Right now I am weeding (or more accurately, avoiding weeding). No, it’s not my library collection or my garden. It’s the 3.5 floppies, CD-ROMs, and even a couple Zip disks that have accumulated on or in my home computer desk. The truth is, no matter how many wonderful things computers enable us to do, technology doesn’t change human nature. A pack rat will still be a pack rat. Just as in the library, it is necessary to evaluate the usefulness of items in the collection and get rid of the outdated ones that get in the way of finding the good stuff. So here goes. Out with the Zip disks—my current computer doesn’t have the drive to read them and neither does any computer I use at work. Out with the 3.5 floppies—the computer industry isn’t installing floppy drives on most of the new computers and anything on the disks can be saved more efficiently on a 40 gig hard drive, a memory stick, or somewhere online. As for the CDs, what criteria do I use? Language Discovery, designed to teach you basic vocab in 4 languages, was written to work with Windows 3.1. It opens, but there is undoubtedly something available online that uses photographs and actually pronounces the words. Complete Atlas & Street Map, ©2000 for Windows 95/98. This is probably still useful, but my husband has GPS in his vehicle, I carry a Thomas Guide that serves me well when I’m away from the computer, and MapQuest, Yahoo Maps or the Auto Club online all plot routes from any computer I am near. Then there are the educational programs I bought with thoughts of self-improvement. By the time I retire and have time to get to them, there will undoubtedly be much better tools available, like, maybe my own personal holographic tutor or an implant that will transfer knowledge directly to my neural network (Did I mention the fantasy game disks?) Oh, well, enough with the procrastination-- time to get back to weeding.
PS: Next job to tackle is the nearly 400 messages sitting in my inbox. Wasn’t technology supposed to simplify life?