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Last updated at 12:40 BST, Thursday, 18 July 2013

Staff blog


About the blogger

Graciela is a producer at BBC Learning English. This week she found some old friends when she was cleaning the house.

Domestic archaeology


I live in a museum! Yes, that's the conclusion I've reached after days of spring cleaning. I found a few hidden floppy discs on a bookshelf. I used these data-storing plastic squares less than a decade ago, on a reporting trip to Pakistan. Everybody used them. Today they might belong in a museum of technology. Now it is all about powerful portable external drives.

A video cassette (top left) audio cassette (centre left) and floppy disc (bottom left) and a CD (right)

The video cassette (top left) audio cassette (centre left) and floppy disc (bottom left) were replaced by shiny data storage discs

This led me down memory lane and I engaged in some domestic "archaeology". Oh! Cassettes! In the past the audio and video they contained granted me many hours of fun, and now they were gathering dust. They were replaced by new and shiny CDs and DVDs. I could almost hear the jealous cassettes warning the sneering music CDs and DVDs on the shelf below: "Your day will come! Downloads straight from the internet will be the death of you too!"

I decided to leave the cassettes where they were. "For old time's sake, I'll leave you alone, my friends." At this point, the CDs for storing pictures which were in a big drawer jumped into the conversation. They wanted to know why I've been uploading so many of my photos to social media websites. They fear that one day all my pictures will bypass them, going straight from my mobile phone to cyberspace. It will render them obsolete. Oh, this is too much! I just left it all there.

Technology changes very fast and it is not easy to keep up. It's a bother to keep transferring all the records of our lives from one medium to another. And in some cases, we even grow attached to the old tech as if it had something to do with the data it holds - the picture of that trip full of adventures, an unforgettable romance's soundtrack... I didn't throw any old tech away this time. What about you: do you keep old technology items at home or are you always discarding last year's model and buying something new?


spring clean

deep cleaning your house from top to bottom, usually happens only once a year


be in the right place


can be carried around

down memory lane

events of the past you are still pleased to remember


resentful of others' good fortune


behaving in a rude and disrespectful way


not in use after being replaced by something better

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