It didn’t take very long to work out what had happened. I had upgraded to a newer version of Apple’s Aperture than I had previously been working with, and the newer one brought built-in Flickr integration, which long story short, ate the entire set I had on Flickr.
What happened was a classic synchronisation nightmare – it synchronised, but the wrong way around. Aperture chose its empty version as ‘the Truth’ and deleted everything that was already in the Flickr set; it didn’t just remove existing items from set but totally erased them from existence.
Aargh! As soon as I discovered the data loss, I got in touch with both Apple and Flickr. Much to my surprise, I got a reply from Apple within hours, apologising and asking for more information to nail down the bug. It took Flickr almost three days to reply to my message, in which they completely misunderstood the situation. In all, it took two and a half weeks of ridiculously slow responses, having my support case closed on me, and writing to Flickr’s product manager, to get Flickr to tell me they can’t do anything to restore my stuff and that it’s Apple’s fault.
Which brings me to where I am today.
I managed to glean most of my descriptions from Google’s caches before they disappeared off the face of the earth, but some were already gone from the cache. I am left having to manually find more than 300 images and restore them back to my Flickr account, and in doing so, I will have lost everybody’s comments and favourites, my tags on all of my images, all the pools and sets the images had been shared with, and crucially, all of the links will be different. So if anything has gone beyond Flickr, it’ll be dead now too.
It’s gonna take me a while to work through everything and reinstate it all. I have made a start though – today I restored this month of missing images, which includes my inventory of everything on my desk; one of the most popular images from my SCED project so far.
When the restoration project is complete, normal SCED service will resume. Wish me luck!