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Poll: When do you delete files for old jobs from your computer or storage media?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:25
SITE STAFF
Apr 30, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When do you delete files for old jobs from your computer or storage media?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sarah Brodacz. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:25
Member
German to English
+ ...
Never Apr 30, 2015

They are archived out after a while but never deleted.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Idem, idem! Apr 30, 2015

Mary Worby wrote:

They are archived out after a while but never deleted.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never Apr 30, 2015

Although I have everything from the past 23 years at my fingertips, I never actually look at anything more than about three years old so I could very well delete most of it. But as hard disks have grown bigger and bigger I've just never had the need.

We did recycle all our hard copies a few years ago. That was quite a few carloads. Lots more room for pot plants now.

And before someone starts bleating on about security, don't be silly. Chances are, the only time the information you are translating is sensitive is while you're working on it, not after it's been delivered. Do you work in code with pencil and paper on a one-time pad in a remote cave surrounded by armed sentries?


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Alice Cernic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:25
Member (2014)
Slovenian to Italian
+ ...
Deleting old jobs Apr 30, 2015

Hi there,

I actually delete files but before I do that, I burn CDs in order to have always a copy of my work available.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:25
Danish to English
+ ...
As I go along Apr 30, 2015

I am a tidy freak - I hate clutter of any kind, and this also applies to my work. I keep a very simple filing system (one folder per client, one sub-folder per project). As I do 99.9 % of all my work in Studio, my translations are already stored in my TMs, so the only reason for me to keep files is to be able to pull out something for a quick look. That only happens very, very rarely.

I routinely delete all the temp files that Studio creates, as well as practically everything else, except for the final files that I deliver and maybe some reference materials that may come in handy. If someone else proofreads my translations and I then check them before they are delivered to the end client, that will be the only files I keep for a particular project.

The same goes for emails. Initially, I save all correspondance, but only until a job is done and the client has acknowledged receipt. Then I delete everything except for emails that contain the final files from me, and the client's acknowledgement. With big clients, I save emails for two years, then they are deleted, too. For smaller clients, I don't see the need to clear out quite as much, but wouldn't hesitate to do so, if the fancy took me.

What is the point in keeping all these files?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 30, 2015

Rarely, or whenever I happen to think about it and/or have the time to spare. I recently had to change my main and backup PCs around due to a technical issue and I've discovered that there are some old files and folders in there that can be deleted. However, I haven't managed to get round to doing much about it so far. I've deleted a couple of things...

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:25
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 30, 2015

Unless the client requests otherwise*, I delete them completely one month after the job has been received, accepted, and paid for.

*One client asked me to keep all their files, and some of them are 30 years old! Now and then, when I had time to spare, I updated them to remain compatible with current hard/software.
One big operation, in the pre-Windows era, was done using a Trackstar 128 interface (it emulated an Apple II within a PC-XT), to convert Apple II files into PC files. I had to develop some software to bridge ASCII codes for PT accented characters.
Others included updating files as old as from PageMaker 3 (which ran on the icon-less Windows 2.01) successively all the way to PageMaker 6.5.


I have no objection to keeping client files on CDs/DVDs if they want me to, nor to snail-mailing them such disks, however I only do it on request.

A recent case make me think about it.


One client hired me through a local agency, to do some 2 GB worth of video files work. I did it, delivered via cloud as usual, on the very same service they had used to send me the source material. It stays there for a week.

I chose to keep these files for longer than usual, just in case.

About a month later, the agency called me. The end-client had not downloaded the files, and they were no longer on the cloud. So I uploaded them again.

I got wary, and decided to keep those files for much longer than usual.

Two months later, I got a message that the end-client was not managing to download the files again. (Good news is that this cloud is secure, they really delete the files after a week.)

So I uploaded it again.

Three months later, I called the PM at the agency, asked her about deleting those files for good. She told me they were apparently happy, had paid the full amount ages ago, so it should be safe to get rid of them.

Murphy's Law rulez! On the next day after I had deleted these files, the PM called to tell me that the only person who had ever downloaded the files had been fired from the end-client! Apparently the disgruntled dischargee had wiped clean the hard drive on his/her computer, so they'd need those files again.

All right, this end-client is a large player in the IT business. I have some of their products myself. The person they sacked was clearly not a techie, so it should be easy to recover those files from a freshly-formatted hard drive, or perhaps from a server. I could do it, but as they are supposedly experts, I kept my mouth shut.

To no avail. They are now considering have me redo it from scratch. Meanwhile, I'm doing another similar job for them. This time, after the epilogue, I'll save the files to two data DVDs, keep one myself, and give the other to the agency. Safety first!


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Depends ... Apr 30, 2015

I don't have a 'house-cleaning' policy for that as such. I still have everything I have not been instructed to delete - either in files or TMs on both. Some of my clients ask me to delete all files once everything has been finalised and invoiced - which I respect.

[Edited at 2015-04-30 13:10 GMT]


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Milena Taylor  Identity Verified
Serbia
English to Serbian
+ ...
Never or rarely Apr 30, 2015

I usually archive all jobs, sorted by agency/client. I keep all files on an external storage device.

Two or three times I was asked by a long-term client to translate files which I had translated several years ago. I was happy to let him know that I already did this job and had it "in hand" for him.

Sometimes, it is great to be able to go back and reference an old file which is related to a job I am currently working on.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:25
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ouch! Apr 30, 2015

63% never delete their files!

Obviously not many people are reading their contracts, most of which clearly state that documents should be deleted and/or destroyed.

Provided I receive payment, I shred and delete everything every 60 days - including any translation memories.

I keep emails and other project-related correspondence and files until after payment is received. Then I delete those as well.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's time for a purge... Apr 30, 2015

I just looked at my hard drive and I have about 500 gb of translation stuff that I'll never use again.. I guess I know how I'm going to spend my weekend...

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 00:25
German to English
+ ...
answering Jeff Apr 30, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

63% never delete their files!

Obviously not many people are reading their contracts, most of which clearly state that documents should be deleted and/or destroyed.

Most of my work does not involve contracts, and when it does, I only remember one case where I was asked to delete the work. That one involved a highly sensitive matter.

I have been asked on occasion - months and even years later - to please send a translation that I had done if I still have it. The request has come both from agencies and from end clients. This suggests that not only are they not expecting the work to be deleted, but they actually expect it not to be.

I must say that I was a bit bothered by the implication that colleagues are not doing part of their jobs properly. They may have good reason for their decisions.

I do delete the source files, because it would be too cumbersome to keep them all. But my translations are filed in a way that if any client asked me for them, I can easily grant that request.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same here May 1, 2015

Milena Taylor wrote:

I usually archive all jobs, sorted by agency/client. I keep all files on an external storage device.

Two or three times I was asked by a long-term client to translate files which I had translated several years ago. I was happy to let him know that I already did this job and had it "in hand" for him.

Sometimes, it is great to be able to go back and reference an old file which is related to a job I am currently working on.


More than once I have retrieved terminology and phraseology from previous projects. They're my security blanket. Most of my work is for international organizations and my contracts do not require me to delete the files.


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member
German to English
+ ...
Never delete May 1, 2015

I have never deleted files. They are simply transferred and stored elsewhere.

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