I sat here last night. Pondering the differences between this computer which runs Windows 7 Professional and all my other computers which run Windows 7 Home Premium. That was the precise moment I realized I had not the slightest idea where I’d put the system disks for this computer.

And then there is the software and the manuals for all the applications I no longer use, books, a few antiques, and more, mostly obsolete, software. And one music box.

Software and the manuals for applications I no longer use, books, a few antiques, and more, mostly obsolete, software. And one music box.

It was alarming. It got more alarming the more I thought about it. I also realized I had no idea where I put the system disk for Windows 7 I installed on another laptop. For that matter, I was a little hazy on where to find the disks for any of our computers. The only stuff I can locate quickly is for a computer I no longer own, but gave to my granddaughter.

I have every version of Quicken I ever bought — a lot of Quicken — and I no longer use Quicken. I do know where my DVDs for Photoshop are. I have located at least half a dozen versions of Scrabble, none of which run on this operating system.

Sometime around midnight, I went into a frenzy of searching for the system disks for this computer because I doubt they are replaceable. Garry found them, on the keyboard of the electric organ (as opposed to the piano).

I must have been in some kind of daze when I did the setup on this computer. Normally, I take system disks, put them in a manila envelope, label them in big fat markers as “red laptop” or “silver XPS” or “Garry’s 14Z.”

So many computers have come and gone, I have system software for computers that left my possession years ago. I’m not sure what “Garry’s 14Z means, because at some point, his 14Z had to be reloaded and I gave him my 14z. After repair, what had been his 14Z became my “spare laptop,” the one I use to listen to audiobooks as I fall asleep. Or make a final check of email late at night. So what, exactly does “Garry’s 14Z” mean? My bedroom computer or his laptop?

I have every version of old software I used. Manuals too. Empty boxes for each camera I bought. Which is a lot of cameras and a lot of boxes. I have empty Kindle boxes back to the first keyboard Kindle I owned.

I should throw at least some of the stuff away. I finally got rid of the boxes of floppy disks as I no longer have any way to read them. But I kept CDs of documents and photos going back more than a decade, even though I have this same data on three different external hard drives.

No wonder I can’t find anything. Between junk and having become increasingly distracted and absent-minded, important pieces of my life are vanishing.

Everything is “somewhere.” Nothing is lost. Just … missing. I can’t even blame it on the pixies. It’s definitely me.

A Final Note: I bought the carved zebras (in the photograph) at a yard sale 7 or 8 years ago. While I was running my online shop, I got a call from the buyer for a major (you’d know the name) retailer. She wanted 3,000 of each. Sadly, I only had those two. They are one of a kind hand-carvings.

We all wait for our ship to come in. Mine came. I couldn’t board. It left without me. That’s the way my life goes.

Categories: Cameras, Computers, Computers, Operating System, Software, Technology

Tags: , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Eight years ago, I lost control. Of a lot. Of everything. I went from a person who had a place for everything and everything was in its place to a “oh just throw it there for now and deal with it later”, and later didn’t come until a few months ago. What a mess. But it’s all cleaned up and thrown out or sorted and filed and labeled appropriately. It has been emotionally exhausting, thinking about how the lack of control of stuff mimicked how out of control my entire life has been the last 8 years. Still climbing out. Thank you for this post. I don’t feel so alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That reminds me that I have no idea where some of my discs are and will now go crazy looking for them, thank you very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is so frustrating when the one piece of software you need is the one you can’t find. I tend to put things in places that I know I will remember but David puts things in completely different places and then, usually when I’m in the middle of something else says “Have you seen the disc for the printer/ my Windows XP disk/ that cable I left on the kitchen bench? And he does still have floppy disks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so easy to find the things you don’t need. I do all the putting away, so I can’t blame someone else. It’s all my fault. Which doesn’t make me feel any better.
      What does he do with the floppy disk? Can any of your computers actually read them anymore? Mine can’t.


    • Let’s begin with MEA CULPA!. During my working days, my “space” in the TV newsroom was so very neat. My desk was neat. Scripts, reference material, videos and BOOKS were all where they were supposed to be. Even the stuff I’d “appropriated” was neatly packed away. But that was once upon a time. Now that time has gone. (I’d love to hear Tony Bennett sing that again).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m the same. Only when I moved house did I check (some of) the old computer stuff which will only run on Windows 95 and the like 🙂
    I kept a lot of junk, though, like my mass of SCART cables “just in case”. I’m not even sure modern equipment has SCART sockets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have telephone cords. Connectors. Spare printer cable (our printer is wireless and has been for years). Because … you never know. It’s like sucking ones thumb, technologically speaking. But I did let go of the floppy disks. That was HARD.


  5. I am opposite, tending to throw away that which I should keep. 😞


  6. If you want to purge all of the old, outdated, no longer usable software you have (and perhaps even some of the hardware) and certainly all of the boxes that all of that stuff came in, all you need to do is to move across the country and downsize from a full-sized, detached home to a condo. You’d be amazed at how much stuff you end up getting rid of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We actually downsized when we moved from our Boston condo to this house. The condo was a triplex and had more closet space than any other place I’ve lived. But we’ve been here 14 years and stuff accumulates. I don’t know why I have so much trouble throwing this stuff away because I have NO trouble getting rid of clothing, dishes, pots and pans, even furniture, antiques, books, DVDs, music CDs … I give stuff away, donate it, or dump it. No problem. But software? I think I’m sure as soon as I get rid of it, I’ll discover I need it. And I have NO idea what’s with me and the boxes from my cameras. I KNOW I don’t need them, but I can’t seem to let them go. Weird.


    • Okay, Doob. So all we have to do is move and everything will be presto cleano forever.


      • Well, Garry, I wish it were just a matter of waving a magic wand and all of that clutter would simply vanish.

        But it really means going through all that stuff and fighting the urge to say, “I can’t throw this old, dated software disk away. You never know when that technology will come back,” or “Oh this crappy item that my cousin, who I haven’t spoken with in 20 years, gave me has such sentimental value I could never discard it.”

        You just have to find a large bin and start indiscriminately tossing old stuff into it, making only rare exceptions for things that might be of real value…and that can’t be everything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We have done that … several times. When we moved to our condo. Again when we moved here. A couple of years ago when we thought we were going to move again, but in the end, didn’t (because we couldn’t sell the house and I got cancer and the bank reduced our mortgage). But we did get rid of a lot. The problem is, it comes back. Like that bad penny. Garry and I offloaded hundreds of books to libraries, schools, friends … anyone who would adopt them. I gave away half of my antique Chinese porcelain (that hurt!) to my best friend. We got rid of old appliances, miscellaneous “goodfers.” Garry got rid of more clothing than most people ever own. So did I.

          And there’s STILL too much stuff. Add in new books people give us. Okay, the old computer and camera stuff is my issue … for Garry it’s old scripts, newspaper headlines, playbills … and statuettes, plaques, awards (he got a lot over the years). Could YOU throw out a lifetime achievement award from NAFTA? Bet you couldn’t. And I did dump a couple of cartons of floppy disks. Now I need to really take a bite out of the old software and toss the camera boxes. That will help. And get rid of the manuals for software I no longer use. Maybe a crate or two of my old writing samples, proof that I actually HAD a career …

          But it really IS harder than I thought it would be. And there is SO much.


          • When we moved to San Francisco, there were unopened cardboard boxes in our attic from when we moved into our Worcester house nearly 20 years earlier. I was sorely tempted to open up and go through each and every one of those cardboard boxes, sure I would find somethings of value, some treasures from the past. I opened up the first box and spent half a day reminiscing about all that I found in it. But ultimately, I kept only one item. At that rate, it would have taken me somewhere between three to six months to sort through it all. So I decided to just dump them all, unopened. I figured if I hadn’t needed whatever was in those boxes for 20 years, I could continue to live without. I also tossed my vast accumulation of old software, including my MS-DOS system disks circa 1985 and my original MS-Flight Simulator game. I tossed all of my 3 1/2″ “floppy” disks and my Iomega Zip drive disks, since I no longer owned a computer with a drive that could read any of what was on those disks.

            Seriously, it was the only way to go.


        • You’re right, Doob! (SIGH!!!!)


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