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Archive for October, 2012

Night Of The Living Dead Hard Drives





In honor of Halloween, I present to you the sad tale of my dead hard drives.   Yes, the Warped Prism suffered a major technological blow about a week or so ago.   While replacing the power supply inside my computer tower, I somehow triggered some sort of overvoltage event that killed BOTH my internal hard drives and DVD drive at the same time.   I will spare you the long twisting tale of troubleshooting that took place to piece together what had actually transpired.   The bottom line was, both the hard drives were dead.   There was some hope of bringing them back to life, like the six million dollar man, but alas that did not pan out.   I opened them up (carefully), and found that a big chip on the circuit board in both…the “smooth” motor controller chip was burned.    That effectively ended the quest for resurrection, and professional data recovery costs nearly six million dollars.  OK, I made that up, but it is still too expensive for me.

What did I loose?   Well, I had all my photos on the second internal drive, on the theory that if the main drive with Windows and other programs on it failed, the photos would survive.   I never expected to loose both drives at the same time.   I did have a partial (probably 80 percent complete)  backup of photos on an external drive, so I recovered those.   I lost all my originals of several more recent excursions, like the car show and those at Sunset Road/Hawk Road I recently posted.   Those were not yet backed up.  Perhaps most distressing….I lost my Lightroom catalog backups.   I thought those backups were going to my external drive, but apparently they were backing up to one of the now dead internal drives.  So about two years of Lightroom edits are gone, in the sense I can’t go back and pick up where I left off on anything.   The finished products of my best material still survive as large jpgs on my website, which is some consolation.   I am starting over with Lightroom, and have imported all my originals that were backed up and moving on with my life.

Lessons learned:

1. Back up your originals, preferably externally.

2. Back up your Lightroom catalog, preferably somewhere external.

3. Be extra careful with static electricity etc. when opening up your computer.

I knew all this in theory, but I became lax after years of trouble free computing.   Just when you let your guard down, WHAM!  Reality bites.

Beware all who read this, do your backups and avoid my fate!   Happy Halloween.


Hawk Road



Prior to stopping at Sunset Road, described in my last two posts, on Sunday we first stopped at Hawk Road.   There was a wind farm in the distance, and  this is the one image from that stop that I kind of liked.  This is somewhat strange, because I generally despise power lines.   Sometimes though, if they are out in the country, receding into the distance, on old school T shaped poles ….they kind of work.   I may never admit to that again!

Sunset Road No. 2




Yesterday I posted about the uncanny appearance of the aptly named “Sunset Road” on a trip home last Sunday.   This is the last image from that stop.   Usually I try and avoid man-made objects in a landscape, other than something  like a windmill or barn, but for some reason I included our car in this one.   I had been in front of the car a couple minutes earlier, shooting towards the sunset.   Once I got these up on the computer,  I liked the sky in this one better.  Amazing how much a sunset sky can change during two minutes.

Sunset Road No. 1



Last Saturday, on the way home to Wichita from northern Kansas, my wife, stepson, and I were  fortunate enough to be out on the plains as the sun set.  As usual, the urge to get home was powerful.   The sunset was only mediocre.   We made one stop, which only produced mediocre photos.   I was ready to stay on the highway and get home, but my wife and stepson urged me to stop again.  Usually I don’t get that much enthusiasm from the gang….so I thought OK, lets see if the next crossroad has a good name – not great criteria for chosing  a road for photography, but that’s how I was feeling.   The next green sign came up into view, announcing the name of the crossroad.    As I read the sign, it took a moment to sink in.   The actual, official, name of the road is “Sunset Road”.    Well if that isn’t a sign from above, I don’t know what is.   We pulled off and I shot for a bit.  The sunset never developed into one of those major shooting rays kind of thing, but it was very nice to be out on Sunset Road in the country.   Would I have stopped if the road was named “Smith Road”, or ” Rocky Road”, or whatever?…I don’t know.

Moonlight Fountain



This is the rather impressive and often photographed JC Nichols fountain in Kansas City, Mo.   This was one of my favorite images from a recent visit, although I fear this is one of those “it REALLY looks better when you see it large”  images.