Answering my own questions since 2001

I Need More Storage So That…

My First Computer BookI can keep my digital life. I’ve pretty much saved every file I’ve created since I was ten. The earliest file is a short, insightful essay entitled Adults, written in WordStar 3.0 in September of 1984. That document only occupies 4 KB on my hard drive, but as you might imagine, there have been a lot since then.

From embarrassing Goth short stories (“It seemed to Mr. Withencroft, that minutes were like hours”) to high school history essays (“Nicholas II strove for greatness, and tragically, he died because of his mediocrity”) to a six drafts of a play I recently finished (“do you want to be bouncing around and manhandled… womanhandled for the next hour?”), my digital life is really adding up.

What can I tell you? I’m a digital packrat with a nasty case of OCD. I’ve got about 2800 photos on Flickr, but I keep a local copy of every one, as well as the 6000-odd photos that aren’t good enough to get posted on Flickr. You never know when I might want a blurry shot of a couple strangers from 2002.

And then there’s the music. I have pretty shameful musical taste, but I’ve got 6330 MP3s kicking around my hard drive as well. That’s almost 3 weeks worth of music.

My Hard DriveIt all adds up. I regularly use SpaceMonger to free up some disk space, but that gets sucked up pretty quick. Never mind the 22 years of text, audio and video I’ve obsessively collected–there’s these things called ‘applications’ that are elephants in the room. You may have heard of Battlefield 2? That badboy is 2 GB when installed. That’s a lot of childhood essays.

Treasured possessions suffer loss, flood, fire and the more mundane ravages of time. I need a bigger hard drive because the archives and arcana of my digital life are growing at an exponential rate. Digital photographs may never fade, but they sure do pile up.

Footnote: This little essay was written as an entry into this contest brought to us by PodTech and Seagate. Here’s the requisite tag:

4 Responses to “I Need More Storage So That…”

  1. Kerry Anne

    Some good insights on that music chart. I’ve found it’s nothing short of blasphemous to some to be neutral on Wilco, but I’m just not feeling them either. You might like The Decemberists? “Red Right Ankle” is a good start. Odd, but good.

  2. Andy K

    Darren, you’re lucky if your only problem is storage space because that means you have all your data organized. I, on the other hand, have data spread across a jumble of disks, CDs, DVDs, data tapes (which I can’t read), and 3 home computers shared with my wife and 2 work computers. Like you, I keep old work for future reference, but not consciensously, so it’s a big mess. I’d love to get my digital history into one file systems, but that would take more than a week of vacation.

    Fortunately, I have no more data on 5.25″ disks, though I had a computer to read them up to 3 years ago, and it would still be working but I didn’t want to move it anymore. Said computer (a 486DX) still ran Windows “for Workgroups” 3.11 (dual boot with the first NT) and games such as Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, fractint, etc. Which makes me think there’s a whole new realm of preserving memories by preserving the significant computing environments we have used (my college years in this case).

    Nice music chart, btw. I always thought it would be interesting to plot out all music in a 2-D or 3-D space, but maybe without axes (ie dependent and independent variables) but rather just clouds of affinity. Your personal spectrum is the closest I’ve seen, and it made me think that my idea might look like those color chooser dialogs in graphic applications. What your chart reveals is that music is not just about what one likes, but also what one dislikes. Plus it’s not so clear-cut as yay or nay, there are infinitely nuanced reactions to each music, not to mention a time factor (used to like it, learning to appreciate, etc.). Sorry for all the tangents…

  3. Minor Life and Site Notes | DarrenBarefoot.com

    [...] UPDATE: I remember what the third point was supposed to be, which is now the fifth point. I’m one of the 20 third-prize winners in a Seagate contest for which I wrote this blog post. I ratio of entries to winners appears to be 2 to 1, so it’s no great achievement, but I’m always happy to own another pocket-sized hard drive. PodTech, the folks who ran the contest, aren’t being very proactive about contacting the winners, but, you know, everybody’s busy. [...]

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