The Old Stuff

As I’m counting down my last days at work, I’ve tackled a few projects that have to be put to bed before I’m gone.

One of these projects is, as I refer to it, “the old stuff”.  At my company, we back up our systems every night but GETTING to that information, if you need it, is cumbersome at best and impossible at worst.  You’d be surprised how often you might want to access information from an old program so about 25 years ago, we (or more accurately, I) started downloading our programs onto floppy disk.  You remember those, right?

Then after a few years, as we were changing technology, as I did the annual download, I started downloading to diskette.

You know where this is going… we eventually moved to CDs.  This annual download was accompanied by an updated spreadsheet of what programs were on which CD as well as name of client, location, date, etc.   I was the keeper of the spreadsheet but we had paper copies sorted by either client or location, since those were the two most needed search criteria.

Fast forward through another technology change (which meant you had to use a portable CD reader to use the CDs), a fire in our building (which destroyed the paper files), pandemic (during which nobody was in the building to get to the CDs), data migration to a cloud based system during my furlough (which despite assurances to the contrary, caused the loss of about half my desktop files, including the spreadsheet).   

Bottom line is that for the past 18 months, I’ve had two boxes full of unusable CDs under my desk.  Nobody has asked about them since I got back from furlough.  Even if they did, without the spreadsheet, finding any data would be nie on impossible.  And nobody knows where the portable reader is anyway.   Rather than asking any more about it, I just informed my boss last week that I was dumping them.  Luckily we have CD/DVD recycling at my company AND I personally have a use for the plastic cases that many of them were stored in.  Took me about an hour to separate the CDs from the cases and/or sleeves (header photo).  Broke two fingernails.  And all the while I was thinking about how the technology changed to the point where the data was lost to us.   

And it’s changing fast; YA doesn’t even know what a floppy disk is!

What bit of technology would you not like to do without? 

25 thoughts on “The Old Stuff”

  1. Word processors. I’ve mentioned before (perhaps) that I would NOT have become a novelist without being able to write (and delete and erase and change in seconds) with the help of word-processing software. To me it’s one of the most worthwhile, time-saving, eco-friendly advances technology has given to the world.

    I have lots of old CDs that are quickly going the way of dinosaurs thanks to flash drives, and I just know there are some really BIG and clever ways to recycle them or re-use them that will offset their carbon footprint and contribution to the plastic waste problem we have. Yes, I know some people turn them into coasters or mobiles or stick them on strings in their gardens to ward off pesky birds. But I’m talking about a BIG solution like laminating them into tall stacks and using them in place of rebar to support concrete pillars–or something like that. . . .

    . . . I’ll keep daydreaming about it. 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In grad school one of my jobs was keypunching in the psych department, then hand drawing the graphs for the MMPI. These were the old cards lined up in a tray.. don’t drop the tray.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Makes me think about the scene in Touch of MInk in which Doris Day is all riled up and starts pushing buttons in the data department… the cards fly all over!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Mobile phone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about smart phones, but I love it that I can pull this little flip phone out of my purse if I have a flat tire while driving out of town, and call AAA to come and help me. Or that if I’m running late, I can use it to let someone know my ETA.
    TracFone just replaced, for free, my old flip phone which was no longer compatible with their latest technology upgrades.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ironically perhaps but the thing I like least about a smart phone is making or receiving phone calls with it. Granted, it is reassuring to have in an emergency, but I’m much more likely to use it to text or check emails or read from an ebook if I find myself in a waiting situation or to use it as a camera and to store my select library of 1000+ songs. Lately we have been using our phones to help us identify bird songs and wild flowers.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. When I get a new die set (in my studio) I use little magnetic strips (just cut up vent covers from the hardware store) to secure the dies into the CD cases. Very handy. I actually have an old CD shelving unit flipped on it’s side in which I keep most of them. Sorted of course.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Those of you at BBC on Sunday got a demonstration of Lou’s hearing aids, which he and I cannot live without. Without them I would be shouting constantly. With them, though, I am constantly reminding him to TURN THEM ON. I both love them and hate them. Clearly, all the bugs are not worked out of this technology. They are so much work. Without them basic communication is nigh on to impossible. With them communication is possible but frustrating.

    My computer makes work possible in so many ways. So that is another one. But the device I really love is my ipad. I use it for so much.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I am obliged by my history and current circumstances to say: lens-grinding technology (for glasses), modern digital hearing aids (mine are rechargeable and turn on automatically when I take them out of the charger, Lou might benefit from a pair like these!), antibiotics, and modern surgical and dental technology. I’m also a big fan of the printing press.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. We take so much technology for granted that I don’t even know where to start. But, none of it would be possible without electricity. Whenever there’s a power outage we’re reminded just how much of our daily functioning is dependent on it. Cooling, heating, cleaning, cooking, communicating, entertaining, transportation, informing – the list goes on and on. At this point I don’t even brush my teeth without it. But the one device that I’d be lost without is my laptop. It’s my connection to the world.

    Liked by 4 people

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