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?