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national holidays: a proposal

There are some routines which I think should be added to our national yearly calendar of things to do. April 15 is tax day; there's Mother's Day and Secretary's Day and people in LTR's tend to celebrate anniversaries... but what about Clean All Those Unused Icons Off Your Desktop day? I think the current calendar leaves out some rather important and often neglected activities of the digital lifestyle.

My proposals:

  • Change Your Passwords Day Sure, it'll be harder on the infrastructure, not to mention a security risk, if everyone changes their passwords on the same day -- but isn't that better than everyone using their kid's birthday for all their passwords ever?

  • Shareware Appreciation Day On this day, we should all demonstrate appreciation for the authors of open-source software/shareware/freeware/peepsware/etc. We'll demonstrate this appreciation either by sending props, peeps, or payment to the authors. Come on; how long have you been using that copy of Stuffit/SecureCRT/Transmit without registering it? Don't the authors deserve at least a shout out?

  • Backup Day I backup all the time, okay? If I'm working on an important document, I've almost always got it under version control, with the CVS server running on a professionally-maintained, daily-backup'd file server. (Thank you, Brown Department of Computer Science.) But most people just... don't. Eventually their computer crashes (if it's windows, which it usually is) or they switch jobs, and their old data just disappears. Regular backups are the answer but mortals don't do them until they've been through the pain of a hard crash. Backup Day will encourage and support all computer users in backing up their data. It'd be good for everybody. Maybe Symantec and Retrospect could get together and promote Backup Day.

  • Clean Your Hard Drive Day Search out those unused applications, that junk mail file, coredump files, used podcasts, bittorrent downloads that never finished... and delete them! Then defrag your hard drive.

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