Slow Down And Save Your Software Media

My how times have changed. Nothing seems to change as fast as they do in the computing world. In particular the way they package and distribute software.

When I first started in this business many years ago, computers had no hard drives and came with two 5-1/4” floppy drives. One drive was what you used to load the operating system into memory and load the program. The other drive was for storing your data.

Then came hard drives, with operating systems permanently loaded on the drive. If you wanted to load additional programs, you would go to the store and buy the program. It typically came with a large number of 3-1/2” floppy disks. You could
spend an hour or more loading a new application onto your system.

Then as things evolved, programs started shipping on CDROMS. This software media was much more durable than floppy disks. With the dawn of the Internet and the variety of places to purchase software, most companies now allow you to buy and download the software immediately.

This is no doubt due to the availability (and popularity) of high speed Internet access. You can purchase a copy of Microsoft’s Office Basic 2007 and download and install the program all in less than an hour.

We’re starting to see a problem though, with the easy availability of software applications – users who don’t create any backup  disks or restore disks during the initial setup of their new computer, or when they download a new program. I am sure the anxiousness of having a new computer means they want to enjoy their new computer as soon as possible.

Please, take the time to make these disks! I’ve found that hours of time and numerous service dollars can be saved if the disks are readily available for the technician to use.

I had a business client recently who needed to have Microsoft Office reinstalled on a station. I said “Sure where are your disks?” He said that a co-worker had borrowed them and he needed to get them back.

A few days later he called and said he had the disks. I drove to the client’s office, only to discover he had the disk for re-installing his operating system, not Office Basic.

I was able to go online and download his software, because he did have his install code. Unfortunately, the download takes quite awhile.

This just illustrates the need for keeping copies of all your software that is installed or may need to be re-installed. If you’d like assistance with this cataloging your software library, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.