I’ve Discovered an Online Equivalent of a Time Capsule...

Sunni's picture

Some of you may remember that I’d been having difficulties with my Linux box. Recently, a dear friend ended that via a shiny Debian install. O’course, before it was installed, all my important files were copied elsewhere; and I’ve been slowly making progress on getting the new house nicely appointed, so to speak. One of the things I remembered to get from the old Firefox was my most recent bookmarks file... from 2008.

I have barely begun to explore what’s in there, since I just now completed importing the file, but just looking at the folders takes me back. Sunni’s Salon folders... work-related folders for clients I haven’t thought about for many years (an example: all the bookmarks I used to find freedom-related news items for Freedom News Daily... other web projects long ago abandoned or never even launched... recipes I won’t even consider making nowadays... forums long gone... a stained glass folder, with contents as dusty as the boxes stored in my garage).

It’s interesting to see how my interests have changed in some ways... and reassuring to see where they have not. It’s also a little weird—I’m hesitant to try the links, as if they’ll be as fragile as an old, forgotten book. I know the worst thing that’ll happen is a 404—and that’s sure to happen with as many links as I accumulated; but as long as I haven’t clicked a link, its existence is still a possibility.

I did brave the cyberwaters for two old, cherished links, and was delighted to see that one is still going as strong as when I discovered it: Classic Cat, which will always have a very special place in my heart for introducing me to the absolutely lovely lyric pieces composed by Edvard Grieg. The other page wasn’t available at the link I’d bookmarked, but its author kindly redirected the URL to a page from which I could find what I’d found so important lo those years ago: The Art of Friendship. In taking the time to read it again, I find it resonates even more strongly now.

It’s been an interesting thing, being able to dip a toe in the stream of online consciousness I’d built up five years ago; but truth be told, despite my intention to clean up my bookmarks, I know very well that I’ll never do the ruthless pruning an efficiency expert or declutterer would state is necessary. These links reflect slivers of who I was, what I was doing, and what I was valuing and thinking about... an online photo album of sorts? Whatever one wants to call it, it’s a neat way to assess who I was and who I am.

Tangentially related aside: For those who communicate with me using an envelope, I should have that capacity restored as well. I’ve not tested it yet, but systems look good, and I’ll be doing so shortly. Thanks so much for your amazing patience with me.


I really connected with this, Sunni. :) I have four older hard drives that I've only recently been able to access. Each has a "bookmark" file, of course, and so much more. I carefully transfered the bookmarks, along with address books and so forth each time I got a different computer, but I am ruthless in the pruning process of current files. I delete bookmarks and addresses constantly, mostly to keep what I'm using daily from getting so large that I can't find anything!

So it has been very interesting to look at these old lists and files, and a trip down memory lane with both sweet and sour notes. All of the old Sierra Times links are dead, and only a few can be found in the "wayback machine." A good number of dear friends have dropped off the email map, and their addresses are no longer valid. Some I hadn't thought of in years, and wonder now how they are and what became of them. Others were delighted to hear from me, having lost MY current address long ago.

I transfered anything I thought I would want to the current hard drive, and contemplated getting rid of the old things... but they are tucked away again safely. No idea what I might ever do with them, as the technology rushes to make them totally obsolete, but they don't take up much space, and I can always download anything I want to a thumb drive or something else.

Memories of the good people and bright days past are never a waste of time or space. :) And seeing the changes in our lives is always instructive.

Another bit of history

I miss several people who used to be regular commenters here, and wonder how they’re doing.

Another possible source of memories is to peruse one’s PGP public keyring. I’ve held on to keys of people long dead, just because it’s the only thing I have to remember them by.

Ah, the keyring

I hadn't thought of that, just looked at the old address books. Seems every new computer and email program I got had to generate its own address book, and so I'd migrate the old names in, leaving the old "book" on the old hard drive.

Now I have to go back through the keyrings and see what I missed!

The Art of Friendship

Hi Sunni, I'm glad you still like that essay. On re-reading it, I realize that it could easily be edited to remove the Randian aspects and thus be of more general appeal.

Speaking of friendship, Aristotle said long ago that time spent together is essential to the blossoming and maintenance of a good friendship. To that end, please check your email. :-)