Easter, Resurrection, My Computer

i Sep 26th No Comments by

I know this sounds like a weird combination, but each has filled my life this past week.

As I pass the single Lily on the living room table the delicious scent of Easter reminds me of this mysterious time of daring to hope. In this northern hemisphere we see signs of crocuses and other portends of spring with new new life breaking through the soil each year. I hear bird songs and wait for the bees and butterflies to bring joy and pollinate the trees, flowers and our food. The days are already growing longer. We trust that eggs will become little birds, that babies will be born, and that there’s a butterfly inside a Caterpillar.

The cross on the church lawn is draped in white. I made an insert to our church bulletin’s Peace and Justice page about the revelation of the Resurrection coming first to women. The crosses in my life I attempt to carry more brightly. And herein lies my computer story. I tell it in some detail in behalf of all the desperate people, who blame their computer problems on their own stupidity. Get help, you may be vindicated at the end! I was.

I’ve been getting a message regularly for several months on my wonderful 27 inch iMac that has a 1 TB drive. “There’s not enough room on your startup disk. You need to delete some documents.” I know I have a lot of stuff on my computer, but for weeks now I have puzzled about how it can be that though I keep deleting so much to finally get readings of 10 and up to 50 GB of free space showing in my hard drive info panel after some hours of simple work I get that discouraging message again? I’ve moved every big thing like movies to an external hard drive. In fact, I bought a new 4 TB external drive, because I didn’t trust what was happening with my 2 TB external. What was wrong with me to delete so many files and just not be able to get enough space to open programs?

Yesterday was the final straw. I started out the morning with only 2 GB, laboriously retrieved with difficulty as it became harder to find more to delete. But I figured this was enough to be able to at least drag more files to the trash and empty it. Sometimes I hadn’t been able to even empty trash.

I deleted and deleted and deleted. But by afternoon I had even less. I was down to helpless feeling 186 MB. I deleted some more, feeling crazier and crazier, not able to believe what I was experiencing. The next reading was 24 MB. I finally surrendered and called AppleCare, totally embarrassed that a 1 TB hard drive was so full I couldn’t move.

My 3 year AppleCare runs out very soon, but it’s a wonderful thing to have. I knew I had to resolve everything I could while my warranty was still valid. A lovely woman kindly took me through many steps, such as restarting the computer after temporarily pulling all the plugs, then looking through some more hidden places such as Cache folders, which seems to be located in a number of areas. After doing all these things we took a reading. I now had 0 kB! ZERO! By then she had access to my screen so saw it with her own eyes. We both groaned in disbelief. She said she needed to go to her supervisor with this one.

After a few minutes Michael came on. They both took my phone number in case there was a disconnect, which I appreciated very much. This time, Michael also gave me his direct line, in case I need to call him back for some more help on this case.

He had seen the situation occasionally, looked at the screen and with a little red arrow controlled by him, pointed me to what I should do or type in next. I like this better than when these whizzes take over completely and move so fast that I have no idea what happened. I want to learn from such experience. But this time, we went so deep into the innards of my Mac that I could never repeat the steps. He was searching to see where all these megabytes and gigabytes were settled. We finally found them, in the Mac Mail program.

I remembered about 2 months ago, my mail program collapsed, and I had to get my e-mail by going through the Internet. I just left the mail program alone, unresolved. It seemed to come back, sort of, but not fully, so I’ve continued getting my e-mails from the websites. Michael and I continued to dig into all sorts of things relating to the mail program. It appears that something I was trying to send those many weeks ago kept trying to be sent and it filled up my hard drive, over and over. Even as we spoke and he explained this, the numbers reflecting available space kept getting smaller and smaller.

Want to guess how many GB were retrieved by the end of our operations? — 725 GB out of 1000 total as free space. That is 725,000 MB. or 725,000,000 KB! Most docs are only a few KB. Michael suggests that this can happen when one tries to send something too big. I now have plenty of room for working on Photoshop or books. Hurrah!

I had never heard of such a situation, so want to share it for others, since folks reading this must have a fundamental relation with their computers which no doubt sometime misbehave. Take heart, it might not be your goof.

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