Life without mental prosthetics

The helpful folks at the local computer shop were unable to find the part for my Fujitsu laptop anywhere on the planet. So back it goes to Fujitsu, for an expected $500 repair.
I’ve figured out how to recover Thunderbird mail after a crash. The next step today is to figure out how to recover the mail folders, so I can have a working foldering system.
It’s an interesting experiment in discovering the level of dependence on a working, email-based folder system; and on a portable computer for productivity and mental clarity.
Living without a living, foldering system feels like having short-term memory loss. Work-related stuff lives in Socialtext. Customer correspondence from our sales and service systems is fine. So my long term memory is ok.
Immediate correspondence is by phone and instant message/IRC, and that’s fine.
But correspondence that’s not tied to a repository, and doesn’t get immediate responce, goes into a deep black hole. I usually have an excellent assisted memory of what happened 3 days ago, or last week. For the last month or so, that part of memory has been crippled.
My volunteer projects have suffered most, since they depend more on email, and less on database-backed systems.
The other piece that’s missing is computer-aided reflection. The core, daily/weekly/monthly priority setting and planning uses paper. But there’s a more meditative process of reading and thinking and writing that requires a laptop, coffee, background noise.
I haven’t used a desktop computer since… 1991 maybe, when I bought a beloved Powerbook. The desktop works for “leaning forward tasks”. But not so well for reflection.
Blogging will be lighter til I have a laptop back in hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *