Tidying up

“You know you have an insane amount of data on that thing, don’t you?” is David’s periodic cry. He’s referring to my laptop, of course, the computer on which I do all my writing. He’s right. I do have a lot of stuff filed – or piled – on it. Multiple drafts of pieces, multiple copies of finished drafts, filed in different places for whatever arcane reason I had at the moment, bits and pieces I’ve cut, and half a dozen files labelled some variation of “ideafile”; the list goes on and on.

So last week I probably ten hours in all plodding through the various levels of storage and file-age, and spillage and ullage (slop in a ship from the water barrels), and tidying up. I deleted things, mostly second, third and fourth copies of stuff. I deleted old letters, and files that I can no longer read because they’re in some obsolete format. No loss there, as most of them have been copied at least into .rtf format.

It was a long, long job, and not a lot of fun, but I’m glad I did it. Except for one folder that I tossed a couple dozen files into because I was completely knackered, everything is in its proper place. I even opened every single iteration and variation of “ideafile” and put all the ideas into one file, of which I have one copy.

That last does make me a tad edgy – one copy. I was a printmaker in my first artistic life, and the wonderful thing about being a printmaker is the multiplicity of what you produce. I got used to it, and I think it somehow became ingrained into my artist brain. If there’s only one of anything, and something happens to it, well…..

I’m working with that, getting used to the idea that I no longer have multiple copies of everything I’ve written. Sort of.

Because, as David also pointed out, I have the desktop, onto which I often copy stuff. There is also a backup gadget which probably contains the entirety of what was on the desktop, and maybe a big chunk of the laptop, too. I never know precisely what David does when he gets into the arcana of computer geekery.

I think he’s probably going to want me to tidy up the desktop, and possibly the backup files as well. Maybe I’ll get around to it later. Tidying up one computer is enough for this decade.

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