Omnipresent Computers – Part 3


I’m a memory stick person, when I have it with me, and it allows me to have my files, and some programs (Inkscape, PChat, OpenOffice, notepad++, the list goes on and on) with me wherever and whenever I like but being a small piece of plastic, metal and glass, it’s rather prone to being lost, and or broken, necessitating frequent and thorough backups. Despite the flaws in the backup software (Syncback SE) to do with “version control” it really does work, and I’ve never lost more than about a days work, or lost the capability to work for more than a day.

People say that the cloud is the future, the ability for, anywhere, any time any files one could possibly want to access to be used, modified and globally updated over the internet, and this is surely something that “omnipresent computers” (the series) should be all over. Connectivity, ease of use and reliability are surely all improved? Well yes and no: outsourcing the storage of such sensitive data can be dangerous, especially as one has no control over deletion, duplication or good access control. One lacks the options to put version control along side plain drives or to triplicate some files. I may be a little of a hypochondriac when it comes to loosing data but this sort of flexibility is something that should be available, especially if the data is your livelihood or personally important. Who says online services have any duplication of data?

Back to the point: Save as. Why do I have to navigate a file system to save anything? I’ve long wanted a system where one attaches files to particular tags or projects, easily searchable and not rigidised to a strict file system. I could then tie a version control system to all files in that tag or project, call them up, do cross linked searches etc.

This system still needs more casuality to be added to machine computer interface, its a particularly AI and voice control friendly way of sorting files, but I can see it being a major change in the stagnating area of consumer file management. That combined with a service through which one could access ones files off a home server or separate server through a similar method quickly and easily, including, say adding guest access to particular tags or files.

I’ve written previously about CelTex, and the lovely interface afforded by a stored project file but add to that the power of visual linked branches, one can see a future where everyone’s files are neatly organised, without one having to remember to put things in the right place. Maybe soon we’ll see “Save as” replaced with “store”, and get rid of the book-keeping to the computer.

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