Friday, April 18, 2014

No Computer In The Computer Room

We have a room in our house we call the Computer Room, When we moved into this house 13 years ago, it was the age of stationary personal computers and dial up internet. The family computer had its own room and that’s where everyone went to do their business online and off. 

Lately I’ve been referring to it as the spare room. With laptops we can go anywhere in the house and it seems silly to call it the computer room when there’s no computer in it.

Right now it’s a junk room. It’s a way station for all the stuff that isn’t being used now, but could be useful some day. If not to us, then to the poor and needy.

It’s my intention to turn that room into a proper office, with a desk and a laptop that only lives there. And a printer. And files. And everything neatly put away.

But first I have to wade through all that stuff.

So far I’ve found lots of framed photos, including several I had taken of my daughter when she was three months old. She’s a freshman in college now, and while I like having photos of her around to remind me of when she was little, the one with her toothless little mouth wide open and her eyes closed, wearing the blue dress my Aunt Lorraine got for her when she was born is not something I want to look at every day.

But it’s hard to throw away photos, especially of your own sweet baby.

And then there are the computer disks. Remember those little squares of plastic you put in a slot in the hard drive? There are stacks of them in the spare room. I’m pretty sure the information they contain is not all that important, but on the off chance that there’s vital personal data on there that some identity thief is willing to dig through our trash and run through the old PC he happens to have on hand, we have to come up with some other way to dispose of them.

What a world we live in. The ever changing technological march forward prevents us from reading the things we recorded just five years ago. And we can’t even throw them out. Gotta think of the environment, you know.

Which gives me an immense appreciation of the written word. Also in that room, stashed away on a closet shelf, are 44 years of my journals, going all the way back to 1970. And while the paper may have yellowed and the ink may have faded a bit, I can still read every word. Well most of them--my handwriting was not always legible.

Sometimes I pick one up at random, looking for an entry on or close to the current date to see what I was doing twenty years or so ago.

And I don’t have to dig up a twenty year old electronic device to do it.

Some day soon I hope to have all the junk cleared from that room. But my journals will remain, a method of recordkeeping that will never be obsolete.  

Judy Nichols is the author of several books available on Amazon/

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