BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going Obsolete

In the past few weeks there's been discussions on one of my author loops about getting data off of those old 5 inch floppy disks. You know, the big ones that look like coasters for a beer stein? Of course, since no one has those ginormous floppy drives any longer, getting the data off takes time and money.

I was feeling pretty smug as I listened to these discussions. All my work is still on my laptop--I just keep transferring it. With one exception. I'd moved Ravyn's Flight to CD. This format discussion had me reloading all the files for my first book back on my computer.

And my smugness returned.

Until I started thinking about this new series idea and remembering a fragment of an idea I'd come up with years earlier. Of course, I couldn't remember enough of it for the thing to be useful, but I could just look at the file

Um, yeah. You see, all these idea fragments were saved *only* to one of the small floppy disks. (I console myself with the fact that I never used big floppy disks.) Problem is my laptop with the small floppy drive died. My old desktop can still be fired up...if I have half an hour to kill while it boots.

That sound you heard? That was my smugness balloon being popped.

I ordered an external floppy drive that plugs in via USB, and when it arrives, I will be transferring everything off the small floppy disks onto my hard drive. Then it will be backed up by Carbonite (an automatic, off-site backup service) and all will be good.

I'll also be slower to scoff at authors who don't have all their data in a readable format. If this discussion hadn't come up, in a few more years, it probably would be difficult to even find an external floppy drive and I'd be in the same position they're in now. Technology moves fast, but word processing files are small and hard drives are large. From now on, everything goes on the hard drive and moves from system to system with me.