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Microsoft Researcher Stores Digital Life


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Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell has been recording virtually all aspects of his life digitally for 10 years through his Microsoft-funded MyLifeBits project. He describes the project as a memory aid, and says he envisions MyLifeBits "as the collective set of data that we call 'e-memory.'" Bell believes that material, once digitized, should not be discarded.

MyLifeBits has evolved from retaining all data in a single repository to a project in which the data is spread out across various places and various devices, in particular the mobile phone, Bell says. "That is itself a personal computer with a lot of function, and is also a place where there is a lot of capture," Bell observes. "All of that information has to map back into the server space for your memory." Bell wants a database file system to accommodate all of MyLifeBits' data and metadata. "I firmly believe that what we are doing and what we have done is the natural progression for the PC," he says. "It is the ultimate personal computer."

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