All posts for the month January, 2017

From a new page on my non-blog website (

Around 2010 my backup hard drive started to fail. The filesystem became corrupted and unrecoverable. I used a tool called PhotoRec that would search through the raw blocks of a hard drive, looking for the “magic numbers” at the start of common media files like JPG files. Those files, without their filesystem information such as original filename and directory structure, were randomly named and placed into a single folder. Fortunately I could use the EXIF data stored in most JPG files to extract the date and time when the photo was taken, and write a little script to sort the folders by year and month.

As part of the process of recovering my photos, I found several thousand small texture images. I have no idea where they came from, or why they were on my failing backup hard drive. That drive had contained a decade’s worth of computer backups from our computers and the computers of friends and family, so maybe there was some application that used all these textures? It’s a mystery. Anyway, I thought I’d post them here in case they might be useful for someone.

See these mysterious textures here:

I recently started uploading photos to google photos, and it’s seemed to be pretty solid so far. However, when I’m trying to organize photos into albums by date (like wedding photos or vacation photos), the photo search seems to be a total failure!

Here are two photos taken in the same minute of the same day during our vacation to Hawaii:

It looks like Google Photos properly parsed the photo metadata (EXIF tags) and recognizes that both photos were taken on October 7, 2012 (which they were). However, when I search in Google Photos for “October 7, 2012” or “October 2012”, one of those photos does not show up anywhere!?!

Even weirder, is when I search for the original filenames, only one of these photos shows up!

Any ideas? My only thought is that since I uploaded all these photos the system is still trying to process all the images in the background and the search indices haven’t been updated?