Posted in Computer Graphics, Technology and Software

Still Battling with Files

I’ve been offline a few days because we were near the end of our 2GB download limit for the month! I haven’t done much online so was surprised… I can only think that the ethernet transfer of files between my computers was doing it, but I don’t know if that counts or not.

Anyway, we should find an ISP that gives us a better download limit. I tend to make the mistake of checking to find out what other people think of various ISPs, and they have such horror stories that I get put off! But the problems people have are sometimes individual to them and their circumstances, and they don’t always recognize that.

I still remember allowing Amazon reviews to put me off a book, but when I saw it in the library, I borrowed it, and thought it was good.

Dragging up files from the depths of my storage folders has led to strange experiences. Some files are damaged, but mostly I’m able to replace them with healthy ones. Sometimes the files aren’t of recognizable types, but IrfanView says something like “this is a .psd file with the wrong extension — should I rename it?” and after that, all the other applications are able to open the file as well. Sometimes I could rename files myself, and other times only IrfanView is able to do it… strange. Very useful little program, though!

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make mistakes… I came across a bunch of .PSF files and assumed they had something to do with Paint Shop Pro… but it couldn’t open them. IrfanView said they were really JPEGs and renamed them. After that, they opened in everything except Apple’s Preview, which insisted there was something funny about them. Finally I realized they were PhotoStudio files, and PhotoStudio can open them perfectly happily without messing around turning them into JPEGs! So I threw those strange hybrids out, and put the original .PSFs in a folder labelled PHOTOSTUDIO.

The reason I was so ready to believe they were really JPEGs was that the Toshiba’s mammoth crash a few months ago damaged files in weird ways… for instance, a Photoshop image of flowers is now named after a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. For some reason that reminds me of the bowl of petunias in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

The Toshiba’s crash was so bad that I could only save my files by using Linux to boot up the laptop. The recovery CDs did not a thing.

Anyway, it’s funny how quickly you forget what files are and how you made them. When they’re created in something you use a lot, it’s fine, but if you just tried an application a few times and then moved on, it can be hard to remember. A couple of times I found I was dealing with Paint Shop Pro presets, not actual images. PSP is a program I used a lot in the past. It has a complex raft of presets behind the scenes; I was happy to make lots of custom presets without always knowing what file type they were saved as. You were saving settings and that was all you knew about it, though I had a good radar for the PSP gradients (just change the extension and they can be used in Photoshop Elements!)

The image below shows one of my ‘unavailable files’ (looks as though the mouse has left home) but I was able to open it. A resave mended the thumbnail so that it recovered its body and colours! It’s hardly high art, but I see these things through rose-tinted spectacles now… like finding a much-loved old teddy bear and making sure it’s on a shelf nearby.

Mouse Unavailable at This Time

The reorganization continues…



I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

2 thoughts on “Still Battling with Files

  1. i know what you mean regarding reviews. I’ve taken to thinking that if a book has 19474 reviews of stars or better I really can ignore the one idiot who gives it 1!!

    1. Yes, I’ve decided that as well… though sometimes it works the other way and people say “this is great,” and you find you could have left well alone and your life would have been the better for it. Oh well. 🙂

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