Driving Me Batty: How do you store their data? Or do you?

At work, I’m the IT manager as well as everything else. I’m in charge of five systems: 3 Windows 98 (One English, two Chinese) systems, XP is on two systems (one English, one Chinese).

You can figure that the interrelationships and commutations are quite difficult to manage: but it gets worse. One system has a DVD burner that won’t burn DVDs, every system has a CD burner. Some systems have only one Hard Drive, but some have two.

Then there are incompatibility problems between Windows 98 English and Chinese, as well as idiosyncracies that would make the hair fall out! One notable one is that file names in Chinese can be copied, deleted, opened or anything-ed in Windows 98 English version.

Additionally, some data has been copied to some other pcs; while some has been backed up to other pcs. There are numerous copies of the same files, but occasionally just one copy of important files. Some files even exist on our webserver.

On top of this, one of the systems has doubled as my personal workhorse for the past few years as well, while the home system (number 6!) also served as a print server while our photocopier was broken.

There are also legacy CDRoms with tons of data that was backed up for quite a while. Then I moved onto portable disks which could hold much more data. I have two such disks each stuffed with 80GB.

It’s difficult to make sense of all of this, but this has been my project for the past week. It’s quite clear to me that I need to find ways to manage the increasing amounts of data.

So, first I’m updating the systems so that we can reduce and eliminate the Windows 98 nonsense. That should put most of the systems on a level playing field. Then both primary systems will have DVD burners that can burn upto 8GB at a time.

Second, I will have to adopt an archiving policy by burning old data to DVD burner and removing it from the systems on which it was found.

Thirdly, categorizing and organizing data is going to be necessary. Unfortunately, the colleagues I work with are far from organized when it comes to managing their own data. I won’t be able to do so much on that score.

How do you guys deal with the ever increasing amounts of data and files that you work with? Do you archive and delete regularly? This really is a plea for help!

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