Going on information diet


This (possibly cringeworthy) article is very old and part of Project Necromancy. Many of the opinions I held back then have changed. I'm keeping this only for "historical" interest, not necessarily because I agree with what I thought back then.

Also consider that many of the included links (even the ones to the Internet Archive) are dead.

After reading On Minimalism by Chris Eidhof, I decided I should slim down my computing experience. So I made a list of things to do to go minimal on my computer, to have less distraction and to find stuff I look for more easily.

These are the steps I implemented so far.

Change the wallpaper

I noticed I have my wallpaper hidden by windows more often than not. So why have a beautiful wallpaper if you don’t get to see it? So I changed it to a gradient (dark green to black).

Delete old emails

I opened my email client and deleted all emails from 2005 till today, except some emails from my hosting provider that I’d like to keep around since they contain some useful information.

Unsubscribe from services and newsletters

As I receive emails from services I don’t use or newsletters I don’t read, I unsubscribe from them. I find useless going thru the hassle of receiving emails just to immediately delete them.

Unsubscribe from rss feeds

I unsubscribed from all my rss feeds except trisquel.info (almost nonexistent traffic and only relevant news, like new releases and features). I noticed I didn’t read much of the articles I received via rss. Also, reading Hacker News gives me as much info as I’m likely to be interested reading.

Delete all browser bookmarks

I got rid of all my bookmarks. Since usually I visit only 5-6 websites regularly, I keep them on my Speed Dial home page and that’s all I need. If I need to quickly reach a website, Icecat address bar usually suggests me the right one in just a couple of keystrokes (plus Ctrl+L to go to the address bar…)

Steps I plan to implement

These are the steps I’ll likely implement when I’ll have time

Delete some music

I have a huge music collection on my hard drive. Most of the tunes I have, I never listen to. So I’ll wipe most of them. Also my portable player and my cell phone could use a bit more space and a lot less tunes. If I’m at home I can listen to some music on youtube or on some internet radio (or subscribe to last.fm maybe…)

Delete lots of files

My download directory is full of crap. ‘Nuff said.

Get rid of un-started projects

I started a lot of project that never went beyond a single source file. I don’t think I need to keep them.

So, how does it feel?

The interesting thing is that I don’t feel worse for deleting all these stuff. And I don’t feel better (except from unsubscribing from services, newsletters and feeds, which gives me more focus on things I’m trying to do). This, in my opinion, demonstrates how much useless crap we keep on our computers.

Anything else?

If you have some other suggestions please share in the comments.