I keep thinking about old projects in the Gnome2 days, when I used desktop Linux and how much fun desktop computing used to be. Everything was open – either by choice via open standards or by force e.g. reverse engineering messenger clients, which then allowed the data to be local and open. You to do cool things like Beagle (and really Nat's Dashboard app before that).

Dashboard (right) pickuped the context of your current activity and showed you handy information.

These days everything seems to be closed and or web-based. Your data is only accessible via apis that you don't control. And with the rise of mobile, we've grown to expect our data to be accessible everywhere...but really, how many times have you been hard press because you couldn't access a random file at a random place at a random time?

Has this expectation has does us more harm than good?

Often these services sell themselves as a way to simplify. Simply put all of your data into a magic directory and it will be made available everywhere. But how many people actually manage to do this? On your Mac, a lot of apps automatically save data for you, and chances are it's not in one of those magic directories.

So now you're left with a false sense of security and an increased complexity of trying to remember where your files are. Not to mention they could be deleted at anytime by someone/algorithm in a random organization e.g. Dropbox/Google closing your accounts.

Maybe it's just nostalgia and rose tinted glasses...but maybe it's not.