Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My splintered digital world

I get the feeling that my digital life is divided, unequally, among my email accounts, my phone, my USB stick, my laptop, my desktop, my cameras, my linux workstation, my disks, my backups, my Facebook, my Linked in, my blog, my webpage, my o my o my.

When I first started using the PCs 2 decades ago I had a nice floppy disk to carry my digital data. It fit in, or it was thrown out - great garbage removers those 360kB DSDD disks. Well I am not going to go down the Luddite path here, I am perfectly happy with todays infinite storage. But I am concerned about data splintering. My data is in all these various formats, versions, and names somewhere in various parts of my digital ecospace.

Now not to conclude that I don't have a system to file different things in different directories and the like. But too much information may result in suboptimal storage. For example, I have nicely named and dated folders for my pictures. But when 94 photos of my niece arrive via email it takes precious minutes to download and store each picture. How do I aggregate information quickly and without manual labor?

Algorithmic search presents the next best alternative - just keep everything anywhere and then have your computers crawl abd index the information. But search does not span devices (At least right now). How do I pull up the phone number stored in my home phone's caller ID while sitting at work?

Problems problems problems. Thats great because this means there is a whole lot of work to do in this area. Start-up anyone?

No comments: