The management here at Beyta Gear Service’s world headquarters has ordered a clean-up of certain storage areas. Our now adult children left quite a bit of things behind as they graduated college and went out on their own. One has gradually reduced her stuff to a shoebox of life and a bin of toys. The son lives in one of those tiny New York apartments made famous on insurance commercials and has pretty much ignored the problem.
Management has had enough of this neglect so I am “reorganizing” the storage area and taking photos of certain items with the intent of selling them. So far I have learned that men my age have no business doing the work of Rock and Roll roadies. Who knew music equipment was so heavy?
So what could this possibly have to do with the gear business? To get to the music equipment it was necessary to mine through a lot of gear books, catalogs, and records. At one point I kept project records on floppy disks; even top-of-the-line desktops had very small memories by today’s standards and you just couldn’t store much more than the day’s efforts. Not to mention the primitive state of “networks;” the most reliable communication between computers was the “sneaker network” — you put the files on a floppy and carried it to the recipient.
So I will be going through a box of floppy disks soon trying to decide if they merit saving. In some cases I may no longer have the programs to read them. Fortunately, in the early days of my consulting firm I bought a portable floppy drive to use with my new laptop which shockingly came without a built-in one. That was two laptops ago so I should have known this day was coming.
How are your engineering records these days? Are your critical design files in a format you can no longer read? Are you performing important calculations on obsolete computers? How long to you need to keep those files for anyway?