I am an optimist at heart. I believe there is a bright side to almost everything in life and that the sun can shine even when it’s raining. Even things that are initially a negative tend to lead to things that work out better for me in the long run. My USB drive crashing beyond recovery was no exception. I lost work and pictures I can’t replace, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time pulling the originals I did have from their locations and re-editing and organizing them. But I gained a lot as well.
Since my husband got a new computer, I pretty much took over the laptop as my own and now save my files to it. But, thanks to the USB drive crashing, I decided even that and my external hard drive weren’t enough, especially since laptops and hard drives can fail, or fall and break. So, I started looking for a better way that didn’t depend on a device or cost a lot of money to save my files. A lot of free online storage is pretty limited (a couple gigs seems to be pretty standard). I remembered seeing GoogleDocs on my email account and that I could save a few gigs there, so I decided to check it out.
That’s when I found Google Drive. You can install it on a computer or a mobile device and put up to 5g of stuff in it for free. Anything you put in the folder can be accessed from any device you put Google Drive on as well as from drive.google.com. So, not only can you access anything you want to put it in from almost anywhere, you have a backup if your computer crashes beyond recovery. I’ve been using it for about a week and love it so far.
Of course, 5g is splendid for documents, but it doesn’t do much for pictures which can take up quite a bit of space. I’ve had a 16g SD card since January so I can have thousands of originals on my camera in case the files get lost on the computer. But, like with documents, I wanted an added step of protection, so I decided to sign up for Photobucket. You can upload unlimited photos and up to 500 videos into albums that are either public, private, or password protected. This is also helpful because it gives me a place to store my photos for the blog instead of always uploading them here.
Some of my backups of photos were on Facebook. I discovered I could import albums from Facebook to Photobucket. This turned out to be a lot more convenient than individually downloading pictures from Facebook to my computer. It’s even more convenient than uploading photos from the computer to Photobucket because you don’t have to wait. When importing from Facebook, Photobucket keeps working and emails you when your photos are up. Plus, if I wanted to put them on my computer from there, Photobucket puts them in a zip file which only takes a few seconds to download and a little longer to extract.
While working on moving files over from the places I had backups, I decided to go through some older photos. I ended up being able to clear out a whole bunch old pictures I didn’t need anymore which freed up a lot of space on my external hard drive. I also realized there were a lot of photos I’d originally planned on sharing with people and had never gotten around to, so I shared them. I don’t know if I would have bothered to look for Google Drive, start using Photobucket, or have bothered to go through all those old photos if this loss hadn’t occurred, so I’ve gained those things from the loss.
Even in the pictures I can’t replace, I can find a gain. I was planning on using some of them to illustrate the next few blog posts. Instead, I have the opportunity to be creative in coming up with pictures to use. Okay, so I think this one is stretching it a bit, but it’s still a bright side. Also, while they were pictures I wouldn’t mind having, at they were minor things rather than from whole days out exploring. Similarly, I’m glad the novel draft I lost was just one I sort of liked and not a polished one I really loved. Overall, while I have lost in this situation, it could have been worse. So, I’ll try not to be too disappointed with what’s missing, to appreciate the things I’ve gained from the loss, and to look forward to sharing what I do still have.