Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 23/06/16

"Error Code 13: Please Replace User"

The trouble with doing things a certain way because that's the way you've always done them is that - when it is brought home to you that you've been doing things wrong - there's a hell of lot you have to do to put things right again.

I have just such an example from my own experience to share with you.

As I mentioned a week or so back, I've been passing my copious free time by scanning old negatives and photographs which have been lying in drawers for years, and which I felt needed digitising as a means of preserving them for the times long after I - and anyone who would actually know who was in the pictures for that matter - have gone.

(I might write a deep, meaningful piece about this in due course. I'm open to bribery not to, though)

The scanning part is straightforward enough, and re-orienting them and taking whatever restorative action can be taken isn't that much of a problem either. Where I've realised today that I've come unstuck is in annotating or labelling them. For this, I've been using IrfanView, the best little graphics viewing and manipulating program you could possibly get for free. It's a program which I have been using happily since not long after I got my first PC fifteen years ago.

What I have been doing is - once the image has been sorted out in my purloined copy of Paint Shop Pro 8 - going into the image in IrfanView, clicking on 'Image' > 'Information' > 'Comment', and then typing in my comment (about what or who is in the picture, when and where taken, and so on) and then 'OK'-ing out of it.

Now, this has not actually been an issue before, because I've always used IrfanView to look at the images forever afterwards. However, as I want others to be able to view the information about the old pictures I'm now dealing with, I was concerned that that data might not be available to them if they're using some other program to view them.

So I checked, and found that the image information which I had entered was not visible when you right-clicked on the image file and viewed its properties. I wondered why this was, and thought that possibly my installation of IrfanView was missing an important plugin.

After an hour or so's research, I realised that there was nothing wrong with the program; it was simply that I had been inputting the information to the wrong place. I needed to have clicked on 'Image' > 'Information' > 'IPTC info' and typing the info into the 'Caption' box there. Sure enough, doing it that way makes the information show up in the file's properties.

Two problems arose from this: firstly that I had done it wrong for close on six hundred scans; and secondly, that I had done it wrong for every single photograph I have uploaded from my camera since 2005 along with some other photos which I had scanned before. This evening I've gone through doing an awful lot of 'Ctrl' + 'C' > 'Ctrl' + 'V' to put the latest scans right, but now face the prospect of correcting some two thousand images from the camera.

I suppose it's just as well that I have nothing much else I can do while I'm waiting to get better.