Trade shows = business cards

Why is it I always end up with a stack of business cards from a trade show or partner facing event. Maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe I have this strange magnetic effect on the card that they are printed on. Maybe people want me to contact them after the show as I must have promised them something.But the question still remains, "what on earth do you do with them?". I know that there a flashy bits of executive junk that will sit on your desk for you slide the card through and it magically appears out the other side. While all the ink gets sucked off the card and squirted up the cable to your PC which knows how to make it look like an exact replica of the bit of cardboard you have on your desk. The software can then recognise the words and stuff and place that neatly into you chosen (or company's chosen) email, contact manager or CRM system. But I have a great scanner sat in the top of my printer on the desk. It takes up enough room, can't I use it for more than just printing and the odd occasional copy? Well try and find a FREE business card OCR package that allows you to use your own scanner. It's impossible. I am not completely failed in my mission. There are a few business card OCR packages out there and yes I have had to pay for it. What ever happened to useful shareware? I ended up buying Cardiris Pro 4. But I did get a good deal, by pretending to have a US address and by watching their demo movies first. So instead of costing me £80.89 it cost me $79 (about £45). This all works and has recognised 90% of the cards I've thrown at it and allows me to export it all to my Notes Directory, which in turn synchs with my mobile phone.

This is all well and good, BUT... I'm still left with this pile of cardboard on my desk. Do I throw it away? I might need a backup. Do I file them in a plastic bag, sorted by event attended and wait for the sand of time to burry them? Do I take a backup of the software, my license key and the database onto a cd? How often do I update it?

Any answers to the above? Please put me out of my misery.