Data wrangling

Two things that are deeply ingrained in me are:

  1. I have a very hard time throwing things away, and
  2. I'm a geek.

Separately, those things are bad enough. The problem is that they are tied together pretty tightly. Add to that my old-school tendencies toward computing habits and things get pretty crappy.

I've always been pretty good about archiving files. At first I had boxes of floppy disks lying around. Then came Zip disks, then CDs and DVDs. When my hard drive got too crowded, I'd offload a bunch of files onto a bunch of removable discs and get on with my life. Problem solved, right?

Not exactly. Instead of a crowded hard drive, I ended up with a crowded office or studio or second bedroom. My hard drive may have been clear, but my work area was lousy with so many discs--most of them unlabelled.

So I'm trying to come up with a workable plan for archiving and storage. Here's my plan so far:

  1. Take the 500GB hard drive that's in my studio and use that as the base, as it were, for this plan.
  2. Move all but the most necessary files from my laptop to that drive.
  3. Scrounge up all those random discs in my studio and copy them to the appropriate folders on the external drive.
  4. Pick up a bare internal HD and use it as a backup for the external drive.

It's a lot, I know, but I think it'll work.

The other thing I need to do is delete some useless old files. About twenty years ago I had access to a scanner at my old job. It was only a greyscale scanner, but it was available, so I used it. I still have a bunch of scans that I made back then. Why? I still have the originals that I used for those scans, and I now have a color scanner. There is simply no point in saving them. It's just more clutter. Same goes for so much of the stuff I downloaded from AOL back in the day. It's just clutter.

Right now I'm still moving stuff off the laptop and onto the external drive. It's taking forever, but it has to be done. In the end I'll have more available space on my laptop, less physical clutter in my studio, and one drive to go to when I need to search for an old file. Worthy goals, all.