Z worries that duplication isn’t enough

I realised yesterday that I have a slight problem about letting go.  I have a reputation for being the one to come to for information, because I hang on to it, both in fact and in my memory.  For example, when the village school was advertising for a new headteacher earlier in the year and Al was given the task of writing part of the information pack, I looked out the previous pack from eight years before which I still had, although I hadn’t been a governor there for nearly five years.  Last year, I was asked for some details of the constitution of the governing body and I was able to provide the reason for the changes that had been made a decade or so previously – someone on the Parish Council had asked why it no longer had a governor representative, and it seems that I was the only one who knew.

Nothing particularly unusual here of course, and many people have careful files going back decades.  Mine are mainly in stacks of box files, in my memory or on the computer and not very organised at all.  Yesterday, however, I decided that there are far too many duplicate photographs on the computer, so I spent a while eliminating those, but then I realised that all the photos themselves are in iPhotos so, apart from the ones I use for my desktop background, which changes every 15 minutes, and the files I have from past sales (because the photos of china haven’t been labelled with the lot numbers in iPhotos), there was no need to keep them at all.  I started putting files in the trash folder.

And then the time came to go to “empty trash.”  And I couldn’t.  What if iPhotos was down when I wanted to look at a holiday snap that wasn’t in my desktop photos file?  I’m not sure what I mean by iPhotos being down, but I found I couldn’t risk it.  I recognise this is absurd.  I will do it again and complete the task next time.  But I was startled by the feeling of panic that I felt at the thought of throwing away those files.

21 comments on “Z worries that duplication isn’t enough

  1. 63mago

    Had the same thought as John G. – burn them on a disc or two. Of course discs will “rot” away too, but you can clear your disk space. Or simply throw it all into one large folder and zip it.
    … traveling light, teehee!

  2. Tim

    Go for multiplication, out in the cloud. Stick them on Picasa and Flickr as well – they won’t all crash at once (will they??).

  3. Rog

    And the Icloud starts up next week with IOS 5.

    I’ve got 25,000 pictures on PC and external hard drive and am saving it for a retirement project. I think we need restrictions on space to give us the discipline to keep just important or worthwhile things, not every single thing.

  4. Z

    It’d be silly really, they’re safe on iPhotos, and will still be there even if the computer goes haywire. I have Picasa, Flickr and Photobucket accounts, but waiting for stuff to upload – I’ve got Norfolk internet speed and it takes forever. It’s the duplication that is absurd. I just need to get a grip.

  5. Blue Witch

    I have nearly 50,000 images on my PC. My PC is 3 years old, but, even so it only takes up a tiny amount of its hard disc. I also have them duplicated on 2 backup drives and on CDs as well. And most are printed and all neatly field in albums.

    You have *nothing* on me dear, so nothing to worry about 😉

    I too have a reputation for being the local repository on info… as my brain now no longer works, I have to keep hard copies, as I’d hate not to be able to answer questions.

  6. Macy

    I think the photos are probably a side issue – they’re all on one digital format or another.

    It’s those stacks of box files that you’re going to disappear under one day.

  7. Z

    I love you, Blue Witch. Will you move to South Norfolk please? I will cook you lovely vegetarian meals, search out the best local cheeses and argue with you fiercely.

    I actually threw out a lot of stuff earlier this year, Macy. But you’re right, all the same – except that the Sage’s stuff will get me first. (love you too, obv)

  8. Blue Witch

    What would we argue about though? Who’s got more junk? 😉

    I do feel the calling of that fabric shop though, and the objets shops I ignored a fortnight ago… And that lovely charming Wild Boy serving in the post office…

    And grief, there were two typos in my last comment. *sighs*

    Macy’s right about the weight – my 9 four drawer filing cabinets in the Inner Coven are directly over our bed (we sleep downstairs). I live in fear of waking up suffocating under them.

  9. Blue Witch

    Nothing to argue about there. PCs are best 😉

    Although the iPhone 4S has the beginnings of natural voice recognition I read, and I’ve always said I’ll get a smartphoen only when they have proper VRS…I never argue though. I debate.

    But I’m never wrong (ask Mr BW) 😉

  10. Z

    I don’t know how much you’ve used Macs, but I have to use the Sage’s laptop every six months for a fairly major job and, being quite relaxed about the odd email or typing job, I totally loathe it by the time I’ve spent two days on it. I can’t see that I’ll ever want to change, but that doesn’t mean I care what anyone else prefers – so I suppose there isn’t an argument there.

  11. Bilbo

    Macs v PCs?
    Both of course! I like macs for some things and would rather have a pc for others instead of using Paralleles or Fusion.

    And none of you can match my father who had two barns full of accumulated ‘s’tuff’. I would have liked to go through it all but it had to be disposed of by a specialist because of asbestos contamination. I still have a lot from the house to sort through though…

    Z, have you looked into de-duplication software? There’s some free and/or shareware stuff that will help with this. I’m in IT so I’m paranoid about losing stuff – I backup to external hard drives (pretty cheap these days) and then run the dedupe program. When I know I already have a saved copy I can relax and get rid off all the extra versions. It’s surprising how much space you can get back.

  12. Z

    And yes, Bilbo – the only argument I’d be likely to enter into would be with someone who claimed their preference was *best* without having thoroughly tried and tested the alternatives.

    Only two barns? We moved back into the Sage’s childhood home, and he never had cleared his workshop. Since then, he’s filled several barns and all the garages. Some of our stuff has never been unpacked in 25 years, and I’d rather like to get at it. Fortunately, no asbestos though.

    And no, I just back up the vital stuff and worry quietly. I can’t quite face the thought of the work involved in making decisions, so I just hang on to everything.

  13. Bilbo

    Ah well, there was also the fine crop of 6 or so cars, cement mixers and assorted tools in the grounds, and he was thinking of buying a mini digger shortly before he died…
    I struggle a bt with keeping too much myself but I can’t claim to be up to the Sage’s level 🙂

    You might like to look at http://www.crashplan.com – there is a paid service but you can also set up a sort of mutual backup with someone else – you have an external hard disk attached to your company and the other person does the same. All your important stuff (as decided by you) is copied to the drive attached to their computer and their stuff is copied to the drive attached to yours. This is done gradually in order to not use too much bandwidth and you have a virtually free off site backup, apart from the cost of the drives. I should set this up with my sister-in-law, especially for family photos etc, but I’m using the paid service for now. There are similar things out there too I believe.

  14. Z

    Your father and my husband would have had a lot in common. As probably, would your mother and me!

    And thank you for the link, I’ll check it out.

  15. Blue Witch

    The fact that are three bloggers (two of whom I know IRL) who work in IT systems and web design who have to use Macs at work, but have PCs at home is all the proof I need 😉

    Seriously though, I think it’s all about familiarity, the software you already have, and what you use a computer for. And probably how much money you can actually justify spending on one.


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