Sunday, 12 January 2014

Letting go (of data)

My faithful old laptop has been getting slower and slower and some new programs it doesn't handle very well. So, in early December, I got a new laptop but moving over to it has been challenging. I started off with loading software - that took about three days on and off. Goodness - the programes I always use that need to be downloaded and installed like iTunes and Adobe Reader and Google Earth... and then my licensed software like Office and Adobe Photoshop and OCAD and a bunch of others... it really is quite a process.

Over the festive period, at a lunch, we were all talking about new computers and setting them up and the one guy had such a great suggestion: dump everything on to an external hard drive and then  copy them on to the new machine only as you need files. The same goes with emails - dump them into a folder and search for the relevant one only when you need it.

I'm fine with files but it's my email that is the big issue. Good gracious! I've got quite a setup. There are definitely well over 100 folders and subfolders for various projects. These contain thousands of filed and saved emails... And that's not counting my inbox, which is almost on 1,500 messages. I try to cleanse it regularly, deleting daily and moving important messages to respective folders (yes, I have filters working too), but still they build up. Sure, 99% of them I don't need - but I do need to hang on to that 1% (somewhere in there!) and certainly there's content in 15% of the total that I'll search for over the next month or two.

I did a bit of an email folder cleanse last night and I found some filed and categorised emails going back to 2003 (very few) and others from the intervening years... oh dear. I highlighted them, closed my eyes and pressed delete.

I'd like to start with a clean slate so I'm doing the external hard drive dump and I'll leave old emails on my old machine - retrieving content as and when I need it.

It just seems so silly not to be able to let go of data - just in case I may need something in the next year or three. I remember doing some email cleanses where I'd open a blank document and copy 'useful information' from emails into the document. Know what? I've never opened a single one of these files!

My new machine has Windows 8. Some screwy people working for Microsoft these days to have come up with this one! Unfortunately my HP laser printer is not supported for Windows 8. Like not at all. Like no driver - nothing. It's the most fabulous printer and is about 10 years old now. I've searched the forums for a solution and the general consensus is "Buy another printer". I'll just have to print through my old machine because this printer is such a gem and I'm not going to let go of it any time soon.

This is my first post from my new machine. I've resolved not to do anything on the old machine other than refer to old emails and print. For the rest, it's bye-bye lovely Dell and hello Toshiba (and ghastly Windows 8 that drives me insane!).

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