As a part of my minimalism journey, I'm trying to reduce my digital footprint. This means I'm using less services, less devices, less applications. In other words, trying to do more, with less.
This concerted effort has created a set of dynamics and side-effects which I didn't anticipate. While it feels strange, the resulting outcome is nice.
Before embarking on this journey, I used to have a desktop computer with lots of disk capacity, a nice sound system, and a nice monitor. My laptop computer was a mobile replacement of it, carrying the most essential things, plus the whole development toolchain I used to have on my desktop computer. As a result, I used my desktop computer almost all the time, while using the laptop while on the go.
Now, I have a single laptop computer with a much smaller disk. My office provides me a desktop and another laptop. This means, I am using my laptop much more, and need to adjust to its capabilities and limitations.
Talking of adjusting, it turned out that my desktop computer was doing much more than I anticipated. Since it had more than enough storage and I used it almost everyday, I never felt the need for the cloud. Secondly, I unknowingly created and perfected workflows around that machine. Removing it created a strange void and disorganization on its wake. I'm still working on adapting these workflows to what I have. This part is not going fast.
Another part of this adjusting came from the applications I used to use on the desktop computer, especially for my photography and music collections. Over the years, I have chosen a set of applications and used them to their limits, so that I know their behavior like my name. Losing these applications would be bad, however the most important ones are working on macOS. This saved me a ton of time both in the short and long time.
The last part of this adjustment process is handling and organizing massive amount of files coming from decades of computing history. These files are currently being moved to a cloud provider. After they are consolidated there, they will be organized slowly. Some of these files will be live on offline storage (i.e. portable external hard drives), some will stay in the cloud, and some will be deleted. Remaining ones will be backed up regardless of their location.
It becomes clearer that I have deployed myself an "invisible infrastructure" over the years, without even noticing, as I change the way I accomplish things. Currently, almost none of this infrastructure is in place, but a better, smaller yet more efficient version is being built step by step. Let's see how it goes and where it arrives.
Until next time,