DELETE doesn't mean it's gone!!

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Posted 9/30/15 (Wed)

By Don Anderson

Isn't the digital age amazing!!  I can go to a ball game, snap off 400 to 500 photos, edit through them right on the sideline, delete the bad ones, and within minutes of arriving home have them safely saved on my computer, and a few more moments later they usually are published to my Facebook page for everyone to see.

Thats the good stuff with technology, but like everything, there is a down side.
The other day I had a photo shoot of a sports team (junior high football team). I lined up all the players, took individual pictures of each of them, then posed a nice team shot. Everything went great and I was finished in about a half hour.
I went back to my real job for a couple hours. I knew the JH football boys were playing a game against Ray so I decided to take a run up to the game. I figured I could snap a few shots of some of the players and just see what the future holds for the DC football program.
My usual routine when "snapping" a game is to start off with a fresh memory card, so I put the right lens on my camera, headed for the perfect position on the sideline to start shooting, then went to my routine. I pressed the proper buttons on my camera to clear the card. Now mind you, you can't accidentally clear a card on my camera. It's a high end professional camera that is meant to have redundant features so even an idiot would have trouble screwing things up
The camera asks you about three times if your sure of what your doing.
"You are going to reformat this card, Is this what you want?"
"To Format card press YES"
"Format card. All data will be lost"
Of course, me being a 30 year veteran of photography, I blew right past all the warning screens,  then hit the dreaded CLEAR CARD option. Within seconds of my action I realized what I had just done -- the entire junior high football team and individual pictures I had taken a few hours earlier were GONE, DELETED, floating in ciber space. Now what?
Lucky for me I am very tech savvy (joke) and I KNEW that my files weren't REALLY gone, and I was sure with my expertise I could retrieve the deleted files. (Is't it nice to hear a story about retrieving deleted files that has NOTHING to do with Politics?)
I have a program on my computer at home that will retrieve deleted files, which is good thing, but what I didn't know was just how MUCH information remains on a card that has been formatted literally hundreds of times.
I started the program and waited for the status bar to move. It told me the total estimated time for complete recovery would be just under four hours. That was fine as I was heading for Minot in the afternoon anyways so it should be complete when I got home.
About 1 am Vonni and I returned from our "Hostfest date" and I hurried to the computer to see how many files were recovered.
WOW -- WOW -- WOW. There were 421,000 files, that right 421 THOUSAND files retrieved taking up a total of 900 gigabits!!
Without getting too technical, my thought was "How can a 32 gig card have 900 gigs of info on it?"
When I browsed the retrieved photos I saw some DC graduation shots and my first thought was "Hey, that was almost 5 months ago. COOL". but, on further review I noticed one of Greg and London Jacobs kids in a graduation gown -- not Hannah who graduated last year, not Isaac who graduated two years ago, but Morgan. I'm not sure but I think that was about 3 or 4 years ago. There were BABY pictures of grandson Hunter and he's four years old this month! This card was packed with photos that were taken as far back as 2011.
AS I said I know that card had been CLEARED hundreds of times. How could this be.
I was once told that "Health insurance is like a hospital gown -- you're never as covered as you think you are."
I need to pen a clever saying for computer files because DELETE does not mean they are gone.
So, in closing all is well. Ironically I have to re take a few of the pictures of the team tomorrow, but no big deal.
I know one thing, if I were Hilary Clinton I would be real worried about this email thing because I'm pretty sure I'm almost as smart as she is and I didn't know MY files were still there!! My guess is she has some hidden "treasures" also!