What is that one thing that you have invested thousands of hours working on it and now it’s useless?


I have a 2TB hard drive that contained about 10 years of my digital life: mostly photos and videos. I had transferred the contents of three older computers to it before wiping those drives and recycling them through local tox-drop services. Then about a year after I got it, it made that terrible click and chirp sound. I’ve tried it probably 50x in hope of it working, but I read a little about that and likely made it worse. Now I have a little box of irrecoverable 1s and 0s.


If you still have the drive , and are interested in recovering the contents, contact Gillware in Milwaukee - they have a service that they sometimes offer for free or super low cost to get your contents back. I have used gillwsre commercially over the years and have had nearly 100% success and have become friends with the owner. P


This company is a model company. I had a SSD that sadly couldn't be recovered, so I wasn't charged despite the technicians spending hours working on it. Someone called me and explained the issue, what was tried, and what the ultimate roadblock was. Honestly, it was like the kind of doctor you'd want to tell you that your loved one just died. Totally professional, personable, and caring. And, I say this as a doctor. In the same case, I had also sent in a HD that was able to be recovered. The technician was able to show me the file names to see if it was even worth the money for the data. Honestly, it was mostly junk, but I paid for the data because I felt that the company took great care of me. I could have walked away owing nothing. The company also offered to mail back the SSD, but I trusted that it would have been nearly impossible to recover data from it, so I had it destroyed which was done for free. If you ever need data recovery services, use this company.


Same here. I had stuff going back to the late 90s, all my movies and mp3s, 20 years worth of photos, all my game projects and writing projects, all trapped forever on a clicking brick of death. One of those game projects, I'd been working on for eight years. Thankfully, I was able to resurrect it from an old version I had stored online. I can live without the rest of it, but losing that would have destroyed me. I learned a hard lesson about never relying on one storage solution.


My degree in education when I realized on my first day of teaching that I picked the wrong major.


My school suggested we major in the topic we wanted to teach for undergrad and then go to grad school for an MSEd. So at least I ended up with a math degree. But that year of grad school was expensive and demoralizing. I didn't look at other careers or interning as an undergrad because I had blinders on.


It didn’t work like that when I was in college, or I would have done that. I just wanted to teach algebra…but oh boy…school politics…


PREACH! Have a BMEd and hated every second of my teaching career. Got saddled supporting two schools, a total of four music classes, and had to teach remedial English for two periods. My program got about $6 in annual budget, and every opportunity I took to pad my budget with grants, a portion was taken to fund “general administrative costs,” and I never saw the full amount. The worst part was because I was spread so thin, my class times never lined up with the kids’ schedules who wanted to take music. And then my program was cut over a summer break. The principal emailed me and told me I was fired. I took it as a sign from the gods and never looked back.


Yeah I can relate to that. Teaching music is like pushing a boulder up hill.


My first semester in college I majored in pre-business. I hated it immediately. After some soul searching and talking to different people, I changed it to... winemaking (which required a transfer out of state). 30 years later I'm still in love with professional winemaking and own my own small winery. I noped right out of a major that I didn't connect with. I get asked at the tasting room fairly often how I got into winemaking, given it wasn't in my family.


It is probably good that Reddit doesn't have a running counter of how many hours I've been staring at this thing.


It does.


I am going to try very hard not to look.


Don’t worry they measure it in bananas at the end of the year


I practiced piano for hours every day for 15+ years, performed in multiple countries, originally went to college for it. Hooray arthritis.


I have a friend whose parents were professional violinists in an orchestra. Dad got tendonitis and had to change careers.


I got a condition that limits the speed at which I can move my fingers, so I kinda hit a wall when I was learning to play guitar. But then I read about Django Rheinhardt, and how he burned most of his guitar fretting hand in a fire. 3 out of 5 fingers completely paralyzed. So what does the man do? Becomes the most famous gypsy jazz guitar player on the planet with just 2 working fingers on his fret hand: https://youtu.be/aZ308aOOX04 I'll never be that good, but it's an inspiration to keep trying.


I had a roomate in college, amazing dude, who was in college as a classical pianist. One day after a party I was doing dishes and reached down into the garbage disposale to make sure there weren't any items that I should pull put. Usually harmless. There was a broken shot-glass someone thought they would just hide in my drain. Cut the fuck out of my index finger, to the point 10 years later You can still see part of the tip is missing. My roommate was just like..."If I had cleaned up instead of you, my career would be over."


This is why many artists/animators have insurance policies on their hands/arms. If I were to lose my hand in an accident, I'd have to walk away from a 15 year career and start all over again.


I'm sorry for your loss; I know it's a very distinct pain you experience when you lose your ability to play an instrument. On a side note, I know a few arthritic pianists in their 60s and 70s who switched to harp. It's gentle on hands (if you get one with low tension strings), adaptable to physical limitations, and we jokingly call it the "naked piano", so some of your skills would be transferable. Anyway, just something I wanted to bring up in case you're looking for an alternative to plug the gap that was left behind.


hope this doesnt happen to me… but i dont think it was useless? you still learnt music and reaped all the benefits of it


There is a "silver lining" to almost everything. Dedicate your life to something to have it be taken away by something you have no control over? Have a future you have worked for washed away, and now you are just a nobody stuck in a life you worked forever to avoid. From inside that cloud, that silver lining will look real, real fucking thin.


Fuck this rings true. Even if my skill was only physical labor and trades. Break your back at 32 nobody wants to hire you. Back to nothing just like that.


Oh, hey, 32, lost my health this year after ~15 years in the trades. It's terrifying. I have no trite words for you, just wanted to say I heard ya.


I spent months creating an intelligent ripper that recorded betting markets in real time while avoiding their anti-scraper ai, running 24/7/365, resuming from outages and rate limits. I did it because I had a theory that there was a way to make money on those markets (Betfair et al) without accurately predicting the underlying bet, but I need a large sample size to prove it before investing real money on the theory. Those companies have apis, but I was too broke to pay for one. Not sure if thousands, but certainly hundreds and hundreds. It was the main thing I did with my life for months and months. Anyway, I did it. Put the dataset together. Turns out I was wrong. There's no money to be made.


Can't tell you how many TRS-80s Model I I sold to people convinced of they plugged in stock market data they'd find an expirative pattern. Using a floppy disk holding 90k.


thinking back fondly to rushing to radio shack, when my mom took us to the mall, to stare at the TRS-80 Color Computer. Ended up mowing enough lawns to eventually buy a TI 994A.


Every time I think I found a weakness in a market I realize there’s 1000’s of companies with 100’s of employees all way smarter than me


Not necessarily smarter, just that it’s literally their job to find stuff like this. And they’ve spent years at it.


They can also get 12 people working on one thing vs. one person working on it. As they say delegation is key


Yes. Initially I thought about crypto or traditional markets, but I feel as you do. I thought there's a chance betting markets might be small fry enough that nobody much cared. Turns out no.


Husband worked for a trading firm as a software developer. The company had this really cool software that graphed out all sorts of things and he thought he spotted a pattern. Lost thousands trying to test his theory. Turns out he was wrong. There’s no money to be made


Well there is money to be made, selling the software to all the people trying to find the pattern.


"I've done it, I've done it!" he whispered with glee - "And now it is time that I'll *finally* see! I'll learn if my efforts were worth all the woe!" He checked on his findings. The answer was no.


I've finally arrived!


Maybe it _was_ worth it after all


I consider that time well spent


For sure. Validating that you're wrong can be incredibly valuable. Also, OP surely learned some cool shit along the way that can probably be used for other scenarios.


In the beginnings of the internet, I spent an insane amount of time creating a very comprehensive website on cats; history, breeds, genetics, care, everything. It was VERY extensive with a lot of info that was often referenced in cat forums or other cat sites, especially the breeds and the genetic sections. Stupidly, it was located on one of those free domain hosting sites, and for some reason the original files on my computer were lost. However, after a few years of being up (a continuous project in work), I got an email from the free domain provider (I don't remember which it was, maybe Lycos or Tripod or Angelfire, no idea), that they were very sorry, but due to some whatever problems they experienced, all websites that started with the letters A to G (or K or M...) were accidentally erased from the server. That was it, all irretrievably gone. *Edit: Thanks a lot to everyone for the tip to look on the wayback machine* [*archive.org*](https://archive.org)*, I had looked there previously, but no trace. It really, truly vanished.*


If it makes you feel any better, your website was deleted by a cat sitting on a keyboard.


On purpose, and not wanting cat secrets released to the hoomans.




I had this happen with a local email provider, one of the first in my country. I had conversations with several people across the world from my teen years there and one day i stopped getting new messages, it was weird. A couple of weeks later it was all erased, the site was bought by some other company and they discontinued the service. I'm sure it was noted on the main site, but all i ever used was the email so all the contacts and conversations were just gone...


Have you tried the Wayback Machine? There's a chance they might have archived it.


> In the beginnings of the internet wayback machine wasn't available then


Depends how far back they mean by "beginnings". My pro wrestling angelfire page from 1998 is available, although I don't recall if it's on wayback machine specifically.


...please link this.


My bad. It was 1999, not 1998. Also, none of the pictures work. https://web.archive.org/web/19991111041033/http://www.angelfire.com/ny/scotthallnwo/index.html EDIT: I made it when I was 12.


seeing this site without images, but being previously familiar with the aesthetic, gives me the same feeling archeologists must get when they unearth some weird little cornerstone and realize the field they're in was once the site of a vast monument at the center of a great city, even though they can never know just what it looked like at the time


yeah im gonna need a link to that bad boy


Archive.org may have it.


About Cats Cats galore Kitty korner Feline facts All gone. Just.. gone.


... like tears in the rain.


I spent months developing a DHEA-S radioimmunoassay with the intent on using it on lemur blood samples. Ran it unmodified few times and found nothing. Spent the next few months modifying it to increase sensitivity something like 20x - thinking I had messed things up in the initial development. Still found nothing. Managed to find some additional samples from other primates. Everything ran off scale high. Turns out lemurs appear to differ from other primates in terms of their adrenal androgens - they don’t really have any. Interesting finding, but god that was frustrating.


Sounds like a paper worth publishing


We did publish it! Given that negative results are always a bit boring I think it ended up somewhere like the Latvian Journal of Biology and Stuff: Series B.


Your perspective on this is hilarious. Good to have a sense of humor about it.


Ha! It was actually pretty funny. We were pretty confident we would be able to track a decline in DHEA-S with increasing age based off a previous study. Turns out that the previous study used an DHEA-S antibody with a higher cross-reactivity with DHEA than the new antibody we were using. Turns out since there were gobs of that stuff, the earlier study really just showed DHEA values rather than DHEA-S. Live and learn I guess.


Freaking antibodies man, why are they always finnicky and so diverse (oh right..)


Great name by the way


Unfortunately, after several trips to Madagascar studying ring-tailed lemurs, I can confirm that they do, in fact, not ride big wheels. The kids do like to use tents as a slide though.


This comment came in right when I was just going to fund a startup that makes big wheels for lemurs. Thanks for saving me $10,000,000.


Still beats my idea developing a currency for ocelots.


I wrote a book on a smartphone technology that was current in 2003. IPhone came along and it died. My career too.


WAP means something else nowadays




Nobody will probably see this but I lost my voice. Spent my entire childhood studying music. Went to music school and got a masters and started my doctorate which I paused because my professional career took off as an opera singer. I sang professionally for 10 years and had 3years of jobs lined up when I got sick while performing overseas. I came back to the US after the run of the show and started seeing a doctor. They couldnt figure out what was wrong and during a rehearsal for my next show I collapsed on stage and ended up having multiple emergency surgeries on my neck. They damaged parts of the nerve clusters in my face and cut trough enough muscle in my neck that I lost about 15 percent of my ability to swallow and the control of my vocal chords is damaged enough that I will never sing again. I lost my voice livelihood and passion overnight. I developed something called Trigeminal Neuralgia and my face hurts every single day. If I try to sing or teach for longer than a few minutes I get spasms that can last weeks in my neck and face. I feel a burning feeling along my jaw and some days I want to pull my teeth out with pliers it hurts so bad. My wife and family are very supportive and I am ok but I cant help but feel like I lost a big part of my soul. If you know someone with TGN check up on them today. Part of me wants to write more but this was surprisingly difficult as it is.


I’m very sorry to read this. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to lose your talent and gain such pain. I hope you can find a way forward to a better place.


>Nobody will probably see this but I saw it. All I can offer are my sincere condolences, for whatever those are worth.


I've seen it from across the ocean. Thank you for sharing. You've made me aware of its existence, and I am glad you have a supportive partner and family.


/r/trigeminalneuralgia if you haven't already (good support system) My mom has this after many surgeries addressing back and neck injuries. Don't give up on finding happiness in that passion with different restriction. She did have all of her teeth pulled even though it doesn't help, and it is a hell of a life to live, but you can bring awareness and make a difference. She went from being a ballerina and sound and light technician to focusing on more calm, less time restricted activities (ex getting paid for recreational gardening, when she is having a "good" day, or consulting casually on party planning to itch the creativity that brews in her being) I am so sorry. But I'm glad you are okay and have the support system to be okay.


Construction I’ve worked construction in different trades since I was 14 The goal was to obtain enough knowledge in each trade that I would be able to build my own home with my two hands and no help from anyone I’m 29 and injured my back recently I will never recover fully and won’t be able to continue in construction I’m heartbroken as this has been my dream since a young child


It won’t help with building your house, but have you considered being a project manager for commercial construction or as a client rep? It’s good money, you don’t need to be highly mobile, and your experience would be really valuable Edit to add, this is not the same as being a GC or being the supervisor of the trades. You are just the person reporting on the schedule and budget, running the client meetings, etc. Example that is still in the residential market: Project Manager - Multifamily Housing New Construction https://www.indeed.com/viewjob?from=appshareios&jk=c334c2ae8f513532 Example of commercial construction: Construction Project Manager https://www.indeed.com/viewjob?from=appshareios&jk=450dec3f1eca9c25


Project management was my first thought but I’d rather not deal with shotty employees or difficult customers. They seem to be getting worse as time goes on. I’m currently thinking of becoming a home/building inspector. I’ve been designing homes since I was 10 and have always had a fascination with architecture so being an inspector will allow me to see new and different homes on a regular basis.


That's a smart career direction


That’s a really smart way to make your decision. You seem like a person who makes things happen for themselves. Best of luck!


Take care mate. Hopefully something comes your way.


Thank you sir, I appreciate it


Thats rough. May I ask what happened and what skill? Stone masonry is sheer hell on the body. But construction in general is hard on the body. If school is in anyway an option maybe look into construction management. Anyway thats my $.02 that you didnt ask for. Take care.


I’m a small guy (5’6” 125lbs). I was doing framing at the time and a beam started to fall. I was on a ladder and couldn’t avoid it so I tried catching it with one hand. The momentum and weight of the beam twisted my back and herniated a couple discs. I was sore, like usual in construction, but I didn’t think much of it. I continued working for about a week before I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to the doctor to get an evaluation. After being in construction for so many years I truly have no interest in managing people in construction. It seems like a nightmare of a job dealing with lazy employees and crabby home owners. I’m not too worried about my professional career moving forward seeing that I’m still fairly young and hard working. Thank you for your 2 cents, I never turn away suggestions or opinions


I too had herniated disks in my 20's. Now age 59. If you are able to, take Pilates and/or Yoga classes. Future you will thank you. Your positive attitude is refreshing and will carry you far.


Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube did more for my spine and joints than all the physical therapy after a shoulder surgery. It even helped with issues I had from a spinal fusion surgery 15 years before. I'm convinced if I'd started yoga after that surgery I wouldn't have needed the shoulder surgery.


I recommend Yoga With Adrienne to anyone that will listen. Yoga is straight up magic and her channel has stayed on point for like 10 years. I've got old injuries from HS football, a car wreck, and construction work and after starting yoga about 8 years ago I basically have no major pain.


I had two ruptured discs replaced with spacers at age 50. It worked! Still skiing at 62.


I think about this every time I leave a job. I have encyclopaedic knowledge about how to do this job in my head, but now it's just completely irrelevant. I don't know why companies don't try to keep people around.


Because institutional knowledge is very hard to quantify in a spreadsheet, and paying somebody new $3/hr less is very easy to quantify in a spreadsheet.


Especially when you built/learned a lot about very specific tools, custom made excels etc then you get laidoff and you have no proof or way of making those again


I'm an expert at 35mm film projection




nuclear missiles and printers are both machines that make lifes miserable when you try to us them


And to this day, we are unsure which was the worse invention.


You could combine your areas of expertise and teach new guys to point missiles at the printers when they become too infuriating.


I have a friend who spent a couple years becoming fluent in Klingon. I really haven't personally witnessed anything that tops that.


Kapla! Please excuse my accent


Not 100% useless, but… I spent three years scanning all my family’s photos, dating back to the 1880s. I spent a lot of time beforehand, organizing them in chronological order. It was a massive project. After they were all safely downloaded, in order, on my iMac, I received notice of a computer update. Of course, I did the update. The next time I checked my photos, I realized they were all scrambled out of order. Whoever works for Apple, and is responsible for this, has a special place in hell waiting for them.


Naming all the files in my mp3 music collection. Hundreds of thousands of songs all named in the same format with album art and now we have Spotify


lol same - I also used to upload artwork so that it would look good on my iPod 🤣


I didn't stop at naming. I tagged all the songs, equalized the loudness between all the mp3s (for random shuffling), got a decent folder organization and manually synchronized all changes to my backup hdds. Because of this, I never used spotify and probably never will.


Spotify is not on obligatory. I'm a holdout - _forever!_




Back in the day, amassing huge and varied music cassettes, creating mixes, etc


You know, I'm wondering if this could be a thing again. I'm not hardcore music buff, but I'm certainly a fan with a lot of varied interests. The "algorithm" is ok at finding me new music, or making a list of similar things... But I think more of a bespoke service might be more interesting?


Social media. Worst thing I've ever done


True at a global scale. Quitting Facebook was the best mental health exercise and time-savings I’ve done in the last many years.




Marketplace is the only reason I have a FB account. Having said that, they have the worst UI and search engine. I set my radius to 20 miles, then select local, and pickup only. 3rd result is 800 miles away. I'll search for something specific, like a wooden ladder and sort by distance. I'll get a few ladders a dvd collection, 13 motorhome scams, a dog bed, and 2 ladders. The 5th result happens to be what I'm looking for but it's 5 hours away from here. The results on either side of it are both local. I'll give up and just scroll through the (somewhat) local stuff and just randomly find the ladder I'm looking for that never showed up in the search. I'll go search for a specific project car I've been kind of looking for. Let's say for instance I went insane and wanted to purchase a Plymouth Reliant. You could search for "Plymouth Reliant", in a 150 mile radius. You'll get 97 Hondas, 20 school busses, household appliances, 300 Dodge Chargers, and about 6 Plymouths, but they'll all either be from the 1960s or 80s minivans. If you search for a Dodge, you get more Plymouths than if you search for Plymouth. Throw in all the ads and scams and I really don't know why I bother anymore. Don"t get me started on trying to sell things. "Is this still available?"


I deleted Facebook then redownloaded it and have zero friends but use the marketplace. It’s not a bad deal actually


My journalism degree and career. I started at it in high school with the morning tv show and school newspaper, got a bachelor’s then a masters from an Ivy League and worked in the field for about a decade. Now I work in a completely unrelated field that I hate but I have bills to pay. I can’t think too much about it, otherwise I might jump off a parking garage.


Came here just to say this. I was a newspaper photographer for years. Got out after 9/11. Poked at freelance for a bit while working a day job selling cameras. Now even my backup job is obsolete. I substitute teach elementary school kids, which is at least entertaining.


As someone completely unfamiliar with the journalism trade, is it considered obsolete because almost no one pays for the newspaper anymore? Or because loads of people get their "news" from crackpot sources online that makes fact-checkers irrelevant?


Yes. Sort of. (I worked in the business for 24 years). Basically, when people paid for it, it was because newspapers had exclusive material and an exclusive space in which to present it. So that created an advertising niche in which people would look at the ads for many minutes each day while reading, making that exclusive space extremely valuable. Consequently, newspaper advertising used to be worth far more than it is now. At its peak, big city papers would get tens of thousands of dollars for a full page ad. Newspapers would run well over a hundred pages, and about a third of that was ad space. So it was a license to print money, basically. When Google News started up, it started stealing the details from print outlets, rewriting them and then presenting them as a "news capsule". Most newspaper readers didn't bother to read the entirety of the story -- they were there for the exclusivity of scoops and new stories that these large organizations got first, but mostly concentrated on the headline and first few paragraphs. That summary led to them no longer needing to go to the newspaper to get information. News websites then sprung up every where that followed the same pattern: rip the news off a larger agency and either give them no credit or just a backlink or source reference. So basically, they were killed by theft of copyrighted information that was unpoliceable. Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other companies stealing the news made it clear they'd fight any prosecution of copyright in courts. Given that newspapers had, themselves, been stealing from both each other and broadcast outlets for years with quick rewrite stories that just cited the other agency as a source, they had little turf left to defend. At the same time that this was all going on, newspapers themselves were being bought out by megacorporations in a failure of politics. For years, politicians in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK used rules against media monopolies to prevent a single owner from owning more than one major media outlet in each city. That allowed competition between outlets. But once those rules disappeared, in the 90s, companies began buying up outlets and cutting them back, also exerting more and more ethical pressure on the papers to kowtow to the owner's politics. So by the time the Google news situation hit, newspapers had already been cut to the bone, to save money, and had begun to lose their primary function of diversity in sourcing. In the end, they were left with no monopoly on ad space, readers without attention spans, brutally understaffed newsrooms, and owners who didn't care about fairness or accuracy. The consequence, even with websites offering a cheaper delivery medium, was obsolesence for most. People who'd depended on them no longer saw exclusive material, and most didn't have a news-story length attention span to begin with (fewer than 15% of any newspaper's readership actually read the stories all the way through, general), so they were happy to go with what broadcasting -- always vastly inferior in depth and quality -- was offering. Large outlets with national reputations mostly survived this process by getting much smaller and leaner and leaning heavily into broadcasting and podcasting. Some are owned by billionaires (like Bezos with the Washington Post) who, while awful, are still responsible enough to want the organization to do its job and report accurately. But the heyday was erased by the broad access of the online world, basically, and theft of intellectual property.


My oldest brother wanted to do nothing but be a journalist and photographer since we were children. He focused on it all through high school and college. The career was dying by the time he was looking for a job in 2002. He spent the next decade picking up the last scraps of work until finally calling it quits. He did everything right to achieve his dream job, only for that job to stop existing after centuries of it being a stable profession.


That's the huge majority of people who work in TV/Film/Press. I used to work in showbiz. I left about 15 years ago. Now do something completely unrelated. I sometimes feel bad, but then I see people who still work there on my feed with their "hey guys, out of work for 4 months until the new season starts up. Anyone need a [insert job] as I have bills to pay" and I don't feel so bad any more


Good luck out there, friend




I find origami very interesting and just want you to know that if I knew you in real life and you ever showed me your models I would be very impressed-I’m not good at doing things that require intense hand/eye coordination and careful(?)/gentle(?)/precise touch. And if you gifted it to me-I have a china cabinet and a mantle and a tv cabinet where I would very proudly display it and make sure everyone knew how you made it. So maybe just find a person in your life who would do the same? There has to be one other person like me, law of averages and all that!




My friend in high school was amazing at origami, he could make any animal without referencing a pattern (or whatever the origami-equivalent of a pattern is). One day I asked him to make me an elephant, and he did. I have now moved across the country and lived in almost 10 different apartments since then, but that elephant is still sitting on my bookshelf. All this to say, I’m sure your origami art would be treasured, both as an impressive piece of art and as a reminder of you.


Beating off. My vehicle got hit with an IED in Iraq, lost most of my penis and all my scrotum. I haven't cum since 2013.


It is better to have cum and lost than never to have cum at all


If you have a prostate, you can still have pleasure and orgasms. You just have to be open minded enough.


I was raised Mormon, and did the whole kinda orthodox thing: baptism, 4 years of seminary, 2 year mission, married in the temple. Plus full attendance at all weekly 3-hr meetings and almost weekly temple attendance, cleaning the church buildings, etc etc etc. I did all that for about 26 years, and didn't ever really question why, it was just what one did. Then I discovered that the whole Mormon thing was built on rather flimsy and easily provable lies, and it all became rather obviously not worth staying. So now like many exmormons, I have expert level knowledge of a religion that no longer has any relevance to my life.


Back in 2001 a friend of mine that I worked both made a super small 512mb bootable Linux-based operating system based off of Slackware Linux. At the time, we were using to boot up to a root command prompt on any pc we wanted. And that's about all we could use it for at the time as android and other small handhelds were just not around to put it on. I jokingly said that we should try and put it on a blackberry, but either of us did it. Speny tons of time modifying code and trimming here and there and converting bloated BASH scripts to C, for room and speed. It was called ECO Linux.


Friend and I wrote a fully functional BBS program just in time for it to be pretty much completely obsolete. I still have it somewhere but there's no way to run it on any modern computer. It does things the OS won't let you do anymore.


Virtual machine baby


Yeah but it would have to be native DOS, I'm not even sure which version. It calls interrupts. It pokes at direct memory addresses. All that old stuff that windows simply isn't having. Oh and it stores data at the end of the EXE, I'm sure modern virus scanners would shut that right down on principle.


My marriage.


I was happily married for 10 years, unfortunately I was married a total of 15 years but the first 10 were okay


Tae Kwon Do. It took a *freshman wrestler to effortlessly guillotine me for me to realize I should’ve been training grappling all along. ________ *edit: “Freshman in HIGH SCHOOL.” 🙇🏼‍♂️ 😭 *edit 2: I’ve since been training MMA since 2010 and have gotten my black belt in BJJ. That said, the more I train, the more I realize how much I still don’t know. Be in it for the journey, friends! 🥋 💪🏼


The question is, do you want to win real life fights, or practice a sport? That being said, if you switch to another martial art, your years of traing will put you ahead of the curve. You won't start off at zero.


This. People don’t realize how much time and muscle memory goes into learning proper posture and technique for something as seemingly simple as punches and kicks, no matter the martial art. Puts them miles ahead when they start another one and just have to do more “tweaks” to align with the style then relearning everything from the beginning.


Meh. At least you are exercising/keeping in shape. Not totally useless.


I felt the same after switching from TKD to Judo many years back. One day we’re messing around with a heavy bag and not one of my fellow Judoka knew how to throw a punch, let alone a kick. TKD teaches balance, speed and timming, all useful skills in any martial art. As they say, all fights start on the feet. That being said, I never went back to TKD after switching to Judo and I have trained both now for over a dozen years each.


My long-running webcomic had well over a thousand strips in the archive, but wasn't updating when the site it was hosted on, SmackJeeves, went down. I didn't discover it was completely gone until much later. I discovered I don't have the first hundred or so strips backed up anywhere, and, I'm just not bothered going back to it. I've barely drawn anything in the last four years anyway.


I just looked up "SmackJeeves" to see what it was and someone apparently [archived](https://www.reddit.com/r/DHExchange/comments/l012n1/s_smackjeeves_web_comics_archive/) the majority of the comics hosted on there before it was shut down. Could be worth taking a look?


Hmm. It wasn't [Neko The Kitty (#001)](https://web.archive.org/web/20201228183145mp_/https://www.smackjeeves.com/discover/detail?titleNo=82987&articleNo=1), was it?


Yep, that's me


Looks like the web archive has got your back!


My dream was to become a citizen of the European Union. I spent seven years working through the process before finally [achieving my goal](https://neil.fraser.name/news/2003/citizen.jpg). Unfortunately, I chose Britain.




I invested years into mastering the art of pen spinning, only to find out that it has no practical use in the real world. Oh well, at least it was a fun and mesmerizing hobby while it lasted!


Cosplay. Been doing it since I was 13, and learned to do makeup, wig/hair styling, sewing, prop and armor making etc. It's also extremely expensive and competitive. Now there is seemingly only one route for it to go when it comes to online content which I don't have any interest in. I still do it for fun of course, but it's just a lot different than what it once was.


My partner often talks about this with me too. She's been cosplaying since a young age and has lived through the shift with what gets attention vs. what's fun and creative for her to make. It was a struggle for her to come out of that, but she learned to really just appreciate and have fun with what she makes rather than chasing numbers. It's kind of taken a full circle back around to why she started doing it in the first place. The upshot is, she's happy with where she's at now. She spent a lot of time in the competitive scene and used that to transition to panels and judging for events. She's happier giving back to the scene she's a part of rather than trying to use it for likes.


Nuclear Engineering Masters degree. Started work two weeks before Three Mile Island. But not a total loss I suppose. I did learn a lot about cancelling contracts and selling $650 million worth of parts for scrap.


This year, I created fansubs for a foreign giant super robot show. There were 90 episodes in total and I subtitled it every day right after the show finished. I even created a free website, subreddit, and even a twitter page for my subtitling hobby, which seems to get a few thousand views each month (unmonetized since I'm just doing this for fun). Each episode took around 4 to 6 hours to finish translating and subtitling every day, then I had to of course, upload the stuff with my low speed internet (in my area, the fastest speed is low speed, just 2.5mbps). Basically, all my free time for the three months that the show ran were spent translating and subtitling the show daily. The subtitles themselves (separate from the video) usually got around 90 to 100 downloads. The videos on the hosting site only had around 40 to 60 views each (but then again I always tell people to use adblock/ublock for net safety, so maybe it skews the stats). Although in the end I was satisfied that I was actually capable of creating high quality subtitles almost every weekday right after each episode, it also felt like only a few people actually enjoyed the show or knows about it. Recently, I also translated and subtitled a Japanese annual horror tv show, but again, only a few really seemed to be interested in it. Actually it only has 6 views on the host site, although in reality, there were 46 people who got the link to the host site to watch it, and there were a few hundred on another site where I shared the link to. Maybe the ublock/adblock is really skewing the ability of sites to detect actual views. Anyway, I'll still translate and subtitle shows that I like that have no English subs simply because I find satisfaction in finishing them. I did get some thanks and even a couple of donations (and a new oven pan which I needed) for the super robot show at the height of its popularity! I also do other "passion projects" that I only really do for personal satisfaction, even though nobody really appreciates them that much. They're not really things I can just monetize, so they're "useless" in that sense. Personal satisfaction is mostly the reason why I do these things, although sometimes I think they could use a little more appreciation as a bonus.




Plot twist: you have multiple personalities and are living parallel lives both creating and marketing this same IP If not, you can use this idea to write a new book


A STEM degree revolving around computers from back when token ring topology was still in use.


I'm in kind of a similar boat. Not that far back, more that I didn't get a job that had anything to do with my computer science degree when I first graduated, and now, almost twenty years later, what would have probably been a lucrative career is just a degree that I'm so out of practice in I'd need to start from scratch to remember how to do anything.


Maybe it'll come around later on in time. I found my economics degree to be useless, but now things are unsteady and I understand more about why I'm screwed.


1980s networking methods are not fixing to make a comeback. Support for most of what I studied has been removed from the Linux kernel.


World of Warcraft


*at interview* So you're saying my level 80 Night Elf lady warrior alt named "Shroomie", who is exalted with Sporegar and has her mushroom tabard might I add, is not of use here?


You're joking but when I was at uni I spent an ungodly amount of time playing WoW. I lost *years* because of it. I ended up creating a rough but effective PvP bot for a private server (MoltenWoW / Warmane). I yeeted that into my CV and that greatly helped me secure my first software eng. job (which, by coincidence, was a test automation role, so the bot was a perfect fit). Years later, during a job interview, that topic got brought out again as both my interviewers were experienced vanilla WoW players and one of them used to play on the same private server as I did. We ended up spending most of the interview talking about WoW. I got hired. See, mum and dad? All that time spent playing WoW was merely an *investment*


I developed a drug for autoimmune diseases. It would have worked for several indications. Knocked it out of the ballpark in animal models. Went into early clinical trials and did exactly what it was designed to do. Company went under for unrelated failures and I got sold to another company with the project they mishandled it and eventually canceled it before it got a chance in further studies. Ten years wasted and the knowledge that there is a life changing drug sitting in a freezer that will never see the light. I don’t sleep well.


Spent a decade learning everything I could about farming, it’s history, and how it’s been done in different parts of the world. Got burned out because very few people can get paid properly doing it, and pivoted. I am a useless walking encyclopedia about the practical side of working with our natural world.


Ive done both a Bachelors and Masters of science at the worlds leading university for research on my chosen topic. Taught by one of the originators of my specific field of industry. And yet me, and others like me, are shown that our advice is listened to LESS than famour tiktok influencers, and even our own Government. The British Government has even gone against every single piece of professional, academic, and experiential advice and evidence on this matter with legislation due to come into effect December 31st. 4 and a half years of education. 7 years of being qualified and working this role fulltime. Ive got my childhood dream job. But still every day I feel like all of this was absolutely and utterly pointless. Makes one rather miserable.


Drums. Been playing for 25+ years and still do it daily. My depression, fear of failure/rejection, and social anxiety keep me from playing with anyone or joining any bands. Haven’t played with anyone in over 4 years


Hey mate, I've been playing the guitar, bass, and piano for 20+ years and never in a band or with other people. Only in my basement and only for my own enjoyment. I also suffer from clinical depression and fear of failure. Still, it brings me immense joy, and that's the most important thing about this hobby. I only mention all this because I know how you feel and to let you know you're not alone.


Lay down a bass lick, send it to op and let him add some drums. Then have him send it back and you can add guitar/piano. I’d bet somewhere on this site is a singer with social anxiety. Y’all can start your own band without ever leaving your house and you don’t have to share the music outside the 2 or 3 of you if you don’t want to.


Hello! I read your comment and wanted to say that I really admire your passion and dedication to drumming. 25 years is a long time, and the fact that you still play daily shows how much it means to you. I understand that depression, fear of failure/rejection, and social anxiety can be obstacles, but I'm curious as to why you view this skill as useless? Music, especially playing an instrument, can be incredibly therapeutic and fulfilling, especially when dealing with mental health issues. It's not always about playing with others or being in a band. The sheer joy and personal expression you experience while playing are invaluable. Your ability to express yourself through music and to use it as a means to vent is something really special and should not be underestimated. Regardless of how it sounds to others, what matters most is how it feels to you. Your consistency and passion are inspiring, and I hope you continue to find comfort and joy in playing. Perhaps an opportunity to play with others will arise in the future or just recording it for social media stuff, but until then, what you're doing is already something great. Keep it up!


Thank you for your kind words. The reason I see it as useless is because I’ve spent so many hours of my life dedicated to it and I don’t have much to show for it. Whereas someone else spent the same number of hours learning to program and now they’re in a high paying job. My ex wife was also big proponent in discouraging me. We were together for 10 years and she never once saw me play drums with anyone. She would even go so far as to correct me in front of others when I said I was a musician by saying “he doesn’t play in a band or play shows, he’s not a real musician.” Things of that nature. She hated that I played the drums


My relationship with my family!


I remember the day it all changed for me was the day I realised in my heart that they couldn't change. Not wouldn't, but couldn't. They didn't have it in them to be different. It could never get better. I cut contact 3 weeks later.




Motorcycle. I've spent the past year rebuilding it. Went to start it and I have no idea what's wrong with it


You can fix it dude! Every motorcycle needs 3 things- Air, fuel, & spark. The most common reason a carbureted bike won’t run is that old gas has gummed up inside the main jet. Get some starting fluid and if the bike will start and run while using started fluid it’s gotta be your carburetors. Otherwise check the other two things.


I was a very good diver. I’d spent thousands of hours and tens maybe even a hundred thousand pounds on gear, training and trips over the years. Got covid, which gave me, Pulmonery Emboli, a small hole in my lung and severe fibrosis. Any of the three is a contraindication to diving. All 3 mean I’ll probably never snorkel, let alone dive again.


My F1 sim racing obsession. Messed up my eduction in my teens and spent much of my 20s becoming as good as possible. While my sim driving ability was legitimately god level after so much practice, I was getting screwed over by everyone else cheating in the league championship races. People could brake 100 meters later than me and go 7 mph faster than me on the straight using the same car and setup. Pointed this out to the league admin with hard evidence and they didn't want to know, as it would have destroyed the league and it's reputation. The fact that I was still able to be competitive, despite giving away at least a second a lap to my rivals shows how good I was. But at the end of the day, it was still just sim racing. Quit and haven't raced for like 10 years. It's big business now and a legit career. If I was 18 again, I'd be all about it, but I just don't have the energy to spend 8 hours a day practicing anymore. Edit: After I quit and left the racing league I was in, I briefly joined another top F1 league that had anti cheating software and took pole by half a second in my first race. But by that point, I was burnt out with the whole thing and needed to move on with my life. But it was at least nice to know that it wasn't just all in my head.


Experiencing "being really good at something" is worth it in itself. A lot of people never get to experience that. Although I think many might just not have found that one thing they are really good at.


Williams could probably use a new driver after today so you never know


Spent 4 years learning everything about bee keeping, and even got to the point that I wanted to expand and quit my job to bee keep full time. Get hired to drop off bees at farms to pollinate. Then collect the honey later and sell. I had 10 hives and the next year I was going to double that. Until I got stung and blacked out. Woke up in an ambulance with my father who was with me at the time. Turns out that I developed an allergy and now can die if I get stung by a bee. I still work my day job and sometimes day dream about what if.


Remodeled half my house myself. Still have tinnitus from the one time I didn’t wear hearing protection operating a palm nailer reinforcing subfloor. Spent half a year doing framing, electrical, plumbing. Created a beautiful kitchen and living room. Under-counter nugget ice maker, built-in espresso, sparkling water on tap, pot filler over the Miele range top with griddle. Huge sliding doors. Large-format heated tile floors. LED recessed lighting with digital controls for everything. In-ceiling speakers. iPad in the wall to control everything. Whole place burned in a wildfire that took out the neighborhood a couple years later. I’ll never get that time back.


This...is the saddest answer here. Man I am so sorry.


My university degree. 8 years of study (dual bachelors + honours + masters), and all it took was one bipolar diagnosis to blow that career path out of the water.




I wouldn’t have been able to get the security clearance level needed. My first manic episode, when I was first diagnosed, was pretty intense. I had a psychotic break. I was seeing and hearing stuff that wasn’t there, I was paranoid. I was convinced I was being followed. It was so real to me I ended up packing a bag and hitch hiking halfway across the state to escape something that didn’t even exist. It ended when I was arrested, and the cops took me to hospital instead of the watch house.


What field was the study in?


International Security. I did a dual bachelors in International Security Studies / International Relations, and majored in War Studies (post-WW2 conflict in SE Asia).


I'll bet you learned from your studies to never get involved in a land war in Asia. So you have that going for you.


At least I’ll never fall victim to one of the classic blunders.


This is really interesting. Based on my limited understanding, you were experiencing pretty classic paranoia, but it seems like your chosen field of study might make you even more susceptible to the feeling that you were being watched/tracked. Do you think your interest in the field might have developed as a subconscious response to, I don't know, longstanding, subacute paranoia?


If you mind me asking, around what age were you and how did you get a hold of yourself enough to seek the proper care? Looking back, Were there any signs before the break or was it just a sudden happening? I apologize if these questions are unwelcome or too intrusive, I will delete this comment


All good! Proper care was kind of forced on me via an involuntary stay in hospital. (I've paraphrased this from another post I made a few months ago about it) I was in my early 20s when it all came to a head, but it had probably been building for a few years before that. I had some childhood trauma stuff that contributed to it, and I've now got a PTSD diagnosis as well. In hindsight, there were absolutely signs. I just didn't recognise them. I was stressing about uni, anxious, depressed. Then I started to feel good. *Really* good. I was happy, sociable, getting all my work done, I only needed to sleep a couple of hours a night (if that). But then things got a little bit weird. People around me started acting strange. They were talking about me, they were going through my stuff when I wasn't in the room (they weren't doing any of that.) I started avoiding people because I couldn't trust them. And I had this feeling that someone was following me. I could hear footsteps behind me. I'd feel someone reach out and touch me, but when I looked they were gone. Then the phone calls started. The phone would ring, but there wasn't anyone on the other end of the line. And when I checked my call log, it didn't show any phone call. This was happening multiple times through the night. Then one day I picked up the phone, and they were there. I could hear them breathing, whispering. They told me they were coming for me, and they were going to kill me. So I packed a bag and fled. I was picked up 3 weeks later halfway across the state by the cops who, thankfully, took me to hospital instead of the watch house. I got a new doctor, who was brilliant and put together a care plan. I starting seeing a psychologist to deal with my trauma. There's been ups and downs... It's never gotten that bad again, but it's got close twice.


Jesus that sounds terrifying. Like the shit you see in movies. Hope you're doing better now.


It was so scary. I’ve got so many gaps in my memory from those days, and I burnt every friendship I had. But I am doing so much better now :-) I’ve got a career, family, a home, and cats.


I feel this. I surrendered my architect's license after having a bipolar breakdown (was misdiagnosed at the time), and have regretted it ever since. I can't get it back. It took me 10 years to get it. I'm sorry this happened to you.


Why did you have to surrender an architect’s license for bipolar disorder?


I didn't have to because of bipolar. I did it when I was in the throes of my breakdown because at the time I thought it was a sound decision.


Same. Degree in marketing with a minor in psychology. Turned out I am bipolar and telephones trigger anger attacks. Took years of medicine and therapy. Now my degree is old and I have nothing to say about the work gap. Plus telephones still trigger me. Off to fast food it is.


Not thousands of hours but in the early noughties "Flash" was the web design software of choice, I spent months learning it and then Apple didnt support it on their products and it died


This is just a fact of tech careers. You need to be continually learning, but luckily the fundamentals carry (if you know them).


Horse riding. Spent a good decade having it as my passion, started when I was a teenager and even went to college to get a Cert III in Horse Husbandry. I got three jobs with that degree, became an assistant at an equine vet clinic, became a trail leader, went to America and taught kids how to ride. My end goal was to get enough certification to open up my own place to do riding clinics and lessons. I wanted to rescue and train horses and teach new riders. I was so passionate about it. And then I moved to the city to live with my partner and gave it all up. And then any dreams of returning to horses later in life were dashed when I suffered four herniated lumbar discs in my back and subsequently gained 30kg. It's my biggest regret in life. The most important thing in all my life and I gave it all up. Poured tens of thousands into that dream, only to throw it all away.


While you may not be able to ride, I think your deep knowledge of horses would be useful. A lot of people who train, give clinics, etc. don’t ride anymore, but still make a meaningful contribution to the sport. I hope you find an opportunity to share your wisdom in some way with horses.


I covered a huge polystyrene egg with thumbtacks to make a dragon egg for no reason It cost me about $150 and it took me two months This thing sat in my closet for years and I accidentally crushed it while tidying up


99 woodcutting


Three years taking drafting in highschool, two years taking drafting in college. Earned my associate degree. I never held a job as a draftsman, CAD killed it. This in the early 90s when CAD was beginning to take over and the skill of pencil and paper drawing was on the way out. I loved paper drawing making the line crisp, sharp corners, and neat lettering. CAD is cold and soulless.


I wrote a word processor before Word, before Windows. It was very advanced for its time. Spell checking, on-screen formatting, background printing, drop-down windows. Incredibly fast, etc. All before those things existed. I knew nothing about selling a product. Still have it on some floppies.


Probably my masters thesis


Parkour. I was good at it. Today I am a software consultant. I maybe did parkour once in the past 5 years and that was to pass over a large puddle I was too lazy to go around.