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Pieces of me

A news report (sort of) makes the claim that around 10% of us leave our login passwords in our wills. This brings me to contemplate why. I mean, it sounds logical - if I should die, it might be useful for my mother or my wife or whoever to be able to access and modify things. But then, I'm not currently married so wife and children don't figure into the equation, and if I said my mother had absolutely zero interest in my activities on-line, it would be an understatement.
I'm smart enough not to use a cloud or virtual service as my only copy of something. This b.log, my few photos on Facebook, they're all somewhere here, even if an unholy mess scattered across a dozen SD cards or DVD-Rs. I don't have Flickr, I don't see the point in sharing random photos. That's why I like this blog. A photo, even if a photo of something obvious and/or mundane, has a story. Sometimes it is there to explain, sometimes it is there to look pretty. But pretty much every photo has a meaning... to me.


A foolish game

And there you have the crux of the matter. These things matter to me. They may matter a little bit to you (or you'd not be reading this); however, for the majority of the world it is beyond irrelevant. It is, more, that I simply don't exist.
Sure, you will find traces of me on-line. A posting here, a link there, maybe a reference to my VeroDes software - evidently the most important thing I've ever written. Plus there's my ARM programming information which, hopefully, will gain a new lease of life when ARMwiki kicks in. Those two things may be missed, or perhaps taken over by somebody else. But in the grand scheme, just look for Rebecca Black fan sites and you'll see how trifling all of this is. My blog videos on YouTube are private. Their viewings are counted in tens. My older public videos have numbers in the low hundreds. Look for me in Google, most of the Rick Murrays are other people. This isn't a woe-is-me article, it is just a potent reminder that the legacy I have to probably as ephemeral as the electrons shuffling in their activity to make these words appear in front of your eyes. Hit the power switch, it all disappears. That's the reality of the online world for the majority.


This was meant for me

And yet we try. We try to preserve our own little piece of the world. To explain with boundless enthusiasm some old piece of hardware that, in today's terms, is simply rubbish. A processor clocked at 2MHz? No graphical user interface? Discs you can't buy any more and interfaces fewer and fewer people understand? Why bother? We bother because it has meaning. To us. Perhaps an ego trip, or a delusion, or a sense of nostalgia for the way things were back then when any kid could turn out a game and get it marketed. When you didn't need to rely on megacorps with insane budgets for photo-realistic blood splashes, playing out in realtime on hardware that back then would have been unimaginable.

However, if anything is to be a reminder, look to the great loss of information when GeoCities vanished, taking with it all the collected pages, archives, and information that were present.


Who will save my soul?

When I die, I would like my source codes to be released to the world. My mother knows this, but she doesn't really understand what that means. My friends? This is the first they'll know about it. For would I really expect Ewen, Mick, Rob, or anybody else to come over here, try to figure out my filing system to not only find the sources but discover where all the parts are so the projects build correctly. But not only that, but to also 'sanitise' the code, so if I should take the luxury of quoting a lyric of a song I liked at the time in the comments, some cigar smoking ass doesn't amble along and demand a payment equal to the GBP of a medium sized country for my friend 'daring' to publish something that this person thinks they own, but didn't ever create. Not to mention we're talking several OSs (one sort-of virtual), numberous computers, and even more SD cards. No. My friends have their own issues and things to do. Sorting out that, for what, for the good of mankind? I don't buy it either, which is why I haven't asked anybody. So all those computers and all that data will probably be recycled or destroyed. Given the age of most of the equipment, probably recycled in the yellow-bag-on-rubbish-day sense of the word. HeyRick will keep going most likely for as long as Rob sees fit, though the course of action he'd probably take is to paste a note on the front page for a while, migrate anything he thinks is useful to one of his sites, then the rest will live on only in a forgotten backup disc, or collecting dust in a far corner of an old NAS's harddisc. HeyRick itself? Welcome to SedoParking or the like...
I guess it'll be a good thing I'm no longer around for it would be quite a blow for the ego to see my passwords all carefully arranged in my will, for them to be screwed up and chucked in the bin. That was me, that was my life. That doesn't really matter to anybody else.


We're sensitive

This meandering, perhaps tortuous, route comes full circle with the question posed again. What is that collection of information and data that defines your online persona, and what will become of it without you around?


Your comments:

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Jess, 9th January 2012, 01:15
Jewel fan by any chance?
Rick, 10th January 2012, 06:09
Yay! Somebody noticed (that the section titles are all (deliberate) misquotes from titles or lyrics from Jewel's "Pieces of you" album).

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