This Old File

These guys will not be able to help you

You never think about this sort of thing do you? You think and feel deep in your heart of hearts that the file will be fine. All of it will be fine. It’s saved. It’s even backed up on another thing that might still work someday. You hope. You even named it like something that not only makes sense now, but might even in the future. You’re safe. You think. VEU-logo—bob-final-final-final :))).xyz. What VEU was, why they needed a logo, who the hell Bob was or what .xyz is as a format is an entirely different story.

I always took some sad pride in what could only be called something along the lines of Personal File Management. It’s a bit of a pitiful yet necessary practice that many of us still find ourselves doing. While this has changed a lot with so many services moving to this pervasive Cloud, like the Dark Force enshrouding our futures and our very digital selves, chances are you still save things to your computer, phone, etc., and chances are even greater that you have tons of them already.

Recently I was looking for an old logo I designed of dubious origin and quality and read this article about our “melancholic attachment to data.”

The file said “*.fh11” on the end, denoting it was of the long defunct graphic program Macromedia Freehand. I have loads in this graphics software graveyard that I can’t open. There are tales from far away lands that I can, with the aid of a 10 year old version of Adobe Illustrator, import them, but this has yet to be confirmed. Also, I can’t find said version anywhere.

Now what? This is the question. What do we do when with all this wizardry around us, we’re still left with paper working better in the long run? Should we be making better paper then? Or should we just get better at letting old things be dead? Chances are if you can’t remember who Bob or VEU was, you didn’t do anything good for them. Chances are if you have to put “final final final” and a ton of smileys after something it was not a good design at all and was beaten to death by committee. So maybe it’s okay to let thing die like they used to.