It’s weird to feel yourself becoming a curmudgeon. Especially when it’s about technology. Someone asked me the other day if I could send an audio file of something I’d recorded. I stopped doing podcasts because I lost track of the server that had been hosting the files. My “inbox was full” or some such nonsense—they’re just electrons, folks. I’m already paying for the space to host this blog and one thing I know about audio files is they take up lots of space. My laptop reminds me of that every time it wants to update. Well, I recorded the requested audio file and wanted to send it along. I couldn’t find it. Now, I’m one of those people who started using Apple computers because they were intuitive. You could easily guess, or reason out, where things were. It’s not that way anymore.
I had to do a web search (use Ecosia! They plant trees for your searches!) for where Macs store your audio recordings so that I could send it. Buried deeply in a directory that has a nondescript name that you’d never possibly guess (it’s as if someone were to assign you Concluding Unscientific Postscript during a game of book-title charades), the helpful site said, you’ll find it. It’s in your “Library.” Well sir, Mac had decided that you no longer needed to navigate your way to your Library and that directory was hidden. Another Ecosia search—more trees—and I learned that you could do a special preference tweaking (it only took four or five steps) so that your computer would display your own Library and you could find your renamed file that you’d created.
Back in the day (here’s the curmudgeon part) when you had to swap discs—floppies—and the computer had the memory capacity of a Republican senator, you knew which disc had your files. To access them, you simply inserted the disc. Later they were stored on the hard drive itself and the directory told you right where you’d find them. Now who knows where your created content is stored—out there on a cloud somewhere, I hear. That doesn’t help when a friend asks you to send a file. I had no idea where it even was. It’s job security for the tech sector, to be sure. At least it helped me to plant some trees along the way. Back in the day we used to say you can lose sight of the forest for the trees. It works, it seems, the other way around as well.