In addition to cleaning house, I’m also cleaning computers. I’ve tossed a bunch of CDs with useless software and I’m cleaning up my portable hard disks because I’m even a worse digital pack rat than I am a physical pack rat. This was triggered by finding a pair of 20 meg MFM hard drives and a pair of SCSI 9 meg drives. –My phone has more storage than that. Heck unless it’s analog, everybody’s phone has more storage than that.
It took a massive effort to get myself to think of it this way; just how often are you going to need programs built for Windows XP? So why the Hell do you keep them? Because they’re “good junk.”
I don’t know about you, but these days my biggest problem comes from almost unlimited storage. Even this laptop has two 1Tb drives. Then I have two towers with at least 3TB each combined with the half a dozen 2Tb portable drives I use for backup and something like fifteen or so still functioning flash drives I’ve used over the years to backup and transport small amounts of data.
None of these are properly organized. It felt like they were; right up to the point that I needed a specific image. That’s when reality reared its ugly head and I discovered that I have shit scattered over several directories across several drives. An unsorted 3 gig directory labeled images is a bitch unless you named every image, which of course I didn’t.
This is the pile of various drives I still have to sort.
I even went so far as to toss my old copies of Windows for Workgroups, DOS -all versions, and my original copies of Win 95 beta from back in the day when it was code-named Chicago. It came on a stack of 3 1/2″ floppies and wouldn’t boot.
I even found some programs on cassette tapes from my Commodore 64, some 5 1/4″ floppies from my old Trash 80, and a couple of rolls of punched tapes from high school.
Back in the day, when good software could be tough for a computer geek to get his hands on, this hoarding behavior was a survival trait. Now it’s just shit junk and crap that fills drawers, and hard disks, but has no real value in the modern world.
Does anyone else remember when “sneaker net” was your lifeline, not to mention a way to acquire all that neat shit you couldn’t afford? Well if you join the right newsgroups, make the right friends and learn the right servers you can acquire pretty much anything; complete with cracks. Although, it’s getting tougher, what with everything being remotely hosted and all.
Things change, and I’ve found that the more crap I throw away the better I feel.
Maybe I’ll even be able to use my couch as a couch. But until then it’s a place to put the things I’ve decided to keep until I get around to sorting them.