—From EF—

Well, at least I don’t have to decide whether to impeach myself, but I am indeed going around in circles trying to put a whole pile of procrastinated accounting stuff in shape, so I sympathise. For me, overdue tasks have the aura of wet smelly mop, and the stinkier they are, the harder thay are to tackle. Sometimes I get somewhere by pretending I only have one thing to do, and choose the one that’s shortest and easiest as an appetizer.

Given how knotted and gnarly we all are these days, can you imagine what would happen if there was a national organized synchronized Knock Off Just One Thing That’s Overdue Day? If everybody, all at once, turned in their homework? Maybe we could get energy to start straightening out our national mess.

But I did do myself a huge favor today. Two weeks ago I needed to get a new system installed on my main computer, so I cleaned up its desktop, got rid of a bunch of silly crap, and backed up everything on Time Machine. When the spiffed-up unit came back home, I realized that an ancient app called NotePad had disappeared; the new system didn’t support it. Our laptop still had the old system, with a Word backup of the NotePad, but I hadn’t updated it, so the most recent info wasn’t there.

Here’s the catch: NotePad was where all the usernames and passwords were. Yup. After taking some deep breaths, I realized I could go to that Time Machine backup and get the data. I did a search on the backup but there was no .npd file. I web-searched and found an installer for the old warhorse app, put it on the laptop, and created a new NotePad. After filling it up with the stuff from the Word backup, at least I had something. I snooped in the System and found where the new data file was hidden. Back to Time Machine: nope, nothing there. Despair.

So I was writing an email to my genius Mac guru, describing my problem and asking if there might be some magic twanger that could find my stuff. And as I was writing, I looked at what I’d said and a lightbulb went Shazam! Within the System files there’s a Library with a file called Preferences. But for a reason I don’t remotely understand, there’s a User that has its own Library, with different stuff in its Preferences. So I went back to the Time Machine backup, found how to access that User, and whaddya know, my file was there.

Long story short, don’t break your brain trying to understand how a Mac works, just let it all wash over you and celebrate with me that I got my damn passwords back. And more than that, I could ditch the rancid guilt of not having protected my data. I DID do the right thing, I just didn’t know where the file would be, and the experts didn’t know either.

So maybe we can collectively back up our heads and do a restart and see whether sheer mulish determination might find an answer. It’s worth a try.


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