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cleaning out old computer backups

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  • cleaning out old computer backups

    I know that a topic like this has been talked about in the past. I was going through the old boxes of 'junk' that collect and found a large case of old CDR and DVD-R backup from past computer days. you know, the stuff that you thought might have been important back in 2003 so you burnt multiple copies onto a disk just to make sure it survived. Only to release that it's 2017 and you have not looked at the stuff since and have no idea what some of it even was for in the first place.

    Nothing like the strange looks I got standing in the front of the street over my garbage can with a stack of cds smashing each and every one into the can so that the co-mingling of partial data would make it just about impossible even if someone tried to microscopically figure out the pits and lands to re-create the data that was stored.
    Matt

    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.
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  • #2

    Re: cleaning out old computer backups

    I have a box of 8" floppy drives somewhere with system backups from my old CPM computer from the late 70's.
    Steve The Drill Sergeant
    Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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    • #3

      Re: cleaning out old computer backups

      I still have backups in several different, obsolete media, too.

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      • #4

        Re: cleaning out old computer backups

        My pre-2006 backups were on 3.5" diskettes, which have all be thrown out. My 2006 DVD-R backup cannot be read (I just checked after seeing your post). I have a copy of all year-end backups on my USB external hard drive starting in 2007, and the files are all readable. On very rare occasions I have looked back at some of these old files, but I'm sure I could have lived without them. I probably don't have as much stuff as a lot of people. My data files (excluding pictures) are about 1.5GB each. My pictures are over 2GB, but just get updates/added to once in awhile. If my external hard drive backups start running out of space, I will start deleting certain old files. I make sure I have my CRA tax files (UFile) saved for at least 6 years.

        ...Wayne

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        • #5

          Re: cleaning out old computer backups

          I had the print shop backed up to DAT tape. Of course the recorder eats tapes, probably due to degenerating drive belts, and what computer has SCSI interface ...

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          • #6

            Re: cleaning out old computer backups

            I just found a USB external 3.5" disc drive the other day. I remember I bought it from Dell many moons ago when I was buying a new laptop. The new laptop that year no longer came with a 3.5" disc drive. They said dvd drives were the way of the future. I thought they were being a bit premature, and couldn't imagine a computer without being able to access 3.5" discs, so I spent the extra money to order an external one. When I found it the other day, still in the packaging, I realised that I had never once used it. So, of course, I plugged that sucker in and checked out some discs I found in the same box. surprisingly, it worked, but the discs were blank...

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            • #7

              Re: cleaning out old computer backups

              Makes me think as well about an exchange I remember witnessing when I was a boy, probably about 1987. I was browsing in a computer shop dreaming of being able to afford Borland's newly released C++, when I heard a salesman giving the hard-sell to an older man looking to buy a desktop: "you've picked the right computer, but you need to get the dot matrix printer with it." "But I've never had a printer before, I don't think I'll need to print things" "Let me give it to you straight: with a printer, a computer is a tool that you can use to conduct real business. But without a printer, it's nothing more than a toy! All it can do is sit there on your desk and be good for playing games. If that's what you want, then fine, we'll do that for you, but if you want to get work done, you'll need the printer." The old man caved and bought a Roland. And funny enough, back in 1987, that salesman wasn't too far from being correct. Yes, Al Gore had already invented the internet, technically, but at least in my circle of friends even just local dial-up BBS was still a year or two away, never mind the world wide web. So it's not like the salesman was totally misreading the current situation, he was just - like me with my external floppy drive - totally misreading the direction things were going.

              BTW, as a quick aside, as this is a family friendly forum, I can't reprint how mrs. callee responded when I called down the stairs from the storage loft saying that I felt so old, having just discovered my external floppy drive...

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              • #8

                Re: cleaning out old computer backups

                Years ago I used to tell the new programmers to keep a printed listing of their programs with a test case and consider it to be the ultimate backup that you hope you will never need. A PITA to retype the source but a lot better than having to figure out the whole program design.

                Now days I don't print nearly as much stuff at home as I used to but I still apply the above for some important stuff - I keep a printed copy of my tax return in addition to the electronic output.

                A comment on backups. If you write your files to an external drive or other device and then clear them off your internal drive for housekeeping (it bugs you because it is there and you aren't needing it now) or space needs, you do not have a backup - you still only have one copy. People often feel better when the file is off the internal HD and there is some truth to that but a dropped external might render everything on it useless. CD/DVDs are not perfect and some deteriorate fairly quickly and the erasable ones are worse for reliability than the write-once type.

                billh

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