On this November 11, a look at ways technology can help us remember.
THE MEMORY PROJECT
My grandfather served aboard the HMCS Oakville in World War II. One of my great-grandfathers liberated Jerusalem in 1917 (that’s John Keelty later in Egypt at right), another great-grandfather was at Vimy Ridge in WW I.
The Memory Project is an effort from The Dominion Institute to catalog the stories of Canada’s veterans. As the greatest generation passes on, so do the stories and lessons of war. This website has interviewed thousands of Canadian veterans about their experiences in World War II and the Korean War. The website features collections of photos, audio, and video of their first-hand accounts. It’s a great gift to preserve these stories for all generations.
If it’s not too much of a reach, I’ll segue now to some digital tools to help you remember the everyday things.
REMEMBER THE MILK
If you need help getting things done, the consensus best list-making, and reminder app is Remember the Milk. It’s been around for more than 8 years, starting out as a web based task manager before getting appified for the mobile world.
You can sort tasks, tag them, postpone, them, set up reminders, synching and more. If you have a hard time remembering what is on your To Do list, try this.
iOS added Reminders in recent updates, a built-in iPhone To Do list app that adds geo-fencing. This means you can get location based reminders to do things.
Need to get fish food the next time you’re at the mall? Set up an alert so the next time you go there it will send you a text. You can also do this on a newer iPhone with Siri. Simply say “after I leave the restaurant, remind me to call Mom” and you’re set.
We are pouring so much of our lives into Facebook. It really is a public diary of everything we’ve ever done except unlike our diary, Zuckerberg has the key to this book of memories. So download your Facebook data. As you go through time some parts of your timeline may be too embarrassing to be public, but you may want to hang on to for old time’s sake. So download it and keep it with your other backups.
THE INTERNET ARCHIVE’S WAYBACK MACHINE
The internet never forgets. Even after you have deleted something from the web, there is a chance it will be there – forever. The Internet Archive has saved over 10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of the Web. It has spiders going out and crawling and downloading bits and pieces of websites every single day creating a sort of online museum of the internet.
Remember Geocities? For a lot of us, it was where we had our first website. Yahoo! shuttered it in 2009, but the Internet Archive still has most of it, including my very first website from 1996.
This has been especially handy for me after my blog crashed last year and took out my database and backups. I’ve been able to troll the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine for my old posts and have rebuilt more than 2/3 of my old content.
APP OF THE WEEK: Artkive [free]
If you have school aged kids, the art will be plentiful and this app helps you keep it, without keeping it. Artkive lets you take a picture of the masterpiece, catalog it by age and grade and then keep them online. You can share them with family and friends (without plastering all over Facebook), and you can print off ones that you’d like to keep. One endorsement of the app admits “I’ll never have to feel guilty about throwing away my kids artwork!”