The long saga of my home office mess…

my officeOver the years my office has been more messy than clean. It is not that I don’t want a clean office, it’s that I don’t often have the time. Or worse I get a new gadget and keep the old one, with double cables in the same physical space it is harder to keep things clean. Lately, because in our hosue my office is in the basement, I have been spreading further and further into the basement. I put the ping pong cover on the pool table, and have now filled that with various project materials. I have filled the utility room with other project materials.

(the picture is of the back half of my office).

It is a process of splurging as my wife calls it. The expanding technology beyond the walls of my home office. Not, by the way that my home office isn’t also a mess. The advantage of VR/AR using Hololens and Oculus, is the office I see isn’t the office I have. The one in my Virtual World is clean. Spotless in fact. Virtual papers are stored. So, are actual papers in my office. When I don’t need paper work anymore I shred it. Shredded paper is an awesome fire starter!

devices_788539The reality of the problem isn’t paper. Its cables. I have a number of cables running around my office. From various devices that do best on an Ethernet connection to the many things I keep because they remind me of something or someone. In the corner of my office I have a desk my wife bought me many years ago, it is a corner computer desk and I love it. Next to that desk is the desk my father gave me in Cincinnati Ohio. Dad didn’t live in Cincinnati, I did. But the desk he gave me all those years ago, was the desk he taught me to read at. A principles desk in fact. I love the desk. It is in awesome shape still even though it has moved from Bloomington Indiana to Kirksville Indiana. From Kirksville to Cincinnati Ohio (Western Hills) Western Hills Ohio to Mt. Airy Ohio. Mt. Airy Ohio to Greenwood. Greenwood to Gaithersburg and its current last move from Gaithersburg to Germantown. It is a well-traveled desk full of memories.

On the walls are a variety of things given to me, and decorations. The problem with the office I think today is the reality of a long career, lots of stuff and really no place to store all of it. I slowly expand out into the rest of the basement. I am not allowed to have my stuff upstairs where other people could actually see it. So, I fill the basement. On occasion, I emerge from the basement with an object created on the 3d printer, the object is allowed to stay upstairs. I am not.

Over the years, I have tried various methods for keeping my office clean. What I end up with is neat storage bins, crammed full of miscellaneous things. You never know when you will be a USB to Serial port adapter again. Even though serial ports have gone the way of dinosaurs. Slow and not really relevant in the modern computer. I do still have a floppy disk, but that is more to demonstrate the capabilities rather than to actually use it.

I have made a decision three years ago, that I would digitize all the analog data sources I have such as pictures, video and film. I am converting all of them into digital media files and getting rid of the analog source (except for my grandfather’s film, that I am keeping).

We have converted all of my father’s slides and all of the family pictures to digital. I can on a 250-gig drive carry all my family’s pictures with me. Plus, with cloud storage, I now have the pictures in 4 places instead of one. That reduces the risk of fire and other damage. It increases the risk of someone stealing the pictures, but I am a horrible photographer so if someone steals all my pictures I would laugh. They would be sorely disappointed wandering through the 120,000 plus pictures looking for gold and finding the stuff left after the farmer cleans out the chaff. Not much data there, not much information there except for the occasion blurry whiteboard image of something drawn for a customer that ultimately without the context of the meeting is useless. I don’t save whiteboards like that anymore so they are also well out of date.

The path to a clean office lies in the digital world. I hope. Otherwise I am never going to get my office clean.

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Living in a virtual world, because its clean!