Saturday Jan 26, 2008

Goodbye manuals, welcome back memories

    I've been a pack rat since I was old enough to think something was mine. I also have what I call an overactive Boy Scout gland, i.e. I'm always trying to be prepared for even the most unlikely circumstances. One aspect of this tendency is my feeling like there is never enough time, so I want to be ready to do something productive if I suddenly find myself with a few extra moments. Most of my friends find it handy to have me around, because I usually have the item they need at hand. For me though, it can be frustrating to try to carry so much stuff, or other wise keep it at hand.

    Having been in the computer industry for 25+ years, and in my poorer days having lusted for more computer stuff, I've keep a lot of manuals, etc, in case I or someone else needed them. Even within the last few years, as I decided I didn't really need them, I felt someone out there might need them or want them. I still haven't found any reasonably easy way to find someone who wants them, and as most of them are for software, etc that is over 10 years old, it is unlikely that anyone wants them anyway. So, my collection of old BeyondMail, WinRules, Banyan Vines, Banyan Intelligent Messaging, Novel MHS, FTP Software TCP/IP, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Windows 3.1, MS DOS, old 68k Mac manuals, etc is finally going away. I'm recycling them in the paper recycling pickup here at home.

    It has taken a while to let go, and now I am comfortable saying goodbye to most of the old manuals. I may keep a memento or two, at least for a little while longer, but I'm feeling pretty good about shedding these pounds. If someone somewhere wanted them, keep hope, there may be another like me who still has old manuals. Actually, I'm quite impressed by how easy it has been lately to let go of stuff I've held onto for decades. It feels good, and I'm sure I won't miss them. I am taking a few pictures to remember my past neurosis'.

    In the process of cleaning up, which getting rid of the manuals has been part of, I have been reminded of some fond memories. Sun Microsystems has seen it's share of changes over the years, and I have made many friends at Sun over my 10 years. I started during the hey day of the dot com boom, and was part of a pretty close group of pre-sales engineers. We 'lived' in a section of cubicles we called Gomerville, and had many fun times. We also went through a cleaning, when the Boston area sales office moved from New England Executive Park to the then new Sun Campus.

    As part of that move, we took the opportunity to shed some pounds, including many old manuals. Some of them, like some of the ones I have been shedding now, had wire binders, which with a small amount of effort, you could pull out of the manual. This left you with a long wavy wire, and a lot of loose pages you could then put in the paper recycling. What to do with the wire was another question. I've been throwing mine away, but one of the creative lads at Sun during our move actually created a wire man. This objet d'art hung around his cube for several weeks until the final move, and was quite interesting. I might have considered doing something similarly artistic with my current wire, but I don't even want extra art hanging around. Besides, maybe when I'm ready for some wire art, I can find someone out there with manuals they want to get rid of. \^_\^

A place where Perley Mears sounds off on topics relevant to his work at Oracle.


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