Good morning Steve and all of you. This note today is so true in my own experience. I guess I didn't realize exactly how much 'data' I had gathered until I embarked on the project of modernizing the media it is stored on.
I lost my first wife to cancer when my two sons were in early grade school, then remarried and got two more. While my early years didn't get to involve a wide range, the last 40+ years have allowed me to visit Alaska once, Hawaii twice, drive across western Europe once and cruise Europe west to east once on a once-in-a-lifetime Rhine-Danube cruise and then visit folks in Ukraine and Romania, visit Caribbean islands, along with building a remote cabin in the Rockies and spending summers there.
Some awesome parts of the Rhine-Danube cruise were visiting some German prison camps, seeing many museums along the way, visiting fantastic old cathedrals and historic castles, numerous optional guided tours and evening lectures on the boat, besides traveling with a friend who is a descendant of Admiral Karl Doenitz, Adolph Hitler's Naval Admiral.
Of course there are thousands of photographic family memories, in addition to having ancestral family photos covering over 100 years. This in addition to an obsession with numbers that includes data for every cent of my retirement and records of income, expenses starting in 1986 and savings from 1943 onward. Add to this over 1000 pages of ancestral data from both of my parents families.
I 'blew' $1000 on a good 35mm automated slide scanner and have been scanning four moving boxes of slides and photo albums into digital media. I've simplified my home office down to four computers but mass storage has increased to currently 28TB of NAS storage and four removables, and I'm only about 1/3 through the 35mm slides. It is really nice to be able to browse through a century of memories on our 65" TV.
One piece of advice to you all is to begin early the keep your data organized and safe, and to keep it in up-to-date media. This makes it possible to share with family instead of having it all stored away in cardboard boxes and never seen. Also, get all those memories documented, as it's nice to know who is in those 100-year-old photos. And your kids will enjoy those pictures of their birthdays, friends, and family from their early days, maybe except for the 'nudies' of my oldest son getting a bath in a dishpan on the kitchen table.
Definitely go with digital documents for your financial records and avoid accumulating years of paper files and the cabinets they consume. I have slimmed down, scanned and shredded decades of paper files to the point that I have seven 4 and 5 drawer file cabinets in the basement that are empty of personal and business records.
So start now to organize your data for the future. You won't regret it.
One of the best days of my IT career was the day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.