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The file system is dead

Posted on 27 March 2002 by Demian Turner

The file system is dead — that permanent bureaucracy that grows inside all our computers like crab grass. The desktop is dead too. In other words, our core information management tools are ALL deceased. Lots of people know these systems are dead, but a fair number of them don’t want to tell anyone, because they figure that the file system and desktop work perfectly for everyone else…

Maybe THEY can’t find what they’re looking for, sometimes; maybe after inventing their first 20 million or so ridiculous file names they’ve got galloping file-fatigue, which unfortunately is not covered by most medical plans — folder-fatigue is a closely related disease; but they assume that everyone else is doing just fine.

The real problem is that, in today’s computer world, there’s no such thing as an “everything structure” — a single data structure in which your whole electronic life is stored; every electronic document or application you own, everything you’ve ever created or received.

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