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Digital Housekeeping

After days upon days of physical housekeeping (largely consisting of turning my eleven-year-old's bedroom into a reasonable facsimile of a Paris cafe) I've been turning my attention to the untidy hard drives. The family's shared eMac is probably a hopeless case, but I should have some control over my own laptop. Should. Dreadful word.

It's a known feature of attention disorders that those suffering from the condition (I resent that word, too--suffering--I don't suffer, I just do differently) work best with their organizational cues visible. This shall be my excuse for the blizzard of files on my virtual desktop. How can I know what I have unless I can see it all at glance? The makers of OSX, with their tidy Unix brains, would be horrified.

I am willing to acknowledge, though, that there's such a thing as too many files (and too many applications). I actually enjoy practicing a kind of asceticism when it comes to how many apps I have kicking about. I still haven't reinstalled Word on this machine after upgrading it to OSX and since I'm also limping along with Safari and Mail instead of IE and Outlook Express I am enjoying an almost completely Microsquirt-free existence.

However, at the moment, there's a bit of a merry war going on between Tinderbox, Ulysses and good ole SimpleText. Each has its virtues: the sorting and sifting power of Tbox, the lovely elegant interface of Ulysses. Oddly, though, and despite the fact that it requires a boot of Classic, SimpleText is winning. I think only the fact that it has a limit on how large a file can be would keep me from using it for everything.

So now I have the chaos of not knowing whether the latest snippet has been lodged in a Ulysses project, a Tinderbox note, or is a SimpleText singleton floating around my desktop somewhere. I wish I could make my finder like a Tinderbox note--then I could map everything I'm working on and turn it all into a virtual desk blotter, with lovely colored regions for different projects. Are you listening, Apple? I need a finder like a desk blotter, with leather corners to tuck notes to myself in, and the option of shaking the whole thing like an Etch-a-Sketch and starting all over with a clean field.

August 21, 2003 in Web/Tech | Permalink


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