Rant : Digital Content Overload

I decided to take a few days off this month to do some much needed housework. Not only did I completely move around my bedroom but we also took a lot of time to get rid of some old junk that was just taking up space and collecting dust. In total, we donated a lot of the old stuff to several charity’s as much of it could be appreciated by others who are less fortunate. As a consequence of tearing apart everything in my room, my desk was also completely dismantled and it took me close to two days to put everything back together. When I got my desktop computer back together, I came to a realization, I am a hoarder… of data.

pile-of-hard-drivesI had three external hard drives with nearly 6 TB of Data along with a 1 TB Storage Drive inside my computer that was starting to fail. I also have a two external hard drives in my backpack and other various storage devices. Don’t even get me started on the amount of online storage I have which adds up to a bit over 1 TB of additional data (I have around 3 TB of cloud storage between Google Drive, PogoPlug and OneDrive at my disposal).

When I went to take apart my computer to move it, I noticed that my Long Term Storage Drive on the computer was about to fail. I did what any rational geek did and started to backup the contents to another drive rather then to wait for its imminent failure.  I started copying the 800 GB of Data to my external 4 TB external hard disk and got the dreaded “Insufficient Space” message. I had to come up with a creative way to spread the data from my failing hard disk over to a total of three external hard drives.

While the data move was in progress, I decided to fire up my file manager and take a stroll down my digital memory lane. I came across old projects I worked on, old school assignments that I had saved from 10 years ago, scanned copies of important documents, profile backups, and a lot of various backups. I was shocked to discover that there were thousands of duplicate files, six ISO images of Ubuntu 8.04 saved in different locations, nine ISO images of Ubuntu 9.10 and thousands of other files that are no longer useful and taking up over 1 TB of precious disk space spread out on all of the hard disks I have.

It was clear, I am a data hoarder and I needed to do something before my digital life spiraled completely out of control. I went out and purchased a new 3 TB Internal Western Digital Green hard disk this morning which will act as my “Long Term Storage” drive. This has been divided in half with one part being a “Long Term Storage” drive and the other part being a “Secure Long Term Storage” drive. The “Secure Long Term Storage” drive is encrypted as it will contain a lot of sensitive data such as ssh keys, home directory backups, scanned copies of important data and more. I have made a commitment to myself that anything that goes into either of the “Long Term Storage” drives needs to have a purpose and remain organized at all times. I will no longer use this drive as a dumping ground for all of the data that I don’t have an immediate need for anymore. I will also not move ANY content from the external hard drives to this new drive until it is sorted and I will also delete any content from the external drives that are no longer needed. It will take me a few months to get it under control but it can be done.

I also want to clear up one thing before someone says “that’s a lot of porn”. I do not pirate TV Shows or other online media. These drives are full of legitimated obtained data and backups from over 12 years of hoarding, mainly Linux ISO Images, Source Code Files, Backups and a metric ton of Android ROMs that I have flashed over the years.

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