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Yes, I know that you really did install NT from floppies.  Heck, beyond that, you actually *used* floppies.  You think the “return to the command line” is a victory because you never left.  You are nerd and you should know better than to be surrounded by geek clutter and <eek> paper. 

Trash and donate task o’ the month:  Dump the out of date product manuals, old courseware, CDs of out of support software and yes <gasp> go through your games.  The product stuff?  Recycle, do not donate – they have no value.  The games and old gaming magazines?  Take a spin through eBay or ask at your local game or comic store.  Never can tell.  Now dump the out of date hardware (no, the Zip Drive is not coming back and neither is the floppy… just let go.  Take a picture if you want, but let go). 

Regaining some space?  Good.  Dust it.  Look at it with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Don’t put anything there yet – just revel in the simple emptiness.  One place where there is *nothing* waiting for you to do.  Oh, and take the trash out now, before you talk yourself into rummaging through it.  I know, it cost a lot of money and was really cool when it was new.  Look at a picture of yourself in high school.  Do you still own those clothes?  If no, then time to toss the software that came with them.  If so, you may be beyond my meager skills.  Seek a professional.  For the rest of you, rinse and repeat until you are down to what you might forseeably use.  You should now have enough space to pick up your paperless gear (and then some).

Nerd purchase(s) of the month:  Get yourself a UPS for each computer system (and your home theatre system) and a label maker.  You may already have the UPS, if so, test them and make sure they are still functioning properly and replace if not.  You’ll get some juice in the event you lose power (enough to shut down gracefully at least), clean power when you are up and running and you won’t be worrying during electrical storms.  Don’t skimp on these.  Remember, one of the excuses people give for not going paperless is concerns about losing data – we are going to eliminate those as we go along.  Put a bit of cash aside – we’re going to be doing all those things you “meant to get around to”.

Geeky paper reduction task of the month:  Find soft copies of all of your household and electronic manuals.  Rename them if they need it and store them in a folder for manuals with subfolders by the room the equipment is in.  If you are feeling the dream, take a picture (digital please) of the whatzits and widgets and store those with the manual.  A closeup of the serial number, etc. will also save you time digging around with a flashlight when you need it.

Oh, what do I know about being paperless?  Well, I’ve worked in municipal government for over 3 years and am paperless other than the weekly pay slips (that I would love to get paperless if I could).  My weakness?  Books.  But I’m working on that.  =}

The Rulez:

  • Is it currently supported by the vendor?  If no, recycle or toss.
  • Do you currently use it or are you planning to use it?  Be truthful.  If no, donate current versions (legal only, please), toss or recycle old versions.
  • If it is old media, do you have a drive for it?  If no, toss it.  If yes, copy it up to a drive on your current system and get rid of the media.  (This applies to VHS tapes as well.)
  • If it is old hardware, are you ever going to use it?  Can you replace it with something more energy efficient, better quality, smaller, safer or faster for minimal investment?  Time to go then.
  • Not sure?  Put it in a banker’s box.  Put the year and month on it.  Put it in an attic, closet, basement… anywhere you can’t see it.  If you don’t need it in the next year, you won’t need it.  Plan to purge when the clock runs out.