"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tossing out Floppys: Computer Spring Cleaning

A 3 1/2 inch floppy labeled,  "DOS 3.3 - backup";  O.S.2 Warp - a box full of disks that puts the O.S.2 program on to your harddrive; I gritted my teeth and tossed them out today.

A Quicken Home and Business ‘99 C.D.  Several CDs that have the utility drivers for long since lost and destroyed motherboards.  I THREW THEM ALL OUT this afternoon. Spring cleaning has come to my home computer center and when I walked in this afternoon my wife pointed to a file of floppys, CDs and manuals stacked near my chair and suggested I needed to do something about it. I said, "What?" She smiled and said brightly, "The trash pick-up is tomorrow?" I wailed, "But what if O.S.2 Warp makes a comeback?" Her smile suggested that the Mental Health S.W.A.T. could be at the house in under 5 minutes if needed.

I purchased my first computer in 1985, an  IBM clone.  I got the  one with two floppies; it turned out to be handy.  I figured it would last me 10 years, at least that what I promised my wife.  [Within 2 years it had been replaced by an upgrade.] She was afraid I was wasting my  money.  I’ve long since lost count off how many computers my family has owned but my wife and I currently have 6 working computers between the two of us.  If we want, we could be  on 3 computers a piece at one time.  Of course you only end up using one at a time though laptops and  chrome books (my latest acquisition} are handy to drag around.

Not only are floppies long since passe, the youngest generation is bypassing laptops for sophisticated smart phones, leaving the "boomers", such as me, way behind. Oh, I now have an obsolete iPhone and I can make calls on it and text too. It actually does a lot of stuff, I just don't know how to use it. I can still mostly find my way around a P.C.

But I can't on a unit that has Windows 8; the O.S. from hell. I don't own it but I know about it. I talked my little old neighbor into buying a new laptop since his 10 year old would no longer load, and ended up being confronted by Microsoft's newest demon; Windows 8. I don't LIKE Windows 8. Windows 7 is an excellent O.S. Windows 8 makes every attempt to make sure you can't find things; or if you can, you can't move them around. It's been pretty successful at that. Sooner or later, against your will, you're going to own it. It will be pre-installed on your next soon-to-be-obsolete P.C.

But back to the floppys CDs and manuals. If you were wise (and after a few major errors we all became wiser) you made backups of everything, particularly drivers and utilities. But now they're all available on the internet? Need a Dell computer or printer driver? Go to dell.com and with a little searching you'll find all you need. It was a huge advance when companies started putting their utility drivers on the internet for downloading.

A big "shout out" to that advancement in acquiring needed information.

So all those backup floppys, all those CDs with the utilities and drivers on them; "Historie" Kaput, needless, obsolete. Computers quit being built with floppys a few years back. For now they have flash-drives, but I have no doubt they'll also be obsolete not so distant future. But what about your priceless pictures and documents? Don't we need to back those up? Maybe not .......

BECAUSE now we have "THE CLOUD." Write a post using google docs and google Chrome and your work is automatically saved somewhere out in the internet ether where only God actually knows where it is stored. Theoretically it will always exist in "THE CLOUD." Pictures will be there too. And the cloud is cheap and they say you'll never have to worry about backups. But, if the Google Server Farm is ever hit by a nuclear device, we'll no longer exist.

In the modern era, I am only what Google knows about me; But that's a post for another day.

SPRING CLEANING; where do the years go.


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