Two items that I think are related:
1) Gmail now has POP3 access, which means I can use Outlook or whatever to read my Gmail. Gmail was the first webmail program I ever used ... well, 20 years ago I guess CompuServe was webmail, but you know what I mean ... ok, there was PINE in the UNIX days, but you know what I mean. I was so looking forward to being able to use my regular email software for Gmail. And now I can do it, and I tried it for a coupla hours, and I've already turned it off. I'm used to the Gmail interface, I like that I can switch between desktop and notebook computers and still read my email ... I guess I'm accepting that my email is stored, not on my personal computer, but on someone else's server.
2) Last night before I went to bed I told Windows to defrag my hard drive. I forget how big it is ... 80 gig, maybe? Anyway, when I got up this morning there was an error message explaining that since I had only 13% of my disk space remaining, and defrag needed at least 15% while it manipulated files, I had to do some housecleaning.
And yes, the above are related, because I'm thinking about the different ways I can store information besides just sticking it all on my hard drive. There's my Karma, which holds 20 gig of music files ... there's my various Internet accounts, all of which include lots of storage space ... there's the laptop with its own hard drive ... even with all of this, I'm running out of hard drive space (if you can be running out and still have 10+ gig to go).
Meanwhile, I replaced the stereo in the car with one that plays MP3s, which is one further step in the disappearance of albums from my music-listening experience. My sister-in-law asked me to burn some CDs for her while she's visiting, and she specifically asked for albums, but I told her that "no one" listens to albums anymore, everything is mix, an "album" nowadays is just as often a mix as anything, and with hard drive MP3 players like iPods and Karmas, the essential listening experience is not only not albums, but it's not even mixes ... it's shuffle play with thousands of songs in the hopper.
And that's not clearly related to the stuff about hard drive space, but in my mind they go together.
Of course, the reality is that my computers seem inadequate right now. This happens every time Sports Interactive releases a full upgrade to the Championship Manager (now Football Manager) series. More than once I've upgraded my computer just so it would do a better job of playing those infernal games. It's fascinating because there are hardly any graphics in the game ... but as the makers point out, graphics-intensive games can dump a lot of the dirty work onto your graphics card, while something like Football Manager is all about the main processor ... imagine trying to run an Excel spreadsheet or Access database that included hundreds of thousands of items, while the basic software was incorporating user input with computer AI thinking, and you'll understand why my Pentium 4 machines running at 2.53GHz with an 80 gig hard drive gets sluggish whenever I play the game.