Oz Blog News Commentary

The dead electronical letter office.

February 22, 2024 - 17:48 -- Admin

I was reminded today of how much we rely on email as a sort of de facto filing system—or, at least, how much I do.

It happened just after lunch. I had opened my current 15-minute Project: the republication of "Felafel." A couple of years ago, when I regained the rights from Pan Macmillan, I asked if they could share any production files with me. Surprisingly, they did. Unfortunately, it was just a PDF, which meant I had to convert everything into Word before I could start tinkering with it. My fifteen minutes ended before I successfully managed that. (It’s all good, though; I’ve since figured it out.)

My first thought, when I hit a wall, was to search my email for the original copy of the manuscript. I quickly realized that this book was written long before Gmail existed. I did have an email address back then, but I couldn't tell you what it was to save my life. I think I went through about half a dozen different email accounts before I finally got a Gmail invite. Since then, it's become my primary business address. If I need to find something like an old manuscript or a contract, it's in there somewhere—as long as I wrote the book after the early 2000s. So, I think Designated Targets is covered, but not Weapons of Choice.

It made me wonder how much we've all lost by not keeping track of those early email addresses.