· 

New filing cabinet

Last night I bought a cloud

Last night I bought a cloud, well actually a spot in the cloud. It is one of those which offer lots of storage space for a one-off fee. So no recurring monthly or yearly payments, a premise I much appreciate. An investment I am willing to make. The servers for this cloud are based in the U.K. and you can encrypt your files. Sounds good to me.

 

In addition to that they use the likeness of a polar bear as their logo. A good choice. I realize how late I am coming to the party while I am transferring data from 2001 (the year) from a stertorous hard drive to the cloud. The hard drive sounds like it might die any time soon. Poor little hard drive. For years I have been wheeling around free cloud space of well-known providers, being annoyed by the various limitations that come with freebies. In digital terms I move reluctantly. A behaviour which as of 2020 I am inclined to adjust. And you are my digital witnesses.

 

On my quest to transfer and backup files I discover photos that are in bmp format. They are from another lifetime when I used to use Windows. This is a virtual deep dive into my past. A generation ago people would have kept these kinds of personal memorabilia in boxes in the attic. The ailing HDD sputters. I hope I am not too late. Don’t kill my precious haven’t-looked-at-them-in-years files! I wish I was sitting among boxes in an attic right about now. With blackened fingers from layers of dust. I am better at dealing with the physical traces of time on my belongings. Yellowed paged and patina.

 

Patina is a good thing, because it represents how far I have come. For me patina is the tactile end of memory. In the digital world it has no respectable counterpart. Files disrupt and become unreadable. And that’s it? Human memory does not age well in these surroundings. Where is the tactile end of memory in our digital age?

 

Product designers recognized early that the surface feel, particularly of patina, is missing from our world to a large extend. In efforts to fill the void with new and exciting products the “used look” was first created. A twisted and economically successful ersatz for things in our lives which no longer have the space and time to age naturally.

 

I do like my new cloud. Finally I am moving forward! Yet I remain an avid believer in the revival of physical photos, stashed in a box with a ribbon wrapped around. I shall have my favourite ones printed. To stash them away and give them time to collect grime and dust over the next few years. All I need now is an attic.