Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BBC News - Cult of less: Living out of a hard drive

BBC News - Cult of less: Living out of a hard drive: "Meet Kelly Sutton, a spiky-haired 22-year-old software engineer with thick-rimmed glasses and an empty apartment in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood - a hotbed for New York's young, early adopters of new technology.
Mr Sutton is the founder of CultofLess.com, a website which has helped him sell or give away his possessions - apart from his laptop, an iPad, an Amazon Kindle, two external hard drives, a 'few' articles of clothing and bed sheets for a mattress that was left in his newly rented apartment.
This 21st-Century minimalist says he got rid of much of his clutter because he felt the ever-increasing number of available digital goods have provided adequate replacements for his former physical possessions."
This is a fascinating read. I have been slowly creeping towards this trend, something that is not so obvious unless you notice that my laptop backups are not very big. Why? Because I make it a rule to keep the least amount of data as possible in the laptop. I run backups that go both online and to an external drive, and I don't have to worry about my photos since I always upload anything that I am remotely interested in keeping. In order for me to lose my important photos I would have to lose the laptop's hard drive, my external USB backups drive, and both Flickr and Picasa. It is just too many things that need to go wrong simultaneously.

Losing my digital music could be a problem, a 30+ GB problem, but it is kept in an external USB drive (not the same as the backups drive) so in order to lose my music I would have to lose both the USB drive and my iPhone (relegated to iPod duties since I switched to Blackberry).

Losing email is also an everpresent danger. At least one person I know lost access to her Gmail account for a week that was scary as hell, so I already found a service to back whatever is sitting in these Gmail services. 

Losing the books is no longer possible since I got us Amazon Kindles.

The real problem is that there is still too much that is not available as a digital document. For example, paperwork for loans, education, receipts, etc. We don't even have a digital birth/wedding certificate/military discharge standard, so that's more paper we have to keep around just in case it is needed.