The Candy Apple
In Which a Loss Comes With a Gain
I finally did it. I finally got myself up to OS X. The upgrade itself was painless, except for two losses. I did not know how to save our address books and stored e-mail messages, and I did not know I needed to save our bookmarks. That part I could have done if I’d known I needed to; I’d seen a way to save all of them in one file as HTML. The e-mail messages, I still don’t know how I would have saved. I just thought the newer versions of the software would find that information, or I could import it. But it’s gone. Or maybe I’m just not smart enough to figure out how to see it.
I have not lost hope that all that stuff is still on the drive, somewhere, if I just knew how to look for it. I copied my System Folder to a second drive, plus the Documents folder, but I bet the Documents folder should have included some stuff besides the stuff I copied. I bet there was a Microsoft User Data folder I should have copied and didn’t. But I think it’s still on the main drive, perhaps written over with new information by now, though.
I will be very sad if those stored e-mail messages are lost forever. I had a moment of realization that they were probably gone, and it surprised me how wrenching it was. I have four years of letters to and from friends, and I used to re-read them sometimes. It reminded me of how two friendships evolved, and still are evolving. I was desolate for a day or two while we tried to find those files.
Then I realized that those friends are still in my heart, and the words we said are not as important as that fact.
The e-mails about hotel reservations and plane tickets, I can reconstruct by returning to those Web sites. As for the receipts from online book and clothing orders, if I wait long enough, the items will be delivered—and I would have tossed those e-mails anyway. The messages I wrote to my friends, and they to me, I will mourn for a few more days. Then I will get over it and remember that our connections are not based on only words.
As for the bookmark situation, I’ve approached it like I did when I used to move every year or so in my early 20s. Back then I would use every move as a chance to get rid of a third of my stuff. Clothes got donated, furniture pared down. I never trimmed my book collection, though. It is still out of control. But I didn’t start letting it get that way until I finally stopped moving. Once I started recreating a list of the bookmarks I’d saved, I realized there were two sorts: those I visited regularly and those I was saving for a specific endeavor. It was a chance to shorten the list.
The sites I visit regularly were pretty easy to re-mark. The others, study sites for a game show, I can gradually rebuild if I want to. With many of them, I’d already printed out the important information, so there is no need to re-bookmark them. If I have occasion to wander into a US Presidents site, I’ll save it, but I’m not upset about losing all those sites. It was a good time to trim that list. I’m not so good with clutter anyway.
I still have a slim hope that my e-mail messages are hidden somewhere. I asked a work friend who knows far more about Mac stuff than I do to look at it, and he couldn’t find anything. I was cussing the upgrade process and complaining that I thought Apple made everything so easy. He pointed out that the trouble is not with Apple but with Microsoft, as both pieces of software I was using were made by them. That shut me up.
I suppose this tale could serve as a warning to those who have yet to upgrade. Figure out how to save your stuff before you do it. I would have cut and pasted each individual message if that had been the only way. It would have been worth it. I have gotten past most of the first two stages of grief: denial and anger. There is no one to bargain with, so I am skipping stage three. Depression went with anger, so now I guess I am working my way through acceptance. The first big step was acknowledging that I had lost something important to me. If I had not done that, I would still be banging my head against the wall, trying to recover my files.
We lose stuff. It happens. This is one of those rare events that, 10 years from now, I may actually remember. Mostly, though, the stuff we get worked up about isn’t that big a deal. It’s good to be able to move on. Fresh starts are good.
I really do like the OS. It’s likability doesn’t yet outweigh my loss, but it will after some time has passed.
Also in This Series
- On Temptation · July 2010
- Beyond Pen Pals · July 2007
- Just Because We Can Do a Thing, Does Not Mean We Should Do a Thing · March 2006
- Google Tells Big Brother to Take a Hike · February 2006
- Wikipedia Is Not the Lovefest We Thought · January 2006
- Star Trek Gadgets Have Arrived · December 2005
- The Silver Screen Keeps Shrinking · October 2005
- It’s Just Business · July 2005
- Age Has Its Advantages · June 2005
- Complete Archive