My grandfather met us at the door this morning with a smile, and waited for us to carry all the gear inside. He led us into the living room, where he’d spread out the contents of three or four boxes on the loveseat, coffee table, and easy chair: scores of black and white pictures dating back to at least the turn of the century. On the back, where he could remember faces and dates, he pencilled in information in scratchy uppercase lettering. After getting the camera set up and the mics in place, we started rolling.

Grampy did very well on his first day. With a quick break for lunch, we shot about two and a half hours’ worth of tape, which covered a thick pile of photos. It turns out that his side of the family shot a handful of pictures, while my grandmother’s side took whole albums worth. As a result, we had to set a large number of material aside where he couldn’t identify any of the subjects. (Sorry Grandma, we did our best!)

We did find a pile of photos my father has never seen, and I got a first look at my great grandfather—whose face is about the size of a pencil eraser in the photo. Grampy’s going to look for his other photos of our namesake tomorrow, and I’ve been warned that he’s not even warmed up yet. He also unrolled the family tree he’s been working on, which dates back to 1854, and fittingly, is written in pencil on the back of a roll of wallpaper.

Family tree

I was able to pull the video off the camera and onto my iBook with absolutely no problems—however, my iBook is having some kind of issue where it’s missing approximately 30 GIGS of hard drive space. I mean, it’s not there, and I have no idea where it went. I’ve cleaned every cache I can think of and burned off DVD’s to free up space, and run diagnostics: No luck. I’m going to break down tomorrow and pick up an external hard drive to store everything until I can get time to troubleshoot the problem. I had to twist my mother’s arm to get her to come to the local Target with me. The horror!

Update: From this link, I learned to do a simple thing:

Using the Finder’s Go to Folder feature (in the Go menu), look at the sizes of the contents of these folders, by pasting in these pathnames:


Simetimes, backup programs that cannot find an intended destination (or target) volume for a backup create a folder with the same name as the destination, and put the folder into the /Volumes directory. There are cases in which the entire startup volume has been backed up on itself, in a folder inside /Volumes. If the amount of missing space is about the size of your user folder, such a backup is likely to be the explanation. If you use Carbon Copy Cloner and have its preferences configured to create a backup on a schedule, and the intended destination volume is not mounted or is sleeping at the scheduled time, the backup is created in the /Volumes directory.

To check the size of the normally invisible /Volumes directory on the active startup volume, open a new Finder window. Select the startup volume in the list at the left, then choose column view (the one at the right of the three views). From the Finder’s Go menu, choose Go to Folder, and paste in:


The /Volumes directory becomes visible in the Finder; find its size by selecting it and typing Command I. My /Volumes directory is reported to be 12K.

I just found 48.6 gigs of space I didn’t have before, from an old copy of Deja Vu, which was dumping stuff on a ghost volume of my old Powerbook. w00t!

(I could see the ghost drive from the Terminal but couldn’t remember how to delete it because the name contained a space.)

Date posted: February 27, 2006 | Filed under family | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to Family History, Part Two.

  1. tbtine says:

    Is Verna feeling well?

  2. ren says:

    Yep, something’s got to be wrong. Feel her forehead.