Out with the old, in with the new

25 Sep

A while back I posted that I had just completed the remodel of my home office/writing room. There is a lot of inspirational things in the room. Unfortunately, my computer is nearly ten years old. So old in fact that it has a 3.5″ floppy drive.

Some of you will remember these data storage devices before cloud-based online back-up, thumb-drives, dvds and cds. When the 1.44 Mb High-density/Double-sided floppies first came out I thought, “Wow, I can store my entire hard drive on less than twenty of these!” They can fit into a box roughly the size of two packs of cigarettes. My old 5 1/4″ floppies were finally obsolete.

Time passes…back to the present.

With the new room completed, the domestic CEO stated, “It is time we get rid of that piece of sh*^t desktop and get a new laptop.”

“Excuse me? Did you say we should purchase a new computer?”

“Yes, I …”

The car was started before she finished.

Two hours later, I look like a little boy petting his new puppy. It is so shiny and new and fast and new and cool and did I say new?

So I started the process of converting data from the old desktop to the NEW laptop. I took my time and cleaned as I went. Then, something dawned on me. I have a paper box filled with 3.5″ floppies filled with data I don’t want to lose. However the laptop does not have a floppy drive. So, yesterday, I transferred files to the laptop and scrubbed 263, 3.5″ floppies. 1.44Mb X 263 floppies equates to 378.72 Mb of data. That’s just over a third of a Gb. In today’s world of memory, it’s nothing. The smallest thumb drive I now own holds 1 Gb. But, those floppies represent 25 years of my data.

I ultimately dumped a lot of old data, old file types and outdated software. However, the really good news, is that I found some old writing files that I had forgotten about. Over the next few days/weeks, I’ll reorganize the files and try to post a few of them.

Now I have no excuse. Well, other than I type slowly.

How about you? Do you have old storage files that need clean-up? You might be surprised what you will find.


Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Out with the old, in with the new

  1. Sara Flower

    September 25, 2012 at 7:27 am

    It’s always neat to stumble upon older writing pieces. 🙂 Enjoy the new writing room!

    • Dennis Langley

      September 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

      It is fun to see what I was working on back then. The room will get a workout this winter, for sure.

  2. annewoodman

    September 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I have old stuff… I think it’s better left alone. ; ) I really, really hope I’ve gotten better since then. I just got a laptop, too! I love my desktop computer because my office is gorgeous! But the laptop is so practical for when I have to be away from home. So very exciting! Have fun.

  3. Dennis Langley

    September 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I hope I’ve gotten better as well. It is interesting to compare then and now. Maybe I had a brilliant idea back then and did not have the tools to work on it. Hmm.

  4. 4amWriter

    September 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I can’t even think about all of the old files I have. Over 25 years worth! I actually feel like I’d rather not touch that stuff as I know (Not hope, I KNOW) that my writing has improved over the years. The ideas, of course, might be valid, albeit dated. More than likely, someone already wrote a book on all of my ideas from 25 years ago. 🙂

    Love the feeling of a new laptop. Enjoy!

    • Dennis Langley

      September 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      Someone else may have written a book using your idea. But it would not be as good as you would write it. 😉

      • 4amWriter

        September 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        You are as sweet as Black Forest Pudding Cake. 🙂

  5. scottweberwriter

    September 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Just threw away a set of 3.5″ discs about a month ago. I do not miss the short file names…

    • Dennis Langley

      September 26, 2012 at 7:24 am

      So true.
      It was an interesting exercise to actually look at every disk. Just some of the disc labels brought back memories. I actually have a hole on the shelf in my closet now where the paper box used to be.

  6. Matthew Wright

    September 26, 2012 at 5:32 am

    It’s amazing the cool stuff you can find digging through way-back files. Nostalgia and a kind of ‘hey, did I write THAT’ sense. I live amidst a constant race to keep data backed up and on some sort of media that some device I’ve got can read. I did the 3.5″ cleanup a while back. My oldest ‘legible’ files might be 20 years old, I think, copied and re-copied to different media as tech has rolled ahead. The funny thing is, the pieces of paper I used to churn through my typewriter, 30 years ago, are still readable in original. I’ve still got the typewriter, actually…

    What irks me is that the pace of change these days has hit the point where perfectly good hardware, like a scanner I’ve got, fails because there isn’t a new driver for it. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, but I can’t use it.

    • Dennis Langley

      September 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

      I have got that right. Is it truly that difficult to support drivers on a new operating system? Who are they trying to kid? The code is already written and available. The problem comes in the testing of their “new and improved” OS. They are just too lazy to write the new OS code that is compatible with the older drivers. For the computing I do, I’m still not sure that Windows 7 is any better than XP. And that’s 2 generations removed! My feeling is that the software that drives a piece of hardware should be supported by the software manufacturer for the “life” of the hardware. Most hardware issues escalate in the ten year timeframe. Provided of course that the core operating system is still capable of supporting it.

      The next issue you have is what to do with the “obsolete” hardware? You end up having to pay someone to recycle it for you because no one else wants it.

  7. Catherine Austen

    November 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I have a collection of short stories on 5 1/4″ floppies somewhere in a closet , and God knows what else. This makes me want to see if there’s anything to salvage on them. (I just have to find a computer old enough to read them. Surely there’s one that hasn’t been recycled yet?)

  8. Dennis Langley

    November 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

    WOW, 5 1/4″ floppies. You have really dated yourself. 🙂 Good luck finding a drive for them. Maybe one of those media conversion places that turn slides into CD’s? There has to be a geek out there somewhere with a Commodore 64 in working order. 😉 Let me know if you find one.


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