Sometimes people ask me, what is the strangest thing that you store in the Admiral Document Storage facility? I tell them…

As I am sure you can imagine we have a vast amount of materials stored at the Admiral Document Storage centre in the West Midlands.

As you would expect from the name “Admiral Document Storage” mostly we store documents. But documents, as I have discovered, come in all sorts of forms.

Perhaps the strangest item that we have ever had in store is a selection of sheets of A3 paper laying out t-shirt designs, and when they first arrived I got talking to the designer, and he showed me some of the sheets.

What made this quite interesting, for me at least, is that these designs this firm is involved with are not just boring labels about the company that makes the t-shirts. Instead they are comments on contemporary life, and I found many of them to be genuinely funny. Not to say quirky.

I think my all-time favourite is “Bomb squad. If you see me running, please try to keep up.”

Quickly followed by a sign akin to that which sometimes appears on the backs of lorries and trucks saying, “How’s my driving?” Except this says, “How’s my dancing?” Below is a phone number, which happens to be the phone number of the T-shirt company.

I thought of this firm because this week a new collection of t-shirt designs appeared, and according to the manifest these include:

I’m not clumsy. It’s just that the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, and the wall gets in the way.

And then there is the wonderful and totally irrational: “No more than two questions per customer.”

Of course not everyone would be amused by a picture of parliament with the words underneath “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” and I am not by nature an anti-democrat but that made me smile too.

And all this before we got to

“Think you can’t be fooled? You just were” (written, I should explain, in such a way that one reads it straight, without seeing that extra “o”).

Or how about

“Do not read the next sentence,” with the phrase “You little rebel” in tiny type underneath.

And to round it off…

“If I had one pound for every time I got distracted… I want ice cream”

OK, you get the picture. They are just phrases and they are silly, and maybe I noticed them because I like silly, but even so I must say I rather enjoyed them.

Those designs have gone now – that is the nature of the storage business – one holds things for a while, and then they move on. But it made a nice change and they gave me a smile.

If you’d like to know more about our document storage facilities, please take a look at our website.

Alternatively, please do call us on 0800 810 1125.

 

Google told not to link to information even if it is true

I am fairly sure that when digital technology really came to the fore a lot of people thought that paper based data either was dead or would soon be dead. But now, some 40 years on, it seems that paper is remorselessly showing us the benefit of its existence.

I thought of this most recently when I heard that the Court of Justice of the European Union had ruled that Google and other search engines can be ordered to delete links to outdated or offensive information about a person that is published on the Internet.

It seems that all you have to do is to write to Google, etc, and make the demand. Google then has to consider the request in detail to see if the information displayed about the person is still relevant and accurate.

If it isn’t, then the links to the relevant web pages have to be deleted unless Google can show good strong reasons not to do so.

Now immediately problems appear. First, the number of such requests could be huge. Google is well known for handing as much activity as it can over to robots, and yet this is exactly the sort of activity that needs human brains to investigate it. Lots of human brains in fact.

(Unless of course Google accedes to each request, and just allows its database to become further and further removed from reality.)

Second there is the whole issue of whether the data is accurate or not. How do you know if some personal data is right or not? And what if the data relates to two people and one says it is accurate and one that it is not? You or I might say, be cautious, cut the link. But this is Google which prides itself on covering everything – and at the moment at least it doesn’t have the staff to handle this sort of work on any sort of scale.

The ways in which the data is gathered are totally automated, so the amount of programming that will have to go into the system to stop gathering data on a particular person could be huge.

And then there is the dubious side of this – such as one search engine getting people to protest to another search engine over information, but not making the protest to the originator of the plot. The mind begins to boggle.

The clue to what is going on here comes from the original complaint in which a Spanish complainant asked for data relating to a past legal case to be removed from Google because the case had been settled. There was no doubt that the information Google linked to was lawful – but it was considered by the court to be inadequate and thus gave a false impression.

A newspaper, publishing the story of the complainant, could still mention the original court case but would have to say that everything had been resolved. A search via Google would only reveal the original court case and its finding.

So what does all this mean?

It means that even if Google was once a source of valid information it is certainly not so now. If you want to get a full picture of anything in the past then you need paper files – and that is why paper is indeed making a comeback.

In the case that led to the ruling against Google, no one is suggesting that the original files be destroyed – but simply that Google does not link to them.

Slowly, over time, we are seeing more and more situations in which the only way to get all the information you want, and to get a full picture and keep it secure, is through paper based files.

Which is why Admiral Document Storage continues to exist. If you have paper that needs storing that is what we do. We store it in such a way that you can inspect it at any time.

For more information on our document storage facility in the West Midlands click here to our website.

 

Why the attic is not a good place to store things you value

Admiral Document Storage stores a vast array of items for its customers with our facility kept at the right temperature, at the right humidity, and with none of the wrong creatures lurking in the gloom.

However, occasionally I get to speak to a potential customer who says, “I don’t need storage, I have a big attic.”

Sadly, the attic is not quite the place for storing things that you might imagine – although many people do still see it as an alternative to proper storage facilities.

One of the problem with attics is that most things that go in the attic stay in the attic – for years.

At Admiral Document Storage you can come in and check the contents of your storage with ease, something we tend not to do with attics. This is, of course, because of access problems and the like.

And the fact is that we don’t go up and check on what is in the attic to make sure it is ok. Indeed, if we had wanted to look at it, we probably wouldn’t have put it in the attic in the first place

The most common thing found in attics are books, and sadly they are the one particular thing you should not have in the attic. Silverfish are the problem here – they eat paper, as well as just about anything. Bookworms are also a problem – and they are not just a mythological creature!

Of course, this also means that it is not a good idea to keep old newspapers, scrap books, reports, magazines or anything else paper-based in the attic either. In particular if your birth certificate, marriage certificate, will, or anything else of importance is in the attic, maybe you should stop reading now and go and retrieve it. If it is still in one piece.

Wooden furniture is found less often in the attic but is also a problem. For wood it is the humidity that is the problem – the wood can crack as it expands. So if you have a chair up there, be careful how you sit down.

Heat in fact is the constant problem – it probably is a lot hotter in your attic than you imagine for much of the year. Many is the person who has put candles in the attic and come back and found them inexplicably melted.

Meanwhile the attic is also absolutely not the place for the wedding dress, military uniform or leather motorcycle jackets – or anything else you once wore but just can’t bring yourself to get rid of. Once again hot air is not what is required, and not only can you find that rodents can do damage, but the existence of the clothing can incite the mice into the attic in the first place.

Leather jackets are a particular problem as the temperature change and humidity can leave them with a bad smell and make them look damaged, rather than “well worn”.

And while I am on temperature change – pre-digital photographs and their negatives will suffer very badly from this. Indeed, along with paper, photographs are what you really should hand over to Admiral Document Storage to store – in the attic they will all wither away.

And there is one more thing that we have which we keep, just in case, but actually hardly ever get round to looking at. The old video cassette tape. You might not know it until you take one and put it in the machine, but the plastic container might be fine – but the tape inside could be in shreds. Not only will you lose your recording, but trying to play it could wreck your VCR.

So if the choice is between Admiral Document Storage and the attic, do think twice. Attics are really not all that you might think they are.

You can find more information on our storage facilities on our website at www.archive-document-storage.co.uk

Alternatively, please do call us on 0800 810 1125.