The last image of the rest of my life


Just Before the Lens Breaks (2009)

Just Before the Lens Breaks (2009)


So…how much bad techno-luck can you have in a day?

In my case, quite a bit!  There is good reason for my lack of posts this week (apart from one I had already half finished, so finished up at work).

The tale begins last Friday – it was a glorious day.  The day before Hannah’s birthday.  I had the afternoon off and the sun was blazing.  So, we went to Stamner Park – our mission being three fold;
1) Have fun in the park
2) Go tot he nursery there to buy some plants
3) Have a walk and take in the glory of Spring

All was going well…very well…too well.  Took a few shots in and around the nursery and was thinking of doing a post about it on my return home.  Then went for a cup of tea and cake in the local tea rooms – again, thought I might mention it in the blog.  Post tea, we set off and after what can only be described as a camera bag malfunction, my digital SLR went flying through the air (in slow motion of course) and struck the pavement below.

Nope – it really is broken

If this had been a film, I would have dived to try and catch it (also in slow motion) – but it wasn’t and I didn’t.  I think my exact reaction was to stop still for a second and then pick up the pieces of the lens and put them in the camera bag without looking.  Fuck it, I thought, wait till you get home.

So – I managed to continue the walk in the park, trying my best to keep my mind off the impending doom that would face me when I got home and opened my bag.

Sure enough, on closer inspection…the lens is buggered.  Royally buggered at that…in pieces buggered.  The sort of buggered that gives you a sense of relief at the fact there is no chance of it being repaired – so at least you know where you stand!

So…now I have a £700 piece of kit that is absolutely useless until I find £300 for a new lens.  On my salary – that’s about a year away!!! One useless camera….OR IS IT?  See my next post for perhaps an exciting revelation!

The image attached to this post is the last photo my camera took before doom struck! I was going to bang on about how one of my favourite things about the summer is clear blue skies criss crossed with aeroplane trails and the sound of light aircraft gently humming in the background – but that seems pointless now!


As if ruining my digi was not enough, there was also the matter of my imac.  Now Mr Mac had been doing me proud for the past few years.  It is only about 3 years old and prior to this machine, I had always used PC’s.  The conversion to Apple was a tough road, but I had gotten through it and was enjoying the results.

Friday evening, Mac went super slow…almost to a dead still.  So I did what all good computer owners do – I turned it off and on again.  However, in this case – it didn’t have any of it.  Now Mac decided to freeze on a grey screen during loading and show the spinning wheel of doom.  “Can this get worse” said I “yes” the Techno-Gods replied.

After many attempts at restarting…I knew investigation was needed.  Never having had problems with the Mac before, I was stuck however as don’t know how to get behind the scenes with them.  So after a good hour of searching blogs and forums, I had some things to try and some possible solutions…I sighed a sigh of relief – thinking after the camera incident, I deserved a break!

You know what gets my back up?

I was wrong!  My investigations showed there was a problem with the hard disc, which is stopping the computer booting up…or me accessing ALL my data. I checked when I last did a back up – it was a year ago! Basically leaving me in the position of loosing all my work for over a year, including thousands of digital images – unless I can sort the problem.

At the bottom of this post is a bit of dull technical detail of what happened and how I will attempt to fix the problem – so you may want to skip that bit! I am going to post it in case someone with a similar problem finds this post looking for some help!

So – that explains my lack of blogging and general internet time! I am hurriedly penning this entry at work during my break.

Tomorrow is the big day when my last ditch effort to save my hard drive will commence – I will let you know the outcome!


So – the technical bit about the Mac. The computer in question is a 17” iMac, 2 GHz, 1mb RAM – Intel duo processor. The problem started with the computer starting to run a bit sluggish. Taking a long while to load things and shut down etc. I guess this problem built over the course of a couple of weeks.
The day it went wrong, I went to open a program and it froze – so I did a hard re-boot to try and kick it into life. However, it never re-loaded, just stopped at the grey screen with the apple logo and a spinning wheel.

I did a bit of internet research and did the usual tricks – starting it in safe mode, resetting PRAM, running fsck etc etc. Do a quick google search and you will get many links to many documents about these processes. Nothing worked, so I booted the computer from the OS X instillation disc and then ran Disc Utility on the hard drive.

Disc Utility looks for errors and tries to fix them. In my case, it stated there was an Invalid Node Structure which could not be repaired. After more research, it seems that running Disc Warrior 4.1 on my machine is the best hope. You can buy a version that has a bootable CD, so the computer can be started by booting from the CD (holding C whilst turning the machine on) and then you can run the repair utility. I have ordered a copy of the programme and it should arrive tomorrow, so we will see then if it works or not! Apparently Node Failures are often not the hard disc going wrong in a hardware sense, but just some of the header in the catalog tree for the data has been written to the disc incorrectly. Disc Warrior can often (but not always) fix these issues.

If Disc Warrior does fail – then I guess I am screwed! I will put comments on this post with my progress tomorrow. Until then, fingers crossed!

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