Modern Shakespeare: To Delete or not to Delete


Despite all of our technical advances in the last couple of decades, there is still a lot to be said for the simple filing cabinet in your home or office. I mean, when was the last time you needed to defrag your filing cabinet? Or when was the last time it ‘crashed’ and you ‘lost all your files’? Did the latest update break the cabinet too? Seriously, this just never happens. So for someone with simple needs (i.e. single person/home budget), a complex program like QuickBooks is way overkill.

Let’s talk about the durability of media.

Harddrives are lasting about 3-5 years tops. How many of you thought about replacing your HD recently? A better question now to ask is ‘Can you afford to loose every, single piece of data on your hard drive?’. Now, this is only for the end user/home user of computers and mainly the PC people. See, you people cause your own problems. You want it cheaper and cheaper every year but then complain wildly when it crashes in 3 years and you have to replace it.

So people also burn their data to Disks. Well the shelf life of a disk is far from definitive. There are estimate of between 2 years and 50 years. The biggest problem is the environment in which disks are stored. so now even backing up to a CD isn’t all that helpful and apparent there is no data for DVDs as of yet.

So to sum up, you can’t trust HDs for extended periods of time, you can’t trust CDs/DVDs for extended times….what can you trust?


1/ Buy more expensive HDs and set them in a RAID format. This works great and is exactly what the big companies do. The problem is cost. People simply don’t have enough of an idea to believe they need such expenses even though the durability is significant.

2/ Outsource your storage. By that I mean use other people’s $100,000+ setup. This is the route I chose for my daily uses. I use GMail for all my email communications. Hell, Google makes enough money to afford outrageous machines. Let them worry about backups and data security. The downside, you have no control over where your data is. Hardly a downside for the average person really.

3/ Deal with replacement every 3-5 years of your media. For most people, this isn’t an option but a does to slap in the face reality. They wait till it breaks then call in a tech to fix it. I ended up charging one company $1500 for data recovery because 3 years of financial data was on the failed HD and they HAD to have it. Gues what they got now? An external drive to back up on. Harsh lesson to learn.

Speaking of deleting data. Why can’t people just take the time to think about what they are doing? While working for a company, one guy emails in saying to delete this one particular account. Being the obedient company representative, I diligently follow the client’s instructs and inform him when it was done. To whit he responded “Don’t delete this account.”. Sorry about your luck fella but maybe a few moments of thought before you asked me to delete the account would have been useful.

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