I just got a presentation (thanks Myron), too large for me to post, on MyLifeBits by Gordon Bell of Microsoft. This project promises to provide a PC-based organizational system for all the digital data a person accumulates during a lifetime.
Frankly, the presentation looks more than a little convoluted. Further, the presentation claims the project is aimed at Longhorn. I don't think it will make it.
I do however recognize the problem it is trying to solve: how do we make sense of the gobs of information we are going to store in our 1 Tb computers in 2006? The idea that I could use a system like this to quickly assemble a complete story/report, with archival multimedia and documentation without any significant hassle is compelling. That I could use it to quickly make a richly detailed post to my weblog is even more compelling.
A nagging concern I have about this system is that it is monolithic. Its database will reach into every facet of your computing experience to extract data and provide context. What happens when I want to upgrade my computer to a faster model? In the past I used to just copy a couple of folders over to the new system. In a MyLifeBits model, I would need to completely replicate the entire storage system of my previous computer onto my new computer. Microsoft, despite the mountains of logic that dictate that they should, has never made it easy to migrate to new hardware. Whenever I buy a new system I should have a braindead way to migrate data from an existing system. That, to my knowledge, has never been implemented. Until that happens, MyLifeBits ain't goin to get my bits. [John Robb's Weblog]