[IAEP] Article on "Why files need to die"

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Fri Jul 15 09:01:06 EDT 2011

> When OS X starts up with a search box open
> instead of a blank desktop we'll know we are there :)

What a nightmare !    I'm sorry, but once you move past trivial amounts
of information, correctly specifying the search or filtering through
the results of a loosely specified search takes forever.   My laptop has
over a half-million files on it, with only a small fraction of my
photos/music/movie collection and no files older than five years old on it.

I use iMail and Spotlight as much as the next Mac user, but finding the
right mail from (who was that ?) on (what month/year was that ?) about
a common topic can be very frustrating.    Whereas the spatial localization
paradigm works wonderfully for me (perhaps as it is how I find things in
the physical world ?)    If I want to find something again, I put it in a
certain place in my desktop/hierarchical file system/office/home.

> For me, I think these ideas, plus new ones we haven't thought of,
> combined with refined user interfaces developd based on user behaviors
> are the future. The more the computer can predict what you want, the
> more it can help you get your work done. You just have to give it a
> hint.

Secretaries and personal assistants have done this for years, but I
don't believe that AI is up to the challenge yet.
Of course, this doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve the current UIs...


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