Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How I Spend My Christmas

No, not Christmas Morning. (This year Christmas is being brought to me by the letter “C”: Camembert, Cookies, Chocolate, rollo iCe Cream, Cheese Croissants, a Carton of sugared Cereal; all those things I tend not to buy. In bed, with a good book)

Each year over the Christmas break I take the opportunity to rebuild my computers by reformatting the hard drive and re-installing the operating system and software.

It’s the only way I know to generate a pristine machine, free of all the residue of software I’ve tested over the past year.

Yes, I know about mirror images, but I don’t want a mirror-image of twelve months ago; I want a new machine loaded with the best of what I’ve evaluated and used over the latest 12 months learning cycle.

And yes, I backup my machines each night, and yes, my drives are partitioned into a program partition (15 gigabytes) and a data partition (85 gigabytes).

But what an opportunity to speed up my machines.

And what do I do while Windows XP is downloading the seemingly endless stream of updates?

I strip the deadwood from my paper filing system – folders for clients who didn’t materialize, notes from systems long abandoned – and I vacuum the balls of cat fur from behind the desk.

At the end of one day I’ve completed my annual housecleaning.

And sharpened all my pencils.

I sleep well that night.

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