Yesterday I woke up early, which is unusual for me on a Sunday. I was excited to complete the transition from two old computers to one new laptop, which involved amongst other things migrating all files from the old machines, cleaning the living room and arranging the furniture. A laptop really changes the way a house is organized, since you can sit with it anywhere. So between migrating data and cleaning I stumbled across a box of old Zip disks. I hadn't seen them or thought about them for a couple years, so it was a surprise. Luckily one of the old machines I was getting rid of could read both the 100MB & 250MB disks and I waded through their contents, moving them to a hard drive and deleting them. I came across several images from 1997, which were luckily saved in Tiff format and thus were still readable. The image sizes were ridiculously small by today's standards, but they were images I didn't know still existed and happily migrated them as well. I may touch on digital image file formats in a later post, but will say here that Tiff's are great for long term storage and preservation.
At some point after I had cleared off and moved a large desk I decided to check the old computers for any miscellaneous files I would want to keep. I started copying them to my external hard drive and then remembered a trick involving two Macs and a firewire cable. Basially you can make one computer a "slave" and the other the "master" by holding down "t" when starting up the "slave" computer. Apple has an article about doing it here. One issue I ran into is that my old Power Mac G3 wouldn't start in target mode, so instead I made it the "master" and started my new laptop in target mode...it worked in reverse sort of, and I think my old Mac was thrilled to be, at least temporarily, master over my laptop. Files were migrated, furniture was moved and a lot of cleaning took place, but I still have piles of paperwork to dig through. I'm fairly certain most of it can be recycled. I'll be doing a paperwork triage in much the same way I did a digital file triage.