Posted on Wed 28 November 2012

Beware of the clouds

Recently I noticed that some of the images in my blog posts weren’t being displayed. When I dug into this I discovered that it was only some of the images hosted on Skitch that were not being displayed properly. This turned out to be due to the migration of the free Skitch service to Evernote during late 2012. What appears to have happened is that:

  • Most Skitch images were migrated to an Amazon S3 server but as far as I can tell
  • There is no way for a Skitch user to access this ‘library’.
  • Private images were not migrated and the Skitch Image Download Tool is no longer there. These images have been lost.

This wasn't too difficult to fix — I only had two private images (not intentionally so), one of which I had available locally, and the other I recovered via Google. The remaining images on Skitch still work fine. When I moved this blog from Tumblr to scriptogr.am I also moved a lot of images over to Flickr so there aren’t many Skitch files left — mostly screenshots from software. I’m going to gradually move these to flickr.

What have I learned from this?

I generally pay attention to what’s happening on the Internet and in my emails but I completely missed this migration. Many of these files were only stored in ‘The Cloud’ because I didn’t deem them to be particularly important. When you use a free service and don’t have a local backup there’s a risk that this can happen: a service can be bought, closed down or changed and it’s beyond the user’s control. At least with a paid service such as Flickr this is less likely.

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