Thursday, February 12, 2009

Write, then lose...or is it the other way?

Today, I happened on a blog post by a fellow who writes for a living. Nothing wrong with that business, but he has a good head of steam up about wanting to hang onto his material that he's written. I have had a similar set of haps and mishaps through the time since I began writing on a (now ancient) Heathkit H-89 computer, with its "ten-sector, 5 1/4" floppy diskette" to the period of filing documents written on 8 gigabyte thumb drives about the size of half a Wrigley's stick of Juicy Fruit gum. They all suffer from being easy to lose, easy to destroy, and hard to permanently identify with the contents stored on them. In addition, the technology moves so fast, one has to spend a significant chunk of time just moving what one has written from one level of technology to the next, before the older mode of storage just becomes so obsolete there don't easily exist means to read the writing.

Comments from those who have the same trail of tears?


  1. Well, one advantage to the ever-changing technology is that the very act of migration encourages at least an effort at organizing your old stuff. If you had an everlasting storage medium that wouldn't break or get lost, would you really be able to identify or remember the old data you'd squirreled away thereon?
    =Austin Bruce

  2. If I had an everlasting storage medium, I would call it both a "bookshelf" and a "library" (for the larger collection of such things). When compared to a human lifetime, "everlasting" usually means for your life. You buy books, and they last until after you're dead or at least go to some assisted living place and give your books to some relative, the library or Goodwill.

    For more on the reading aspects of this post, please see the next newer post on this blog. It acts as almost a continuation of this one.

  3. I have no trouble at all adding "A Tale of Two Cities" to a jump drive. Right.

  4. @IR

    Er, yeah...what you say. But I didn't write that. /g/ and it ain't on my shelf. It was the best of times, however.

  5. change is always hard for people. Harder yet when you don't understand it. Even if it is for your own good. My computer is a work of art. My younger brother visits every year or so and updates it. One year he even brought me a new hard drive. but wait! something was missing. Oh no! where is the opening for 5 1/2 " floppy drive? I have quite a bit of kid games from the 80's to use in that one! And yet you left the 3 1/2" and I got nothin' but a camera that uses that size. Yes the camera still works. Battered but usable.
    I just get to figuring out the many facets of one item and it changes on me. I don't spend all hours at the computer at home, that is what work is for and work has it's on mandates so I don't have a lot of exploring time or incentive there.
    And that stick of gum sized jump drive? I don't even have a spot to plug it into my harddrive.
    I am behind the times. And I don't care until I need it and I haven't needed it yet.
    Lifetime only means 30 years according to Sears repairmen. I grew up with my mothers sewing machine made in maybe '45? and in the late 70's I had a devil of a time finding parts. Now I keep an eye out in estate sales for similar models of the same make and pick up machines for parts.
    A good thing has happened because of this. I am a pretty good diagnostician and repairman myself at the age of 50+ and I recued many a machine from the 'we are just gonna haul it off' end of the day when weary garage sale/ estate sale organizers whom do not sew are just plain tired of looking at 'stuff'. I lug it home and fix it up and give it away. Often with a train case of beginning tools for some teenager who wants to sew but has no hope of having her own machine for years to come.
    I have done this for years and ferretted away in the garage are at least a dozen or more machines. In the house are a few more being used with their cabinets for bed side tables and piling personal belongings one in bedrooms and one by the living room front door as a catch all. They will see the light of day again.
    Gotta go

  6. @TMarie
    Bravo for your recycling efforts...and for braving the world's discontent with your refusal to move forward. There MUST be some place for people like you. I just can't think of the name for it. ;)