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.