Archive, your chive

I’ve taken on the daunting task of sorting through the spindle of backup dvds which has resided on my desk for some time now.

Thanks to an extreme paranoia which has weakened a bit with age, I made backups of my documents and pictures about every 6 months for the last 6 years.  In that time, I’ve been through 4 computers, half a dozen operating systems, and several places of residence.  Through it all, I faithfully carried my backup spindle.

What brought on my sudden urge to purge was the realization of two facts: I have more hard drive space than I ever could use, and cheap burnable CD’s have a fairly short life.  To that end, I set to go through each disc and determine whether it’s contents were worthwhile.

The whole process took about 6 hours, and was worth every minute of it.  Rifling through the many files & discs is a bit like looking at the cross-section of a tree trunk.  The first backups were very small, and just barely occupied two cds of picturse & documents.  It would have been less, but I got my first digital camera two years before my first cd-burner.

The years wore on, and more pictures were being archived.  New cameras with more megapixels drastically increased the size of the images, which of couse meant more cds.  Before I finally convinced my Dad to give me his old DVD burner, I was burning 9 cds just to archive my photos.

With the advent of a DVD burner, I could fit my collection onto two DVDs, then three, then four.  In it’s current state, my photo collection would require13 DVDs to hold a full backup.  With that in mind, I’m beginning to back them up to Amazon S3, a medium which I hope will last for several years.

Besides a fresh look at how the collection has grown, I was able to regain a number of lost files & photos from my backup spindle.  Much to my chagrin, in the course of moving from one computer or OS to another, some pictures were lost over time.  It’s been years since I’ve laid eyes on some of the recovered photos, but I still remember everything about where they were taken and why.  It occurs to me that this is something I take for granted- the collection only represents the last 8 years, so most things are still clear in my mind.  Will I remember them so well 10 years from now?

One thought on “Archive, your chive

  1. What sorts of lost pictures did you recover? Any of me that would be embarrassing and henceforth that you should destroy?

    Just seeing a preview for the WALL-E DVD on tv… makes me think of you for some reason.


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