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3 Sep 2008

Catching up – Under normal circumstances, I probably would have written this post first and posted it on Saturday, but with the semester starting on Monday it was my last chance to talk about the things I learned last semester. So I posted that instead and decided to save my catch-up post for now.

“That’s three full-fledged entries I want to write, so I’ve got my plate full.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of my last entry, my parents came to visit for two weeks at the end of August, and I was busy for the other two weeks of August trying to wrap everything up in preparation for their visit. It’s amazing (and frightening) how quickly a month can fly by.

Anyway, we had a good time during their visit. The first week was spent mostly in Seoul, while most of the second week was spent traveling around the countryside visiting places that have been featured here on Liminality before (such as Danyang and Andong). During that time I took a bunch of photos, most of which I was able to recover after a rather infuriating incident (warning: rant ahead). I have a camera adapter for my iPod which allows me to load photos directly from my camera on to my iPod for safekeeping. At least, that’s the idea. I had 140 photos on my flash card (a 256MB card—yes, it’s that old) that I wanted to move, so I plugged the adapter in and started the process. I sat there and watched it for a while, but it is a very slow process and ranks somewhere near “watching paint dry” on the list of interesting things to do with your spare time, so I decided to go take care of something else. When I came back, the screen read: “140 of 140 photos moved,” or whatever past tense verb it uses. The important part is that it said “140 of 140 photos.”

I probably don’t even have to tell you what happened next, but I will anyway. After moving the photos, the iPod very helpfully gives you the option to erase the card. I’ve never used this before, instead opting to unplug the camera, check the iPod to make sure that the photos are there, and then erase the flash card manually. I don’t know why—maybe because I was tired—but this time I decided to use the iPod to erase the card. The punch line, of course, is that not all 140 photos had been moved. In fact, only 53 had been moved, and these weren’t even visible on my iPod (in the About section, where it tells you how many photos are on the iPod, it said “0”). I only found them after plugging my iPod into a computer and searching through it manually. The other 87 photos, though, were gone.

Talk about catastrophic failure. If the thing didn’t transfer all the photos, why did it say it did? I was told later that it was possible the iPod was jarred during the process, but I know for a fact this was not the case. I just cannot fathom why a system would be designed to fail so catastrophically—to misreport the number of photos copied and then present the user with the tempting option to blow everything away. I was very angry when this happened, obviously, but most of the anger was directed at me for being such an idiot and actually believing that a computer might be telling me the truth. Every other time I’ve used this device I’ve been extra careful because I have an innate distrust of computers. But just like it always rains when you don’t bring along your umbrella, things go bad the one time I’m not careful.

Fortunately, we were able to take the card to a service center and recover most of the photos at no charge. I say “most” because I took one photo after wiping out the card to test the iPod’s photo transfer, and that one photo was enough to mess up a number of photos. Still, we aren’t missing too many photos that I can remember, with one exception, but I’ll get to that in my next entry. As a sort of karmic compensation for losing those few photos, though, the service center replaced our old and busted 256MB card with a hot new 512MB card. Considering that my camera can take a maximum of a 1GB compact flash card, that’s not a bad deal. Oh, did I mention that it was free? That was quite nice. Almost enough to make me forget how infuriated I was at my iPod. Almost.

In other news, toward the end of August I gave the presentation for which I had been collecting data through my survey—you know, the one I was rambling on about in nearly every post for a while. The paper went over pretty well, even if I was feeling really terrible on the day of the conference and barely managed to get through it. I do plan on writing a summary of my findings in English and posting that here in the near future, but I want to take this opportunity to again thank everyone who helped out. I appreciated every single response I received.

Finally, one of the things that arrived with my parents was a new bread book from my youngest brother, Matt, and I’ve been having some fun with it. I’ll get into this in more detail in a later post, so that will be something to look forward to. That’s three full-fledged entries I want to write—the one featuring some photos from the “erased” flash card, the survey results post, and the bread post—so I’ve got my plate full. I also have a ton of photos lying around that need to go up in galleries. Thinking about getting them done all at once is a bit depressing, but if I chip away at them consistently I should catch up soon (“soon” meaning sometime this decade). So expect to see some photos from quite a while back coming soon. And, last but not least, I’ve finally updated the About page to reflect where things currently stand (I’ve updated the “About the author” section, the “About this site” section, and the “About the Workshop” section).

I suppose that’s about it. It’s going to be a very hectic semester, but I’d like to post fairly regularly here at Liminality, both as a creative outlet and as a means of stress relief. Let’s hope I can keep up the momentum.

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