Thursday, July 22, 2010

checking things off the list, part 2

Meanwhile back at the ranch:

Uploaded all my digital photos (personal, museum and research-related--about 2500) to an image hosting site. I’ll reorganize and reduce them by half—once friends and family have downloaded what they want.

Transferred, merged, purged, synched—hundreds of new and old files, saved in every format, and from more old computers than you can possibly imagine, over—ohh—about 10 years, or so.

I put this task on my summer calendar because I needed to merge all my research and writing files (both digital and hardcopy) for the upcoming year. But once I got that started, I decided to just go for broke and perform a full scale de-cluttering of my e-files and digital photos.

Honestly, it took me about 5 or 6 days of steady, 8-hrs-a-day, mind-numbing work (w/some minor relief offered by virute of needing to sort through files of field & archival notes). UGH!  What a chore. Between the maintenance of faculty and museum and personal files; and the untimely demise of this or that home computer; and the university policy of upgrading our office computers about every 3-5 years (those days are gone!); and years of saving conference papers and research documents for/during travel; and parenting two kids (translation: serving on one or another school, sport or music-related board—for years and years—& maintaining those membership & mailing lists & award templates & blah, blah, blah, blah)—I had an absurd amount of material stored on old disks. About half of this ‘archive’ was generated prior to the advent of good, affordable laptops—not to mention CDs, thumb drives, USB external hard drives, or cloud drives. Once upon a time (i.e. the early days of the job), I tried to maintain a different scope of materials on my faculty v. museum v. personal computer, but that proved to be just as crazy as my life was busy and fragmented. I'm happy to say that I am beyond organized now; almost back to my BC (before children) standard.*  I probably won’t move any documents or folders back onto my work computer; I’ll just use an external hard-drive (like the brand new one, still in its packaging, that I got as workshop swag last January). And at least this year, I’ll use a OneNote binder to organize all of my in-process stuff, moving docs into permanent folders on my personal laptop once I know they are final—or, for some other reason, going into the deep freeze.

I’m mentally exhausted, but at LEAST I will never again have to wonder what is stored on all the old disks, flash drives, CDs, etc. And here, I just have to thank god for the aging museum computer—which has diskette, Zip, CD/DVD and USB drives—thus enabling me to transfer all the pertinent files.

Behold the debitage:

Among that stack of 40+ diskettes are 2 that date from my very first computer—a vintage Mac. I am happy to say that I did not even try to read them.

*Maybe I'll post the hierarchy of folders that now organizes my e-life. It it all goes to hell in three months, then at least I'll have the memory.


participant-observer said...

You want to come to my house?

You know how I love organizing school items, but the summer has not allowed me the time!

auto ethnographer said...

I'm sure the fairies will do it for you while you trudge through the lastest spell-binding treatise on political economy.

participant-observer said...

the email Dr. KU sent filled with list of essential items for field statements makes me want to cry and then makes me feel guilty while I watch the Law and Order

auto ethnographer said...

I'm sure you can hammer that out during commercials.