I don't know how long or short this is going to be... I'm trying not to think about this whole situation at all, but writing it out may actually help.
When I think about this logically, it's completely trivial, it's nothing, it's unimportant (especially when you compare it to what's happening around the country right at the moment), but at the same time it makes me want to cry... or throw up... or both.
My external hard drive won't connect with my computer.
Let me back up a bit... on Sunday I connected the printer to the computer and the external drive seemed to have a little hiccup (which it's done every now and again) where it thinks that it has only just been connected and it threw up a couple of messages, one that I didn't really recognise, but it didn't seem to be a problem... printer worked, hard drive worked... everything groovy.
Monday, when I powered up the computer the external drive never connected, I let it reboot, went for my walk, came back... still nothing... so I unplugged the drive, plugged it back and it worked fine.
If I knew then what I know now, I would never have turned the computer off on Monday night.
When I went through the same process on Tuesday it wouldn't connect at all... it would come up with it's usual message saying that the device was connected, blah blah... but nothing. So I switched it around to a different USB and I got a perky little pop-up message that the device had failed or that the computer didn't recognise it (one or the other... or both, I don't know anymore). Today I even tried using a different USB cable, just in case that was the problem. It wasn't.
Almost every single piece of electronic information I own is on that external drive. I put it all on there so that if my significantly older PC happened to give up the ghost I wouldn't lose anything.
Every single one (bar the most recent 100) of the 8000+ digital photos that I've taken in the last three years is on that drive, including all my photos from my trip to Sydney (okay, most of them will be the easiest to recover, I made CD copies for Ma).
All the electronic versions of any writing I've ever done (excluding the blog) is on that drive.
The Photoshop files, not to mention all the original scans and finished images for all my pre-digital photography are on that drive.
Plus in addition to a somewhat staggering amount of pornography/art photography (seriously, there's a difference) and a number of photos of myself... there are any number of irreplaceable images (well, collections of images to be honest) that I've gathered over the entire length of time that I've had a computer... so, you know, the last decade give or take.
And currently they're all trapped inside that obnoxious little grey paperweight.
If I'm being completely honest, I don't care about the "porn". I do care about all of my digital (and non digital) photos (including the ones of me), and my writing and some of those irreplaceable collections of images. And right now there isn't a damn thing I can do about any of it.
Logically it's all just 1's and 0's and if it is gone then there isn't a damn thing I can do about it... but it's all those memories, all the places I went and the adventures I had, all the things I've seen, it's all potentially gone.
Fortunately I keep all the stuff that's been posted (or that I planned to post) on the blog on the actual computer, so at least I still have the original copies of all that stuff.
It just seems like every time I take a step forward, I have to take three steps back... and every time I've fixed something on this stupid computer, another two things break. My mouse was on it's last legs, I replaced it and my keyboard... I had a "this hardware may not work" message about the keyboard and mouse for a couple of weeks (which I never bothered fixing because they did work, plus it was too hot to bother about), then when I finally did fix them, my external hard drive goes down like a $2 hooker.
Add to all that is my ongoing gripe that my "tech support" lives in London... and given the vast majority of the contents of the external drive, I don't want to take it to just any Joe Fix-it (yes, I know, my own fault for collecting too much porn, or for storing all my eggs in one basket). With any luck I'll be able to get J's brother T to come and take a look at it, maybe plug it into a completely different computer, see if it is the drive or not.
But I may be, as they say in the classics, completely and utterly fucked.