If You Would Just Read the Directions…

I’m one of those people–you know the ones.  The Dr. Grant of Jurassic Park, if I touch a computer it malfunctions no matter what I did type of person.  Actually, I’ve come to realize that it’s really just because I don’t know what I’m doing, but pretend that I do.  Generally not a good habit with electronics.

I’m the person who put the tv on that static channel, and I need a PhD type person to fix it (or my kids).  The person who can’t figure out how her car got into permanent traction control and has to call service and be walked through disengaging it on the phone (I know my Service Advisor VERY well after ten plus years of this).

When I first started writing, I used a USB as a backup device.  I must have had around 40 pages of text written when there was a power surge from a storm going on.  The next thing I know, my screen is filled with computer garble.  I shrieked rather loudly and DH came running.  I pointed at my screen and he deduced through my sobs what had happened.  He looked at the USB sticking out of the side of the computer.

“What, were you doing with this?”  He gestures to it.

“I used it for backup.”

He then explains to me that they are not reliable to use for your only backup copy, and that really, they should be thought of more as a transfer data device.

All the data on it was fried, as well as what was on the computer screen, because I didn’t have that set for automatic draft save either.

Fast forward eight years later.  I learned the lesson, but apparently I still have trouble reading the directions.  Right before we went on spring break, Bugs had the opportunity through his photography class to get Adobe Lightroom for 75.00.  I downloaded it, and it has become my new best friend.  After being in Hawaii for a week, I started it up and inadvertently opened a new Catalogue when I meant to create a new Collection.  Catalogue, Collection, what’s the difference?  Apparently huge.  Because when I opened a new Catalogue, I lost all my photo’s I had edited.  Some 7000 photo’s.  Photo’s I thought were being saved in Lightroom.  Apparently, Lightroom doesn’t save photo’s in any permanent way, unless you tell it to, the little turncoat.  Nor does it say, Are you sure you wish to create a new catalogue?  All your current edits will be lost, or, would you like to save before closing this window?  or any number of things it could have asked me to do.  No, in the flash of less than a second (and this is not an exaggeration–it was really fast) the one screen had closed and the new one had opened.  I went back to the other catalogue, only to find out, it was empty along with all my presets for connecting to smugmug and Facebook.

I FREAKED OUT!!!!  DH said, “Did you read the directions?”

“It didn’t come with directions,” I countered in a very unbecoming high pitched whine.

“Did you download the manual and read it?” he countered.

Of course not.  So today, I’m going to the bookstore and find a manual for Lightroom.  Because clearly, I really just need to read the directions.

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17 Responses to If You Would Just Read the Directions…

  1. I only read directions as a last resort…. guess I should change my ways 🙂

  2. Please know that I clicked “like” because I feel for you losing your edited photos, not because I like that it happened to you! You might want to consider getting a clickfree external hard drive. They are amazing because you don’t have to be a tech wizard to use it. You simply plug it into your computer and it automatically searches for all data on your computer (photos, emails, documents, etc.) and backs them up. It’s sooooo easy!! 🙂

  3. awwww…*hugs*
    I hope it can be rectified!
    Wishing you luck! 🙂

  4. Beedie says:

    OMGosh what a disaster! I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you. Lightroom does ask to make ‘backups’ of the catalogues. Did you have auto backups going on?

    • I don’t know. It’s never asked me if I wanted to back up anything, so I thought when I closed it and opened it the first time, and all the photos were still there that they were saved like on autosave. When I display all my catalogues, only three come up but nothing is in them except one has my Honduras trip in it, but not all of those photos are there, only some of them. This afternoon I noticed on the left where exports are like FB and smugmug you can also export to the hard drive, so I assumed this was the backup, but it sounds like you are saying there is some other automatic backup? DH thinks they are on the computer somewhere (he’s pretty computer savvy, but I have a mac, and he’s a PC guy) but we just don’t know where. We got a book on lightroom this evening, so maybe we will figure it out. Mostly they were old photos that I scanned it–ones people gave me when my dad died–from my childhood and his, and photos from before digital age and the kids growing till now, plus a couple of big trips (all my Italy–thats the most painful one–I spent hours on those because I had just received my camera and was just learning how to use it–1000 were that trip). The good thing is on the mac iPhoto is the first thing to pop up and import, so everything is at least in there, even if its not edited. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. What do you use?

      • Beedie says:

        I think the backup has this file extension: .lrcat – if I type that into my windows search field several backups with that extension pop up. If you click the backups they will open in lightroom. Hope this helps. It seemed to me that lightroom automatically performed this function without me asking it to. Good Luck my friend.

      • Ok thanks. I will try that!

  5. Beedie says:

    P.S. I have windows/pc. Not a mac girl. But you could still do a search for the backup extension on the mac and probably find them .lrcat should be the same on your computer as mine.

  6. Lynne Ayers says:

    Well, if it helps, though I’m sure it doesn’t, I know how it feels. I decided it would be a good idea to get some of my many photos off my computer and saved them to a CD … then the CD somehow got corrupted … so many beautiful photos of our trip to Cape Breton, gone, along with a lot of others. Me and electronics, not a match made in heaven. Automatic doors have been known not to open for me, as I stand there waving my arms. What am I? Chopped liver?!

    • OMG, that is so me too! And then DH will come up from behind and pass me and the doors open! LOL. So sorry about your Cape Breton photos. What a bummer. Photosfromthelooneybin suggested something called a click free external hard drive that I’m going to check out for photos. I’m collecting way too many to not have some sort of backup plan. A friend that I went on a trip with over the summer copied her photos for me on a cd, then her daughter wrote on the CD with a ball point pen-on the label side. It corrupted the cd–I didn’t even know that could happen! All these things that make our lives easier also introduce an element of difficulty.

  7. Madhu says:

    I have lost enough photos to know exactly how you are feeling right now! Hope you are able to retrieve them somehow

    • Isn’t it a rotten feeling? At least I still have all the photos. I’ve lost photos permanently as well, so frustrating. My trip to Scotland I had just finished editing 1000 pics for that trip, but the college friend I went with wanted a cd, so I burned her one. I texted her and asked if she could send me a copy back–didn’t feel like doing those again. So at least I have those! My Italy photos that I’m using for the romantic traveler though, that’s a redo. Why I haven’t posted again there yet. 😦

    • And thank you for the congrats. For some reason it won’t let me respond to that message.

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