Ok, technically, this wasn't a crash. Here's what happened. Apple has a technology called FileVault which encrypts your home directory so that no one can access your hard drive directly without logging in as you. Your files are decrypted on the fly and reencrypted when you're done. So, one day I turned this feature on to see what it was like. It's actually pretty cool, there's no noticable slowdown whle the computer encrypts and decrypts things. However, I learned that I could not turn the feature off, because there was not enough hard drive space. The home directory and all the files in it become a single encypted file. When it decrypts, it has to make a decrypted copy and then delete the encrypted version, and I did not have enough space to do this to my entire home directory. Oh well, I thought. Well, shortly after Apple released a statement saying that the system was a little flawed and we really shouldn't use it unless we REALLY need the security. So, the single file containing all my files became corrupt in December, the day after my last class, preventing me from logging in or accessing my files in any way. The laptop technically still works fine and I've just been using it with a different user name. There is still a very small amount of hope that the files can be recovered, but it's very unlikely at this point. Here is the official list of the major items that were lost in the crash. In total, over 33GB of files were lost. That does not include any music (which is stored on an external hard drive) or any system software or applications (which are stored outside the home directory). The 33GB of my files include:

  • All photos taken between June 2004 and December 2005
  • Any homework done during that time
  • Techno remixes of songs I made
  • Any websites I had been working on
  • All episodes of Robot Chicken
  • All bookmarks to places I can't figure out to get to now
  • All AIM conversations between June 2004 and December 2005 (Currently the only gap in AIM conversations since 1997)
  • All e-mails received since the last time all my e-mails were lost, which was what, November?
  • Photoshops since June 2004
  • 3D models, including those used for my Escape Velocity Nova total conversion plugin set (which thankfully was not lost, as the plugins were with the application)
  • The scripts and literature for a few comics some friends and I were working on
  • The random things that I had downloaded, like Red vs Blue episodes and such

It has been a tough time, but I think by now I am finally over the worst of it, and the healing has begun.