I’m not a complete computer illiterate. I understand very well the essential value of backing up important information on a regular basis. Yet I, too, get complacent, and Mr. Murphy still exercises his uncanny ability to strike when we least expect him. I was tempted to draw this story out, but then most of you would stop reading. To make it short, the motherboard in my nearly-10-year-old desktop computer gave up its ghost the other day. Not much was lost, but I stored many full-resolution, original images there, while saving lower-resolution, edited versions on my much-newer laptop. I also backed up many of the originals on CDs and DVDs, and I’m now starting to go through them to make them more accessible on an external hard drive. Lesson? Back up more often and more completely!
In the meantime, as a eulogy for my old secondary hard drive (which apparently went along with the motherboard), here’s a sunset photo that I made in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in September 1994. I had just arrived in Darwin after a drive of several hours, barely in time to see the sun setting across the ocean. Its orb had already descended to appear to merge with the sea on the horizon, and I grabbed my camera and sprinted across uneven ground to reach a point where I could get some of the cliff-top flora in my foreground. I had time for only two exposures before it sank from sight—one with the far horizon in focus and this one, focusing on the structures close at hand. Farewell, old friend.