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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Fourth law of computers

Posted Thursday, May 29, 2008, at 10:09 AM

Quick, do you know the first three "laws" of computers? See below.

Our youngest son, Benji, says daddy is a workaholic.

But what does he know. Just because I used Memorial Day to clean up my computer files doesn't mean I can't stop myself from keeping busy.

The computer I use to create these epic blogs was purchased about three years ago. I had all my data files and graphics from the old Windows '98 computer put into a folder on this one marked, "Old Files."

Somewhere along the way, I think most of these had been moved to a new folder (or maybe not), or duplicated (or maybe not), or deleted (or maybe not).

The result being there was no longer any good way to separate the good, the bad and/or the ugly. There are things on this computer I've saved at least 10 years and whose value is suspect.

So, I decided to clean up and reorganize my files so at least I could go through them later and figure out what else I could delete. This accomplished three things:

A. A lot of stuff which should obviously be deleted was, freeing up space on the hard drive,

B. B. What was left could be categorized for look-up later, and

C. I could dig up all those things I'd written over the years and see if any of it was any good enough to resurrected when I run out of new ideas for blogging.

I also ran Windows Update (hopefully avoiding future virus damage), and had the dust blown out of the tower at Computer Center (this should be done about once a year. It had been over two). I also did my semi-annual data backup.

It was this backing up thing which reminded me of my "fourth law of computers," namely:

* Fourth law of computers; Squirrels kill two hours work!

Sure, hard drives can get old, corrupted and fail at the least convenient moment. Yes, there are a lot of virus-type things you can get which will wipe the drive clean. But the real danger is squirrels.

I learned about squirrels the hard way (most people find out about losing data and photos the hard way). Way back when everything on computers was done using 5 1/2-inch truly floppy "floppy drives," I had worked for about two hours writing something, which I am now sure was both eternally vital and magnificently beautiful. I'll never know. Seems a squirrel ate through a power line about the beginning of the third hour, killing himself and everything I'd written. Inspiration is a fickle thing. Somehow it can be brilliant one moment and gone the next. My inspiration, along with anything I'd written, was forever gone.

For some reason, I have since developed the habit of hitting save about every 47 seconds.

So, do you know the first three "laws" of computers?

The answers will be blogged at some later date. But, if you can correctly guess my three laws of computers, there is a prize -- I still have that dead squirrel.

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@joink.com.

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