Last week, my girlfriend was going through shit in the attic, and we’ve been trying to get rid of stuff. In some random box, she found a CD-r that was unlabeled. I didn’t have much time last night to try to read it, so I just gave it a quick shot before heading downstairs to watch the Eagles play.
It was almost like a bit of an exciting surprise. Mysteries are always fun and that’s what this disk was with no label or any idea to guess what was on it. I knew it could be anything from ripped MP3s from our CD collection for the car to backups of something cool from pictures. I was hoping it was old pictures because I seem to be missing some of the older ones that I want to find. Old stuff I wrote or whatever would have been really interesting too!
Back in the day, I am pretty sure I had a couple of bitcoins that I had mined to check it out when it wasn’t worth anything. It would have been nice to find that too!
I was pretty anal about backing the pictures, but CDs got lost, and I found out that at least the brands that we had used were pretty unreliable. The ones with random MP3s were fine, but backups of things that could be nostalgic didn’t seem to last very long.
This morning I put the CD in the drive and left it go for a few minutes. This time It did read it. Maybe wiping it off helped because there was probably years worth of dust on it. Once I mounted it, I was pretty disappointed. It was just the back-up Windows 98 install CD. I needed to get that backed up all those years ago because the ordinal CD was scratched. I was afraid it might not be readable when I needed it. We had been planning on upgrading the hard drive in that computer and finally did so I needed to reinstall windows.
I don’t miss those days of randomly reinstalling windows to make it run faster at all. Not even a little. Reinstalling windows usually did make a big difference back then. Funnily enough, the FreeBSD desktop that I am using has never been reinstalled, besides when my hard drive was dying and loosing stuff. It’s never slowed down. It is just not a bloated mess like windows is.
I guess the one good thing is that CD-rs have been a stable enough technology that there are still was to read it. My old zip disks were an entirely different story. That drive took a shit and I haven’t had a way to read those disks since. I have occasionally googled to see if anyone’s hacked a way to do it, but have come up empty so far. I guess now I will be going down that rabbit hole again. They seemed like a good idea at the time when they were cheaper than a CD drive and rewritable. I needed to do something back in the late nineties, when I only had an 800 megabyte hard drive. It’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around how cheap and dense computer storage has gotten.