Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Triage and Maintenance

I noticed recently that my main computer was very full. Sluggishly so, in fact. And when I ran J Disk Report (free!) I was shocked, shocked! to realize that almost half my hard drive was taken up by my iPhoto library. I had over 28,000 photos. I am not sure if that will sound like a lot to anybody reading this, but gosh, it felt like a lot to me. I had transfered library after library, to computer after computer, sloppily. There were, like, eight copies, four of them corrupted, of the same photo of a kitten I'd downloaded from the internet in 2004. Ladies and gentlemen, I don't even KNOW that kitten.

I had over ten versions of this picture of a miniature horse from  my hometown.
The picture is from 2005, so I obviously hadn't even seen any of the Li'l Sebastian
episodes of Parks and Recreation yet. 

And according to my fumbling internet research, it is either expensive or unreliable or both to use a program to remove duplicates from iPhoto. It kind of has to be done by hand, apparently, especially since not all the photos I need to remove are copies - many of them are slightly different versions of photos I took. Some poorly lit, some blurry, some with bonus thumb, you know how it goes.

So here's what I'm doing. I have made it a temporary policy to spend twenty minutes a day reviewing, labeling (and then trashing part of) my iPhoto library.

  • I open up iPhoto. I pick up where I left off the day before. I look at EVERY PHOTO in an event and trash the blurries and duplicates and inexplicables.
  • I look through the entire trash folder to make sure I'm not making any mistakes. 
  • I empty the trash. 
  • I email myself where to pick up the next day. 
This is a policy, not a rule. If I skip a day, I still know where to pick up the next day, and because I empty the trash every time, I am gradually increasing the space available on my computer. I usually end up deleting 200-600 pictures in a 20 minute session. 

Pretty soon, I'll catch up with myself. Then I'll need to develop some system to deal with all the iPhone pictures I sync weekly. That will be maintenance, but for right now I'm just doing triage. 

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