help remind us of the stuff we don’t have readily indexed. Happy birthday Laurie. <3

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