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Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Living in Desktop Hell?

Like anyone, I have a lot of documents lying around. Some of them reside on desktop computers, not filed away in a very organized fashion.

Inevitably, when a friend has a data loss event (computer virus, inexplicable OS issue, power outage, hard drive failure, etc. etc. etc.), they'll talk about all the lost data, and promise that next time, they'll get organized and set everything up for "proper backups."

Everyone talks about it. But only 10% of the people I know, at best, engage in this so-called "proper backup process."

And so many of the remaining 90% have a bunch of documents, including their entire sent and received email (yes they use Outlook), residing on their desktop. When the data goes bye-bye... poof! it's gone... even if you can get 50% of it back... it's still horrible.

I then realize, nearly no documents I've dealt with -- in the sense of conveying them to someone else -- are unfindable. I haven't used a desktop email client in 7 years. Everything I've sent or received is pretty much findable and archived online in my email inbox (unlimited storage) - without any kind of a strategy or plan for doing so. (Don't hold me to this -- I reserve the right to claim I can't find something if I am too lazy to really look hard.)

I promised my pal I wouldn't gloat, wag my finger, or preach... but it's really hard when you think of Outlook as "so 7 years ago." Why not make everything portable? Or even 95% of everything... which is all we can expect in the real world, of people who do not conform to the usual stipulations of how you "ought to" do it. (I'm one of those people.)

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