When I bought my newest PC, I started keeping my program installation files. I do this because I don’t necessarily want to upgrade if I need to reinstall something – this isn’t a cost issue; I’ve just learned that if I’m happy with a program version, I’m not necessarily happier with a new version (as is probably obvious by the fact that I’m still using the “classic” Windows interface, above).
But I’m not quite disciplined enough to remember to erase the installations when I decide not to keep a program, so I’ve got quite a collection at this point. And as a result of some PC problems over the weekend, I ended up trying to clean out the folder where I save them.
I’d never given much thought to the program properties of the installation files we make – I know that checking them for correct descriptions, version numbers and digital signatures is a part of our QA process, but pretty much had that in the “necessary evil” thought pile, or maybe even the “unnecessary overhead” one. But trying to figure out what installation files went with what programs on my PC made clear to me the value of that info. I didn’t have that many installation files that I wasn’t able to identify without running them, but the ones I had were pretty irritating (and I wasn’t in the best mood to start, given that my PC wasn’t booting well, or writing CDs).
Anyway, it’s nice to see that following the rules does have a point, at least once in a while.