Old Drives and Old Computers

HardDrives.jpg

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Yes. 11.

11 old computers. Old Macs, PCs, laptops. Even an old Toshiba netbook.

5 old tablets. A dozen or so old cellphones.

And over 20 external hard drives. Of various sizes and configurations.

Why so many devices?

Well, they were acquired over the past few decades and never discarded. Until now. As part of our downsizing activities, we are downsizing all of our tech. All we will need when we retire is 1 laptop, two tablets and two smartphones. And a NAS. Oh and a couple of Apple TVs. A router. Okay, I’ll try and stop there.

The old Apple products will make their way to the Apple Store as part of the Apple Recycling Program. The rest of the old products will go to an electronics recycling depot in town.

But first?

I have to go through every drive and every computer just to make sure that there isn’t any data that we might need to keep. I am mostly worried about digital photos that did not find their way into my Lightroom catalog.

I’m almost done this part of the downsizing effort. It’s silly in a way that digital downsizing is almost as much work as physical downsizing.

I purchased a 4-bay NAS to hold the bulk of our digital data while we travel. I have another set of disks that I will use to keep a rotating set of incremental backups offsite to prevent any catastrophic data loss. Over the past several months I have been scanning and digitizing memories and storing the data in Evernote. That data resides locally and in the cloud. 1 copy local on the NAS, 1 copy in the cloud and 1 copy offsite.

The photography collection is also in three places. 1 copy local on a direct access storage device, 1 copy on the NAS and 1 copy offsite.

Most of our other files, things like spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, courseware, music, movies, will live on the NAS with 1 copy offsite.

Fascinating to turn on all of this old hardware. Old operating systems. Old browsers.

The sad thing is that they all still work. I feel a bit sad that the machines will go into recycling but then again most of the machines have been sitting gathering dust on our storage shelves for the better part of 10 or 15 years.

Time to let them go now.

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