Because I started off using Macs, switched to Windows machines for a while, and then returned to the Cult of Apple, I still suffer from a bit of Post-Traumatic Operating System Upgrade Stress whenever I click on the "install" button that's presented to me when Apple comes out with an OS X update.
Today's Yosemite update to 10.10.3 went as smoothly as usual.
Before initiating it I reminded myself that those Blue Screen of Death days are over. I've never had a significant problem with Apple system upgrades. Now I trust that my Macbook Pro will install the software just fine and restart my computer without any worries.
Well, except for my own quirky anxieties, which I can't really blame on Apple.
The new Yosemite update includes Photos, which replaces the venerable iPhoto. I'm not very familiar with it yet. About all I know is that Photos works the same on my laptop as the iPhone/iPad version does on those devices. And that it can store photos and videos in The Cloud where any Apple device can access them.
After Yosemite 10.10.3 was installed, I rushed to see what Photos looked like. First impression: nice. I've always had problems figuring out where my photos and videos were in iPhoto, in no small part because I've got an astounding number of them.
Photos seemed like it had a cleaner look to it. Thus I was happy to take Apple up on its offer to transfer my 6,358 iPhoto images into The Cloud. Which required me forking over $3.99 a month to Apple, after being told that all of the crap I've got in iPhoto exceeded my free storage capacity.
OK, no problem.
Sure, I realize that if I subtracted from those 6,358 images all of the photos that I actually wanted to be videos, and all of the 1-second videos that I actually wanted to be photos, along with all of the photos of people and places that I barely cared about when I took them and definitely don't care about now, along with all of the out-of-focus, blurry, and otherwise piece-of-shit photos I've inexplicably kept for years and years, plus the photos that make me look like even more of an aging geezer than I care to admit to myself I am -- I'd probably end up with 200 or so photos that are really worth keeping.
But since I'm lazy, and it was a hell of a lot easier to just tell Apple to upload all of my iPhoto crap into The Cloud, those 6,358 images are currently wending their way into Apple's cyberspace at the not-impressive speed of my Qwest DSL connection.
Last time I checked, the transfer into The Cloud was 3% done. After six hours or so of uploading.
Which got me to thinking about how my thousands of photos and videos, along with those of countless other people, are being stored at massive server farms, maybe right here in Oregon, as reported in a 2013 story in the Portland Oregonian about a Prineville data center.
Data center energy use has become a hot topic in the Northwest and beyond because these massive server farms use huge volumes of electricity -- as much as a small town -- to power thousands of computers and to cool those long corridors of hardworking machines.
...Apple needs new data centers to power its iCloud service, which stores its customers photos, music, calendars and other digital information uploaded from iPhones, iPads and iMacs.
...Famously secretive, Apple has said little about the details of its project beyond what's on file with city planners. It had said previously, though, that it would use only renewable energy for the facility. Today, it said that mix will include renewable sources "such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal power."
That apparently includes hydropower from the Bonneville Power Administration via the Central Electric Cooperative, a regional power agency serving the Prineville area.
Oh, man, I began to have anxious visions of my 6,358 images sitting there on an Apple central Oregon server farm, sucking up power from Bonneville Dam, which might well be facing water shortages as global warming reduces snowpack in the mountains whose rivers channel into the Columbia River, thereby necessitating cutoffs of water freely flowing downstream, causing spawning salmon to struggle upstream in un-fish-friendly conditions, all because of...
My desire to save almost every freaking photo I've ever taken, including shots such as this one of our previous dog with a towel on her head that I not only don't remember taking, but can't even envision why I'd ever take.
Hope you survive, salmon. I worry about you a little bit, but I worry a lot more about how much time it would take for me to delete all of the unwanted photos that are currently wending their way into The Cloud.
And who knows? Someday I might find that I really need a photo of our dog with a towel on its head. When I do, I'll know where to find it.