digital detritus – a new hope

So, over the past 72 hours it has been delete, install, move, copy, wait, check settings, wait again, find duplicates, delete, delete, delete. In no particular order:

Surface Pro 4 vs iPad Pro – after 36 hours with the SP4 and a handwritten notes competition with ST, the final score is iPad Pro B+, SP4 B-. Win10, while an improvement over Win8 (not saying much), is still a work in progress and the version of OneNote that comes install on SP4 is neutered. I have the Office 2013 version but that isn’t as good as the Office 2016 version but I’m not paying more money just to get that and there is no way to uninstall the neutered version. Good job, MS (btw – it isn’t just me – others are complaining loudly about it). At the end of the day the whole point was to try and move to an analog/digital experience for taking notes. Yes, I can type faster but being able to draw shapes and the act of writing are cognitively different. The SP4 was the hope to be the holy grail but alas, it is far from it. The iPadPro actually wins out on  the feel of the Pencil against the screen, with the only downside being the inability to move images around in OneNote on iOS (or Android for that matter – something else people are complaining about). But as for the writing experience, iPadPro wins, SP4 goes back to the Microsoft store.

Email clients – I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Apple Mail for years now. It is ubiquitous, but often buggy and doesn’t always play well with Exchange. In an attempt to bifurcate work and play, I decided to try using 2 different mail clients with work email on one, personal on the other. I fired up Outlook 2011 for work and was reminded how…bad…it is. But it probably is the best to use to try an organize exchange files so it runs as I type doing background uploading (more on that). Postbox seems a bit better than Mail, mostly because there is a button on the toolbar to send an email to Evernote and it works flawlessly (services in Mail, not so much). But my inboxes are pretty huge so Postbox is throwing a lot of spinning beach balls at me. Which brings me to the mind numbing part:

Cleaning out inboxes. When I started this folly, I was approaching 100K email messages spread between 5 different servers. I’ve used email as my “archive” for my life, but at some point it starts to fail. The mbox format is pretty fragile when it gets big, so no wonder Mail is buggy and Postbox is laggy. So I dig in to cut down the forest. How? Well, I leave gmail as it is, as google can deal with the 10K or so messages. iCloud and nostatic need a good cleaning/deleting party, usc.edu isn’t too bad, ICT is horrific. And so it begins – the tactic is to order by sender so I can quickly delete blocks of messages from people that I don’t need to keep. It also calls for letting go of old emails from bands and other stuff – but I really don’t need to keep them.

ICT is the killer, and I try moving files from the inbox to other directories to divide and conquer. But it turns out that dragging in Postbox *copies* rather than moves, so after a few tries I now have 3-4 copies of each email. Umm…great. So a few hours spent manually highlighting and deleting thousands of duplicates. But eventually it is done. And then archive messages from pre-2015 on my local machine, and start to thin the herd of the 2015 messages (about 10K).

Current score: iCloud – 2800, nostatic – 940, gmail – 8900, usc – 1600, ict – 6300. Final goal is to be below 1K in each. Progress, not perfection.