While doing Suzanne’s Memory Network activity for the How Stuff Works? assignment, I realized that I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to my data. I tend to make backups of everything in fear that if I don’t, everything will just go whoosh and bam! be gone forever. Tad neurotic? Why, yes, yes it is. I have copies of notes and lists scribbled on papers all over my apartment, hanging on my fridge, in piles on tables and bookshelves, and even used as bookmarks (which makes for a good time when trying to find my deposit receipt from the bank). From there, I have even bigger piles of composition books with research quotes, story ideas, story beginnings, character lists, essay outlines, and future research lists.
My external hard drive seems to be my most important node in my memory network and I guard it like Smaug did with the dwarves treasure. It holds three computers worth of information and acts as the memorial to those computers that have fallen to broken plastic (damn machine), old age, and loss of power ports. I learned the hard way (and via my mother before one of my major papers had been due) that one should have copies of everything. I mean, everything. To stare in bewilderment as the computer murmurs to life after having been wiped clean is a blow to the academic sanity, so now I am a proud hoarder of my data. The save button will be worn out. The copy and paste of files becomes habitual. The external placed with deference inside its padded case, cord neatly packed beside it.