Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2012.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

A case for forgetting

Posted 12 February 2012 in life and software

My software never forgets what I tell it. I've accumulated over a dozen dozen passwords, door codes, and PINs over the years, but while I don't use most of those 150-some services these days they're still clogging my password manager. My address book has hundreds of entries spanning almost a decade, but while all of those people are memorable, most I haven't thought about for years. My music player is full of music that I bought years ago but no longer enjoy or don't prefer to hear outside of the holiday season.

What I want is software that can archive information I don't need or want, but can retrieve it when necessary. Most of the birthdays on my calendar are for people in my address book that I lost contact with long ago. I haven't logged into the Seventeen or Bust website for years, but I might again one day (despite the lecherous name, it's actually a math thing I ran into while taking courses on Chaos Theory). I don't want Christmas music to pop up when my music player's set to random, but that doesn't mean I want to delete it. Archiving and later retrieving forgotten content is a common concept in email clients, but for some reason its musical equivalent is embodied only by "Best of the Decade" compilations from Readers Digest.

I hope one day I have software that meets this need. I'm also waiting anxiously for the "Best of the 90's" three disc set: I haven't listened to that one Tal Bachman song in about a minute!