I have spent the last 2 days installing, learning and basically kicking the tires for this new operating system of Apple’s. Besides the new features, and there seem to be more than quite a few, there is a valuable lesson to be learnt when you finally clean up that hard drive.
There is great value in purging all those files that have been in all those folders for all that time. I mean why would I ever need something 7 years old written to a company that is no longer in business? It seems we spend too much time being good “librarians” for all the digital information we accumulate on our hard drives. In his book “Everything is Miscellaneous” by David Weinberger he explains how the digital world changes the laws of physics. We can sort, search, and view most anything digitally if the technology is easy, understandable and fast. So why do we spend so much time creating folders only to stuff them for that one time we think we need to find that file? And usually that one time never comes.
So this weekend I tossed 80% of everything out. Gone, except for passwords, serial numbers, and software applications (music and pictures remain on an external drive). My IMAP mail is still available, my calendar and addressbook contacts all there. But those PDF’s, files and who knows what else, is trash. It feels pretty good to be digitally clean.
Apple’s Mail program has notes and calendar to-dos that will part of your e-mail file. Coverflow allows you to view any file without having to open the file in the application. And Spotlight is very fast at finding anything. Spaces keeps your desktop in order depending on what programs you want the individual desktop to work under. Under the menu Services – Speech – Start talking text just made proof texting what you have written a real joy.
How we work sometimes is the accumulation of habits, both good and bad, over a number of years. This weekend some of those habits are going to have to change. And digital trash is pretty easy to get rid of. Not like those old Gestetner stencils or carbon paper.