1. I know there are quite a few computer experts here. I think this is a “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) joke. Bad input results in bad output.

  2. I was with WW on this when I first saw it, but it looks to me like he’s just sitting down and about to use the computer. Emptying the bin is not the first thing you do…well, I don’t at least.

    So, if it is common for people to empty the recycle bin when they first sit down, I’m with WW. If not, I think Arthur has it.

  3. “Garbage”, in the traditional computer sense, is more like randomness and non-meaningful data. If you feed this to your algorithms, you get randomness and non-meaningful results. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Buni seems rather to be overwhelmed by the hate and bile spewing from his social media feeds. Another kind of garbage.

  4. ““GIGO” was what I had in mind with my subject line, but I didn’t — and don’t — think that’s what the artist had in mind.”

    I also think GIGO. The joke is, look how much GO there is… you just have to imagine how much GI there has been.

  5. He could be getting up to walk away when he clicks on the Empty Trash (assuming a Mac) icon.

    BTW, does anyone find the illogic of Windows referring to is as “the recycling bin” irritating because you aren’t recycling it. You are getting rid of it.

  6. I think GIGO is only “obvious” because we’re influenced by Bill’s title. There’s nothing in the strip to indicate he’s putting garbage “in.”

    woozy: You’re “recycling” the space in the computer that was being used to store those files, so that the space can be used for something else.

  7. @ woozy – I think the name makes sense, for two reasons:
    1) Dropping items in the bin doesn’t destroy them immediately(*); you can retrieve them if they turn out to be important, and
    2) When you do clean out the bin, it recycles those items into “new” space on the disk.
    P.S. (*) – The whole point of this comic is that many users never clear out the bin, so that it may contain incredible amounts of old junk.

  8. “The whole point of this comic is that many users never clear out the bin, so that it may contain incredible amounts of old junk.”

    Windows does it for you if you don’t clear it out yourself. The crucial piece of information is that stuff in the recycle bin isn’t deleted IMMEDIATELY, so you can come back… but it won’t be held forever.

    Onosecond: The shortest period of time known to man, it’s the period between when you click “yes, I’m sure, delete this item permanently” and when you realize you don’t want to delete it.

  9. When hubby was doing free-lance IT work, he would come home with stories:

    1) ALL emails kept in Inbox
    2) All folders on the desktop
    (1a & 2a) his clients couldn’t figure out ow to make folders
    3) items in trash, but trash not emptied in YEARS, neither from email client nor from hard drive.

    His clients usually called on him ’cause ‘my computer is reeeeeally slow’.

    What was nice was that his clients thought he walked on water when he ‘fixed’ their computers.

  10. Here’s a possibly-amusing image relevant to Andréa’s recent post.

    There would have been another, but I can’t find it again.

  11. Oops, that version of the image is missing the text: My coworker was trying to delete 20,000 files, but missed the recycling bin.

  12. Perhaps due to my librarianish background, AND because I have always had Apples, my computer is organized as a file cabinet and I can find ANYthing within a minute (or two). Also, Mr IT sometimes has to be on my computer and he notices and comments upon any messiness found thereon.

    I cannot imagine trashing 20,000 files in one go . . . I guess my question is: WHY?

    My next question is: What did he do next, and is he still doing it . . . ?

  13. “My next question is: What did he do next, and is he still doing it . . . ?”

    If I had to clean that up, I’d open a command prompt, go to the desktop, and “del *lk14message*”, except it doesn’t look like a Windows machine.

  14. My first thought was that his keyboard has been accumulating crumbs and other debris that reached a level where it finally became… animated. But after seeing Arthur’s explanation that there’s a lot of garbage out there on the internet, I think that’s more likely.

  15. Unix was an operating system designed by people who knew what they were doing, for people who know what they’re doing. So if you tell it to remove all the subdirectories or /, it assumes that you WANT to remove all the subdirectories of /.
    One of the reasons the Mac was successful, initially, was that you didn’t have to have any idea what you wanted to do, or how to spell.
    So Mac-OS built on Unix always seemed like a contradiction to me.

  16. I mentioned this thread to Hubby this a.m., and he told me his worst-case scenario:

    Called to a client’s home (early-mid 1990’s) ’cause email was so slow. First thing Hubby did was empty the TRASH folder, which was overfull (there were actually limits to storage at the time).

    Turns out the client had been keeping ALL his ‘important, have-to-keep-forever’ emails in the TRASH folder, as he never bothered – or didn’t know how – to make any folders of his own.

    The client never thought to mention his ‘important emails are in the TRASH’ storage method to Hubby. He was able to retrieve some, but of course, charging by the hour meant a pretty high fee.

  17. “The client never thought to mention his ‘important emails are in the TRASH’ storage method to Hubby.”

    Which is why you never, ever do anything that will permanently delete data without running it by the client first.

  18. At the risk of offending Mr. Andrea, an experienced IT professional. The clients sometimes know as much about IT as you do, and sometimes not. Making assumptions is a mistake.

  19. I keep my folders – computer and paper – nice and organized. We may be walking around in dust and fuzz up to our knees, but paperwork (including electronic paperwork) I keep organized. I have my data on a thumb drive which is backed up each work session to alternating A&B backup thumb drives. On Friday nights (with a few exceptions – such as last night 12/22) I backup my data onto a weekly thumb drive backup – this holds 6 weeks of data (plus calendar, and client files). Once a month I back up to one of two alternating thumb drives – and a DVD and take the thumb drive to our bank vault – where I take out the other thumb drive sitting there. The DVD goes into my to “grab and run in an emergency file”. I also back up client thumb drives after each use to the regular A&B drives, as well as the other drives. Magazine articles scanned have their own A&B backup drives as do photos – both of these have their data on my hard drive.

    Sometime during each new year – at least into February after the December bank recs in January – I will copy all of these year’s data- including client, data, and calendars to my archive thumb drive and soon after delete them from the drive I use as current. The archive is also backed up to the monthly drives and 2 DVDs are made – one of which goes into the grab and go folder and one into my box of DVDs.

    Robert thinks all this backing up is crazy. Then he lost files related to our reenactment unit when he was commander – or at least he could not find them. I was able to reconstruct most of what he was missing as it was sent out to board members as emails.

    Oh, yes, I have a folder in my documents (one of few that are actually mine and not put there by software) called Attachments. If I need to print or save something to attach to emails (such as the pdf of the newsletter for my embroidery chapter and any attachments to same) I have it in this folder, so I can always find what I attached to emails. Subfolders for our reenactment unit, Robert, and embroidery chapter.

  20. My mom (89 years old – and used at computer at work as an accountant) has been having trouble with her email for some time. She explained it as “It only gives me my email every two weeks.” I figured that the when to check for email had to be reset. (This is on an android tablet.)

    My BIL who set the tablet up for her (and works high level IT) was there with my sister and went through her tablet. She never trashes anything so her inbox was too overfull – with years worth of emails – and apparently the tablet has a maximum that it can hold. He cleared it out and reset it to check for email every day. She still is having trouble getting email.

    I liked it better when she checked email on a computer and knew what she was doing. I would guess at when she was about to call me about something, send her an email and save 3 or 4 hours on the phone.

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