The flip side

I’ve installed ‘Tiger’ — code for version 10.4 of Mac OS X on two of our home machines, and the installation went just fine and both computers are happily chuntering away. (I’m too rattled by Quentin’s experience to entrust my PowerBook to it yet.) One of the nice things about the new version is ‘Spotlight’ — an amazing desktop search program that indexes the entire contents of your hard drive and finds things instantly. But there’s an unintended side-effect of this — neatly captured in a wry email from a friend:

There is a downside to everything. This is the one for Spotlight: suddenly you see how much you have forgotten. I was busy writing a lecture. Looked for something on Spotlight. And discovered that I had written something very similar a year ago. Completely forgotten. Shocking.

Well, yes. But isn’t it better to be reminded? Besides, great things come from faulty memories. Tim Berners-Lee was motivated to invent the Web partly because he had such a terrible memory and kept losing track of information! Full story on page 233 of this. (Health warning: shameless plug!)