Saturday, January 3, 2009

First attempts

Print out all of my old Livejournal entries on the backs of campus fliers

I must say that I've had this goal in mind (consciously or subconsciously) for years. Online journaling has always been a huge part of my life for years. My main motivation for printing out all of my online records is really twofold. First, I doubt the long-term stability of sites like Livejournal (and even Blogger/Blogspot...though ownership by Google dispels that fear to a certain degree). If I were to discover one day down the line that all of my old journal entries, my cherished memories from 7th grade onward, had been lost, I would be heartbroken. It's not like the maintainers of Livejournal owe me anything - what would they care? Second, I've already begun periodically copying entries and putting them in word documents to protect them. And that is where they have all rot for eternity. I always say when I change computers that I am going to take care of my old files... But I honestly couldn't tell you where most of my high school files from my last computer have ended up (with the exception of music & photos). I believe that if I have the journals in hard copy, they will be not only protected but also easily accessible for my desired reminiscence!

So, having firmly established that this goal is worthwhile, I set about yesterday actually getting it done. Within a few hours, I had copied all the remaining Livejournal entries and put them in massive word documents (by year). Most of them are over 100 pages long... o_O I guess I am more expansive than I imagined? Though, much of the space is taken up by the little formatting things such as the icon-sized photo of me between the entries. It would take far too much time to remove it, so it remains...

Sizes of these huge files... I wasn't kidding...
'04 : 1.42 MB
'05 : 1.39 MB
'06 : 1.40 MB
'07 : 776 KB
'08 : 994 KB

But as I traveld further and further back into my archives, I was reminded of my first journal. Back in the days when many services (gmail and livejournal included) required access codes provided by friends, I did not yet have the privileged livejournal access. That did not come until late 2003, and by that point, I had already become well established on Xanga. Does anyone still use Xanga? I went back there to check out the remnants of my account...and it seemed to have changed quite a bit... In any event, I figured that as long as I was attempting to be thorough, I had better get the posts from Xanga, too. For a reasonably long period of time, I actually wrote in both Livejournal and Xanga (having friends in both places) and copied the entries between them, so there is certainly some overlap. However, that does NOT account for the myriad of entries I found when I got there. The size of the Xanga file (I thought I would only need one!) is 1.95 MB. And the file size is not padded with any additional formatting, because I copied the files into notepad first. (The Livejournal docs not only have pictures but also bolding, underlining, broken links, etc.) At well over 400 pages, I had truly forgotten how much I used to rely on Xanga for all of my random thoughts, etc. I decided not to get rid of the overlap entries... Better to leave Livejournal and Xanga as they are...two complete journals, together covering the time period from 2003 - 2009 (and beyond) of my life.

So, I've got a few more hours of formatting on the Xanga posts... But the next logical step is to start gathering all my campus fliers. I came into this with the idea that my current collection would be *almost* sufficient. I find now that I am quite wrong. I estimate that will have between 800 and 1000 pages of entries when all is said and done. And as a side note, I also use campus fliers to take random notes...and will be using them more extensively once my senior thesis article-reading gets underway... So, this is going to be slightly more challenging than I thought. I just need to be more vigilant from now on in flier-hunting. I need to hit the dorms weekly (maybe old campus one week, new campus the next?)...and Morton, too... And I wonder if I can talk to any of my friends "on the inside" at the SC and get them to either a) tell me when fliers are taken down by the SC staff or b) save any fliers they take down for me. I might even try to get my other friends in on this...ask them to patrol their own residence halls for me...or at least just give the message board a quick glance for old fliers as they run out the door!

The other big challenge here is where to PRINT these hundreds of pages. I will probably start on my own printer...but I wonder if this endeavor is worth the cost of a new cartridge? Need to look into cost of cartridge vs. cost per page on the school printers. We shall see...

Well, this ended up been a much longer explanation than I had imagined. But I look forward to printing (and eventually binding) my archives into a nice, accessible format:)

No comments:

Post a Comment