Heart of Darkness

Russell E. Train Africana Collection, Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

 

One hundred forty years ago on this day, in 1879, Henry Morton Stanley set out to explore the Congo for brutal King Leopold of Belgium, thereby opening central Africa to the ravages of colonialism and Arab slave traders, and thus became the inspiration of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Prior to that, he traveled up the Nile to its source to search for David Livingstone, whom he may not have actually greeted with “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Henry Morton Stanley was not even his real name.

Born in Wales, he was abandoned by his mother and never met his father (actual parentage undetermined). He grew up abused in a poor house until the age of 18, when he emigrated to the US by way of New Orleans. Walking off the ship looking for work, he was taken in by a storekeeper, and thereafter took the name of his adopted father.

He is perhaps the only person to have served during the Civil War in both the Confederate Army (fighting in the Battle of Shiloh), the Union Army, and the Union Navy. As a journalist, he traveled the American West, then organized an expedition to the Middle East where he was captured and imprisoned by the Ottoman Empire. But eventually talked his way out of jail.

His many expeditions, while successful, typically resulted in the death of most of the participants.

In later years in Britain, he served in Parliament, and was knighted shortly before his death in 1904.

 

 

 

Drone Racing

 

direct youtube link

Instead of watching the Super Bowl, went to a brewery and watched miniature drones racing. First person video flying. Pretty cool technology.

A local club races a couple of times a week: cvillefpv.com

 

 

Data Recovery

Data Recovery 🙂 from EyeInHand on Vimeo.

 

One RAID and 2 terabytes of data transferred. Second RAID and 4 more terabytes to go . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the small one. Running the big boys now. So far, only part of one directory lost . . .

🙂

 

Update five hours later: Out of all the drives, including the Mac itself, looks like I’ve only lost one file, a single photo taken ten years ago. Amazing.

 

Moby Lives!

 

OMG! It lives!

Six Terabytes of data, over 50 thousand photos, all the raw and finished video footage, hours and hours and hours of it. Everything. Going all the way back to 2004. Photos of the girls since middle school, scans of family prints now gone, the boat building and sailing archives, travels, life.

Somehow tonight they all came back from the grave.

I had given up on it all. Already mourned the death, mentally buried the body and said last rights. And yet, still.

 

Laser printer.

 

Next to the living room, the office got it almost as bad. Smoke and flames and water. The intense heat melted anything made of plastic, making macabre Dali-esque drip art. Then smoke and soot seeped into the smallest crevices, turning all black. Then the water and foam from the firemen. The room was several inches deep in water before they were done, dripping through the floor to the workshop below throughout the next day.

 

 

All the camera equipment, radios, GPS, binocs, etc.

 

 

 

Computer, monitors, hard drives, and speakers.

 

 

 

 

 

Days after the fire, I went in and collected the hard drives. All the wires, the power supplies, and the cases of the cheaper backup drives, all melted. I yanked out what remained of the cables and put the bodies in a plastic tub in the boatshed, where they sat in the freezing cold for over a month, drying out.

I assumed they were all lost. Had to. Too hard to hope. But, still, mapped out a plan to try and recover what I could. It would require buying exact copies of each, sometimes used on ebay, and transferring the guts of the deceased into the bodies of the still living.

Last weekend the burned drives came to the cottage where they got cleaned off as best I could, at least so I could handle them. On some, the cases had to be broken off with pliers to access the drives within.

Tonight a duplicate of the main RAID storage unit arrived. I borrowed the power supply and cables from the new one, updated software on the laptop, and plugged it in, fully expecting to have to pull out the drives and transplant them. But low and behold, the dang thing fired right up and mounted on the desktop. Amazing.

 

New vs Old

 

Paying extra for the good stuff paid off this time. The cheaper drives, with cases made of plastic, all melted. I’ll still try to save a couple of those, but chances are slim. The LaCie 5Big RAID was expensive. Twice the cost of cheaper drives of comparable capacity, but made of metal, with premium drives and controllers, it took it all like a champ apparently. Even the LEDs and power buttons survived the heat.

 

LED status lights

 

Sometime in the next few days, a third party replacement power supply will arrive. Then I can connect the new and old together and start the transfusion, transferring a lifetime of imagery, digital lifeblood, to the new host.

Hallelujah.

 

Oasis

 

 

There are places in this world that punch above their weight. People have a sense for them, and congregate there. As do other living things: salmon, bears, whales, herds of elk. Wolves.

These are places where something happens.

 

 

It might be a fall line where water breaks. Or a predictable fissure in the ice, formed by sub-ocean currents. Maybe a pass through the mountains.

A creek deep in the woods, surrounded by tall trees.

We find them. Collect there. We meet, and fight, and mate there. Connected by lines of force, which we follow like ancient game trails. Invisible, but inveterate.

Nowhere else.

The in-between places are deserts.

These are the oases.