The Dog Ate My Homework. (Or why I have no pictures for you today.)

It’s not like I didn’t know it was a problem. I mean, it’s been making a funny noise for over a week now. And there were the crashes on startup. But did I take precautions? Yes. And no. Some. But not enough. Bad me.

The day started so innocently. This morning I commuted in to the office like always. Traffic was a little rough. I got hung up at the top of the stairs in a bit of a traffic jam when the dogs couldn’t decide if I was going back to bed or to the office and ran into each other three times. But I was able to get through that without spilling my coffee, so I consider that a successful commute. It seemed like an ordinary morning.

And that’s when it all went wrong… duh duh duhhhhh….

I pushed the power button on the computer. It made all the usual whirring and tweeting noises. I waited. Nothing. I waited. Nothing. No picture. No little apple. So I did a hard shut down and restarted it.




Noises and fans, but no picture. Already suspecting what was wrong, I did three more hard restarts. Still nothing. Rats. Rats. Rats. The video card is D.E.A.D. Again.

Here’s the thing. At my house, we love our Macs. All five of them. I love my Blueberry iBook from 1999. It still works, though I never use it. I love my MacBook. Jessie loves her MacBook. The kids love their iMac. And I love my gracefully aging G5. I drank the Apple Mac Kool-Aid big time. I’ve been using Macs since waaay before they were cool (pre-iPod!), and I’ve never had a complaint. Until Aperture. It’s a video card serial killer. This was the second video card I’ve lost to it.

But that’s not really what my panic attack was about. They’ll replace the card. It’s still somewhat under warranty. I panicked when I realized that, despite the fact that we are in a house with one Mac per human occupant, I have no real contingency plan for the (apparently not all that) unlikely event that my primary photo processing computer kicks the bucket.

That’s not to say that things aren’t backed up. I’m the Kah-weeen of backups. Especially the photos. Every photo I have taken, all 40,000 this year, is backed up four (4) (FOUR) (4!) ways. I take no chances with the photos.

But what I realized that I don’t have is a second computer ready to take over on the spot should my main computer fail. You know, like it did today.

Aw, crap.

Now, here’s the happy ending. I took the dead video card out of the computer and replaced it with an old card that I had kept around. Yes, yes, I am a smart girl. It fired right up with no problems. After contacting the vendor and making arrangements to replace the failed card, I got right to work making my laptop a carbon copy of my desktop. Every. Single. Thing.

I have spent my whole day sitting here at this desk essentially cloning my main computer. Well, ok, I had to spend 3 hours picking Hannah up from school and driving her downtown to the doctor, but other than that, I’ve been here with this project. Who knew how much vitally important junk could be on one computer? I’m backing some stuff up to new locations just to be safe, but mostly, I’m just getting things shuffled around so that if one computer ever fails, I can just simply unplug the army of external drives and connect them to the other computer and be up and running again in minutes without even wasting one single precious baby photo editing minute. ‘Cause that’s what this is all about in the end. Y’all want to see some more cute photos of li’l Ashwin getting christened, right?

Keep your fingers crossed.

Amanda Summerlin

Artist and Explorer at Amanda Summerlin Photography
Hello. My name is Amanda. I make neat pictures of nice people, drink coffee and whiskey (sometimes at the same time), and travel. I love traveling so much, I won't charge you any travel fees to photograph your wedding. Check out my travel info page for all the details. And see my blog for all the cool photos.
Amanda Summerlin

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Making neat pictures of nice people since 2009. You're not like everybody else, your pictures shouldn't be either.