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It’s All About the Archives Opening New Doors

Lately, I’ve been seeing these Iron Mountain trucks roaming about town. I don’t know why or how but, in the past few days, I have encountered at least six of them over the course of the day. I actually saw one leaving a supermarket but I won’t even go into that other then to mention it in passing, seeing as I find it so odd it may spur an entire unpleasant chain of events. Sometimes, what’s the most odd in life is indeed best left un-blogged (if you will permit me to use such a word, and I know you will, seeing as this is my little world and all.)

Iron Mountain conjures up images of men in armor sitting atop boulders and flagpoles marking off international boundaries. The entire concept is a bit odd to me actually. I mean, you take your data, off-load it onto some CD or tape (backup type system) and then you give it to some guy who will bury it in the bowels of some distant Iron mountain. Just seems a bit odd to me. I mean, why not just keep it in your desk like everybody else? We all work in secure buildings, right? What ever happened to the back closet? And just how exactly do you get data back out of this distant, possibly non-existant Iron Mountain, or is it indeed a one way ticket into oblivion?

Now, I know what you are thinking. The events of September 11th should have changed me and I should more easily spot the errors in my ways. Security is now of utmost importance in our society, what with identity theft running rampant and terrorists living among us. But my point is this: if terrorists wanted to invade, I mean really invade, do you actually think they will break into my desk and take my code? Doesn’t something first have to have some value in order for it to be worth stealing? Or would it be enjoyable enough to some distant villian that they would revel in the thought of disrupting my daily activities by taking the floppies out of my top desk drawer? The mind boggles at the mere thought of this. (Not to mention, the fact that I still have floppies in my desk.)

Just stop and think about what’s in all of those distant Iron Mountain archives. Secret receipes for Coke could be alongside guidance instructions for Patriot Missles. Wal-Mart cash register recepits could be near Mellon stock certificates. Hundreds of millions of bit and bytes squirreled away safe and sound, just waiting for a future generation, a computer glitch, or a distant exective to cry out, “but, I need that!” in order to get resurrected back from oblivion. All this and more, hidden deep in the confines of the great Iron Mountain.

Yesterday, as I was arriving home, after passing the sixth great Iron Mountain truck, I waved to my neighbor who was “riding shotgun” to my local polling place. Yesterday, if you recall, was election day and my neighbor is a police officer who happened to volunteer so he was, quite literally “riding shotgun.” He stopped to wave at me even though he was carrying a rather large, frightening looking weapon over his shoulder. In Texas, you see, they have peace officers ride along with the ballot boxes back to the county seat for proper counting and certification. Kind of like my own local version of an Iron Mountain, if you will.

Either way, I’d hate to be the guy who opens the door.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in “Carol’s Little World” signing off.

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