[This is a 47hats Tip.]

It’s another Friday, another slow day, another piece of advice I hope I need to take more than you do: Turn your Disk Swamp into a trusted and trustable system.

You may have noticed there was no tip yesterday – that’s because I spent nearly the entire fracking day trying to find one disk I really needed. Not in my office, not in my disks to file, not in my boxes of disks, not in my disk swamp (see photo above).

I have more digital information than the human race had up to 1990 and I still could not find find that disk. Until I found it in my office, where it should have been, in a disk box I was sure was empty.

Developers are digital packrats. We get beta disks, trial disks, MSDN disks, client disks, customer disks, disks from other developers and who knows what the hell is on this disks.

So later today – after I do the Weekly Site Review I meant to do yesterday – it’s time to nuke this swamp of little round shiny objects, create a digital library worth keeping and a set of processes to keep order. Here’s my plan – adopt as you desire:

  • Kill, Kill!, Kill!!! Think dealing with the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill Vol. II. All of the beta disks go. All of the blank label what the hell is that disk goes. They all go away.
  • MSDN Disks. After years of being in MSDN, I’ve got enough copies of SQL Server and it’s ilk to industrialize a small country. First I plan to sort by color, then in by disk number, then by date. And toss all of the obsolete/duplicate copies of everything.
  • My Backup Disks. Well, they are for backup, right? Nope. They are the remnants of bygone projects, obsolete code and things whose day in the sun have long since past. They all go away.
  • Application Disks – First the great divide – Windows, Mac, Other. Then alphabetically, with obsolete copies going away.
  • Hot and Cold Storage. I’m keeping one disk box in my office for disks I currently/frequently need, and as many boxes as I need downstairs for all other disks. Disks will be allowed to life in one of those two places, or on my desk for a day. No where else, ever, for any reason whatsoever.
  • One last step – take these steps and stick them into one of the online email reminder sites out there to come back at me in say 4 months – because the Disk Swamp needs periodic draining.

[tags]microISV, tips[/tags]

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