February 2006, V5#2: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Organization – part 4

Do you have a lot of photos that have been given to you, you’ve taken, or scanned?  If so, they could be slowing your computer down.  Additionally, if the only copy of a photo you have is on your hard drive, we really don’t want to think what will happen if the computer crashes.  If you have the budget and don’t mind new hardware, there are several excellent back up systems you can purchase and install to take care of knowing your photos are safe.  But what about those of us with less than 40% hard drive space open?  It’s time to file your photos!  One of the easiest ways with today’s technology is with a USB drive (starting at $20).  Once you have tamed the photos and put them into file folders, simply plug the drive into your computer, open up its’ window and a window that shows your photos and drag and drop.  It is suggested that you keep the drive with a general table of contents to make retreval/enjoyment fairly easy.  Another excellent way to file photos is by CD. Once you have your photos on removable storage media (drives or disks), it is up to you whether to keep them on your computer.

While you can use this filing tactic with any type of files, currently photos are the universal memory hog.  If you do digital video; have your genealogy back to the 1600 (including lots of collateral lines) in GEDCOM, etc.; have all your audio collection in the hard drive; etc. all of these may be filed similar to the photo example above.

Old School Tip: Were you computing at home in the 1980s?  Still have those large floppy boxes?  If so, they make excellent CD storage – with or without the jewel cases!

Please Note: Due to the newness of digital storage, it is important to keep your storage up to date.  Some of us still have large floppy disks with data on them – and no where to use them!

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December 2005, V4#12: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Organization – part 2

Once you have decided whether to have one main organization structure, or divide files by type and then organize, it’s time to do some serious directory making and/or “moving in”.

Don’t start moving your files until you have your main directory structure thought out.  For instance, don’t make “photo” and “graphic” file folders in My Documents/My Pictures and the move all your graphics, then decide to make folders in photo for subjects, dates, etc. – this would make you more work by having to move the same file every time you choose do divide it more.  First take a look at your overall structure you have decided, think about the type of files you have and/or may be making – plan a structure and file folders that will make items easy to find.  Once the structure is in place, you can start moving in.

One easy way to move files follows: click Start, then click My Documents.  From there, double click a file folder you wish to move into.  Continue double clicking into sub folders until you get to a folder you plan on moving files into.  Next go back and click Start then My Documents again.  If files need to be moved from here just place the mouse on the item, hold down the left mouse button and drag it to the other file folder window and release.

Continue repeating steps until files are in correct folders.  Don’t worry if you find as you move you need more folders, just make them :o)

Note – if you find you’ve placed a file folder in the wrong place, the whole folder can be moved just like a single file: drag and drop.

More next month…