Thursday, February 24, 2005

Digital Biography Server

Background: in 1998 when I was employed by a movie studio, whenever the memory in our server maxed out, I had to knock on the door of this guy who was in charge of our computer system and ask him to add more storage space to the server. He would grudgingly pause the game he was playing, hit a few keys, and say, "Okay, there is your gigabyte. Ya happy now?" Oh, yeah, merely 7 years ago, adding one gigabyte of computer memory was a big deal. Right now, I'm using a laptop that has 30 gigabytes, and computers with 5 or 10 times more storage can be ordered from anyone's favorite online shopping site.

Hypothesis: with this speed of advancement, one day, quite possibly we could have so much digital storage space, available for free or very little cost, that the entire life of a person, from infancy to retirement, could be documented -- that is, every image recorded, every sound uttered, every piece of school paper, employment document, email, writing, doodle, and art work created, stored in a designated "digital biography server". Imagine that! So don't throw away your old VHS tapes yet.

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