Wednesday, 4 February 2015

MEMORY BYTES


 Perhaps we're more concerned about memories than ever before.
The size of it. The amount of it. How to expand them. How to store them.  How we don't want to lose ours.


And when we do, how to retrieve them.


My 5-year-old portable external hard drive conked out. Lost are photos of my maternal grandparents and some of my father's, who have all passed, and some more which only existed digitally. 





  I took it to my ever reliable tech geek who's sorted out past electronic gadgets issues, but even he couldn't undo the damage. My hard drive has to be sent to a data recovery company that charges a minimum of £60 depending on the gigabytes to be salvaged. My dormant haggling prowess surfaced and I bargained to retrieve only those precious ones which are no longer in my laptop's internal hard drive. If only.


He promised that he'll find the best deal and let me know. In the meantime, the external hard drive sits in the cupboard with an old mobile and lots of cables, awaiting resuscitation.



The 250gb external hard-drive was a steal for roughly £20 5 years ago, but some of the photos (I'd say 80% are still backed up in my old laptop, my new Western Digital My Passport, and Dropbox) are priceless and irreplaceable. I had one of those getting-chased-by-light-bulb-moments in the bath again when I thought of how much that nifty little gadget holds a compressed version of my past, either in full colour or black and white. 






When we realise that some memories are or may be irretrievably lost, we panic at the thought of not being able to replace them. Or worse, recreate them. We think about how we could have possibly protected those memories, or even weeded out the ones we'd rather not keep.


We decide whether we've held those memories in the right place or not, and just in case it was the latter, to look back with no regrets. 



Like my broken portable hard drive, I had a memory lapse. Since we've started stashing away files and photos on floppy disks (shows how far back my digital CV goes), hard disks (overwriting them again and again in the process until they give up on you), zip disks, memory sticks, memory cards, portable hard drives, and online storage, we have abandoned the traditional folders and albums. Along the way of constant downloading and uploading, we stopped printing.




Yes, it's true that it's expensive, even when done at home. As our lives have become more and more mobile, we opt for less clutter and easy storage. Gone are the days when my grandmother, whom I saw less and less when I moved to the city, would take out her old photo albums from her wardrobe that smelt of her perfume from the 50s, and go through each and every photograph with me even though we have seen it many times over. The photos were fading around the edges, some frayed, some too fragile to hold, but they survived the war, family events, births and deaths. 


Some sitting rooms in family homes have that one fixture which is the focal point that draws in guests: the piano, where framed family photographs are displayed. I don't have a piano, but I have some framed photographs by the frontroom window, in the good company of my beautiful vase with my favourite alstroemeria flowers. I think that's a good start to having physical keepsakes of memories.


Meanwhile, my data recovery saga continues. . .




14 comments:

  1. I hope that you will manage to recover the photos! I also store my data on an external hard drive and I hope that it will never let me down!!

    www.LUXESSED.com

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  2. From a person who has been through this twice in recent years, I know how this feels and I'm sad to hear that you lost so many images. I have learnt to backup my most important files, not only images even online storage. But, sadly sometimes everything cannot be recovered. Hopefully you will be able to get the things that you lost. :)
    Foodie Style

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    1. Aside from Dropbox, I've got Amazon Prime storage. I may have to use the latter one as well. Quite expensive though.

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  3. What a pity! I hope your photos are not lost forever! Years ago I deleted by mistake the ones I had taken in a journey in London... I regretted it so much!!

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    1. Will have to find a way to recover them. That external hard drive didn't even warn me!

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  4. Oh dear...I hope they will manage to get something really. This has happened to me and it's not nice at all. Sometimes I think I really need to print things out. But, I really hope someone will be able to do something for you :) xx

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    1. When I do recover the most important photos, I'll print them. Has to be done x

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  5. Oh dear I really feel for you! It's true that we all rely so heavily on technology for storing our memories and we rarely print our photos. Perhaps a special one now and again to display in a frame. This has been a great reminder to me to spend some time selecting precious ones to print. I love looking through old family albums. Good luck!

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    1. I'm pleased that this post has encouraged you to go through your photos to select some to print. I have to go through at least 4,000 images. We've all become shutterbugs, but not proper collectors of photos.

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  6. It is terrible how our computers and hard drives hold our photos and memories hostage! I do wish I printed more photos as well and had them hanging up and displayed. You are right our relatives from the past held onto theirs and they made through! I sure hope you can recover your photos as they are cherished memories!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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    1. Thank you Rebecca and thank you for dropping by. So true, those photos our relatives managed to kept are just wonderful. If the quality of printing them allowed them to do so, I don't see any reason why our technology nowadays won't enable us to print and keep photos forever.

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  7. Oh nooo, how awful, so sorry to hear this. I do tend to back up on my USBs and hard drives but it's still technology isn't it and it can decide to give up without warning. I haven't had a photo printed in about 10 years and just thinking now of a fail-safe way to protect some lovely memories. I have a lot of printed photos but they're quite old now - perhaps I should make a pact with myself to print photos quarterly otherwise I could end up with photos of friends and family from 10 years ago and nothing more recent. Good luck babes xxx

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    1. The last time I printed a photo was 5 years ago. A photo. And that was just to test a new HP printer, which, by the way, was great. I should do more, really. It should be my project. Thanks Colleen! x

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