New Year’s meme: What are the oldest files in your home directory?

Following up on Brandon’s meme:

The Rules:

Celebrate the new year with a blog post discussing the oldest files that are still sitting somewhere beneath your home directory! The procedure is simple:

  • Run the following script in your home directory. (You might want to use less to read the output.)
  • Ignore files whose date does not reflect your own activity.
  • List the oldest files in a blog post and discuss!
#!/usr/bin/env python
"""Print last-modified times of files beneath '.', oldest first."""
import os, os.path, time
paths = ( os.path.join(b,f)
for (b,ds,fs) in os.walk('.')
    for f in fs )
    for mtime, path in sorted( (os.lstat(p).st_mtime, p)
    for p in paths ):
    print time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d", time.localtime(mtime)), path

Only include files whose last-modified time is a date on which you really touched the file. The file’s time should neither result from an error (a few files beneath my own home directory have an incorrect date of 1970-01-01), nor from unpacking someone else’s archive that has old files inside of it.

But there is no requirement that the actual content of each file you list be your own. Whether you wrote the file yourself long ago, or downloaded it from some ancient and forgotten FTP site, you have a story to share!

My Files

After weeding out old files extracted from Python source archives for various version of Python (used while writing my PyMOTW series), I found an old Pascal program for doing payroll at a small company I used to work for while I was an undergrad:

1992-03-12 ./Documents/1995/College/SEPA/PAYROLL.PRG/PAYROLL.PAS
1992-03-12 ./Documents/1995/College/SEPA/PAYROLL.PRG/WWE.PAS

I also found some files containing a paper about SEDPAK, a sequence stratigraphy simulation program I worked on as part of the Stratmod Group. Based on the new web site, it looks like they’ve made some major enhancements since I left school, lo these many years ago.

1992-12-10 ./Documents/1995/College/Sedpak/POHLMAN2
1992-12-10 ./Documents/1995/College/Sedpak/POHLMANR.EPO

From around the same era, I found the help manual for Mayday!, the help desk app we build in my software engineering course. It was pretty fancy, for its time (the all-caps 8.3 naming convention should clue you in to its relative age). A Motif GUI and curses UI let the admins check new trouble tickets and resolve them when fixed. Incoming reports came from email processed by an impressive batch script.

1993-01-26 ./Documents/1995/College/SCHOOL/640/MAYDAY/APPLY.DOC

Thanks for instigating a trip down memory lane, Brandon!