1459: "Documents"

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The Synologist
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1459: "Documents"

Postby The Synologist » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:21 am UTC

Image

Title Text: "Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Untitled.doc"

Not quite in the same vein as the comic, but I'm reminded of an incident when I first had a Windows after a lifetime of only having used a Mac, I had no idea of the existence of Internet Explorer's recent documents area, where it kept the names of recently opened files, even ones that I had deleted. Almost had a heart attack when a friend who was trying to help me find something innocently clicked into it I saw my entire recent file history laid out there...

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby asdf28 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:33 am UTC

I hope mine's not that disorganized. But I'm already on my 4th laptop (5th if an accidental rm -rf / turns one laptop into two) and stuff naturally gets a little lost each transition; no upgrade is ever seamless. (http://xkcd.com/1360/ ? ).

Filelight was a cool utility to make a recursive pie chart, of the disk usage of a directory. Sorta like a visual du.
I sorta wished that there was a toggle switch between disk usage and number of files; but never got around to editing the src to add this feature.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby bachaddict » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:24 am UTC

I have all my old files on my new data partition, but I use a new documents folder since using this laptop. The strangest filename in there is guac.ahk - an AutoHotKey bindings file to help me play Guacamelee. Still wasn't as good as a gamepad.

Before I figured out that I can copy photos directly from a camera, I used the Windows Wizard, so each import was named by a keymashing. Some odd names still linger.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:30 am UTC

What I find especially worrying is that the files are not quite in alphabetical order:
<Snip>
Untiteled 139.docx
Untiteled 40 MOM ADRESS.jpg
Untiteled 242.doc
<snip>

Either he messed with the sorting (it is BHG after all) or Randal forgot a "1" or a "2" (either one works).
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:35 am UTC

The only embarrassing thing about my Documents folder is how many things are still in there that I have no reason to hang on to, and that single untitled.txt that's basically half of my random notebook (the other half of which I have named All Kinds of Stuff.txt; I swear I'll merge them one of these days!)

My computer is pretty organized. It's meatspace that I have trouble with.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby StClair » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:57 am UTC

Worse than finding the pr0n.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby sfmans » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:11 am UTC

Basic computer literacy training ought to include some guidance on directory structures and file naming. I've worked with some otherwise excellent coders and database whizzes who dump everything into the one folder with naming conventions exactly as shown, and they must have wasted years of their lives trying to find that system proposal from 6 months ago.

And don't get me started on email subject lines. One of our major systems has been running a key part of the hospital for three years, has been through 3 major releases and numerous upgrades, tweaks and quick bodges emergency patches. Every single email of the thousands I've received from the system clinical lead over that time has the one-word subject of the system name ...

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby azule » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:33 am UTC

A similar situation are screenshots. I accidentally take them and on purpose take them. Their filenames are essentially meaningless dates. I have a sea of them but usually don't delete (when I happen across them) for two reasons. I might have wanted some of them. And, now they're a view into the past, they're now interesting.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby keithl » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:26 am UTC

Four decades of personal files on this Linux system, new files and ancient files from CPM and DOS and 3BSD, arranged into sub-sub-sub-directories, with multiple backups. I rename and sort the accumulation in the home directory a dozen times per year. Still telling myself that someday Real Soon I will transfer my old paper tapes, DC300 cartridge tapes, 8 inch floppies, etc. that I have in storage. At least I got the 9 track tapes and punch cards converted. Those media didn't even have file names.

I use locate() piped to grep() a lot. What do Windoze people use to search a million files? Sometimes, I do an overnight recursive grep through all the files in my home directory, dredging up really old stuff. Emails get sorted into named directories (about 3000 of them last time I looked) but do not otherwise get renamed; there's about 400,000 of those, quite a few moved by UUCP back in the day. As my brain fails, far more of my former memories are digital rather than neural. New memories in multiple searchable wikis with revision history.

Bruce Schneier says that the biggest pollution problem of this century won't be CO2, but data smog. It costs more to delete files or properly sort and catalog them than to just buy a bigger, faster disk. Stored data will increase exponentially, at Moore's Law rates, for centuries, and someday just indexing and searching it will use all of the 380 trillion terawatts that the Sun emits, minus a few planet's worth.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby azule » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:55 am UTC

keithl wrote:I use locate() piped to grep() a lot.
Oh, man, that is fast and pleasurable! I'm never using my file manager for search, ever again. O-o
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:25 am UTC

keithl wrote:I use locate() piped to grep() a lot. What do Windoze people use to search a million files?

Windows does have things like findstr on the command line.
People tend not to know about them because people rarely do things on the command line on Windows.

But mostly I get by by not wanting to search through a million files on my Windows machine.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:13 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:What I find especially worrying is that the files are not quite in alphabetical order:
<Snip>
Untiteled 139.docx
Untiteled 40 MOM ADRESS.jpg
Untiteled 242.doc
<snip>

Either he messed with the sorting (it is BHG after all) or Randal forgot a "1" or a "2" (either one works).


It's actually White Hat Guy.

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Neil_Boekend
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:27 am UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:What I find especially worrying is that the files are not quite in alphabetical order:
<Snip>
Untiteled 139.docx
Untiteled 40 MOM ADRESS.jpg
Untiteled 242.doc
<snip>

Either he messed with the sorting (it is BHG after all) or Randal forgot a "1" or a "2" (either one works).


It's actually White Hat Guy.

Oops.
Then it is likely that Randall forgot a "1" or a "2".
Either that or I have been counting wrong since forever. Did my parents and teachers prank me this succesfully?
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby jeanrenaud » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:40 am UTC

For some reason, the character count of the file in the tooltip (276) has broken the MAXCHAR character limit (260).

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:07 pm UTC

jeanrenaud wrote:For some reason, the character count of the file in the tooltip (276) has broken the MAXCHAR character limit (260).

There are ways to get past the traditional limit.
I believe the unicode Windows API is not bound by such a limit. Maybe the comic hints at a disturbing level of competence on the part of WHG?
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby TheAbstractor » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:35 pm UTC

Also Protip: Never do e-Discovery doc review for a living, since it entails doing this for a living, 40-50+ hours a week*, except every document you open is more likely than not going to contain 100+ pages of stultifying, byzantine business jargon that you're expected to understand and legally evaluate.

*Except for when they lay you off for months at a time and you have to rack up $1000s in credit card debt because "the client is in the process of loading the documents and evaluating the guidelines."

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:42 pm UTC

This runs amazingly close to any number of submissions to thedailywtf.com, where people turn out to have named their variables, or their database tables "x1,x2,x3,x4....xInf" (I'm not sure how to stick an infinity symbol into this forum's html-y format :oops: )

Does remind me a bit of the old OLD days of DCS and VMS, where files were "name.ext;count" . I forget how the system assigned count numbers but it had something to do with editing or versioning history.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Kit. » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:49 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:(I'm not sure how to stick an infinity symbol into this forum's html-y format :oops: )

Just сopy and paste the utf8 symbol (∞), say, from Wikipedia.

Or from this comment.

cellocgw wrote:Does remind me a bit of the old OLD days of DCS and VMS, where files were "name.ext;count" . I forget how the system assigned count numbers but it had something to do with editing or versioning history.

Yes; instead of overwriting an old file, the file processors were creating a "new" version of it. If you didn't specify a version of the file when you opened it for reading, the highest version one was used.

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JamesLucas
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby JamesLucas » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:54 pm UTC

And now I have that Nine Inch Nails song stuck in my head.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby marsman57 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:55 pm UTC

I name files with my random thoughts "stuff[Mdyy].txt" where you replace [Mdyy] with the date in that format.

Ex. stuff121214.txt

I realized a while back that this could be a bit confusing for some dates (1/21 versus 12/1), but shrugged and figured the timestamp on the file would save me if need be.

StClair wrote:Worse than finding the pr0n.


Oh how many times I have found this when helping someone copy data to a new hard drive. It's always extra embarrassing when they are watching over your shoulder periodically and you don't know if they know you saw it, and what to say if they do.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Flumble » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:What I find especially worrying is that the files are not quite in alphabetical order:
<Snip>
Untiteled 139.docx
Untiteled 40 MOM ADRESS.jpg
Untiteled 242.doc
<snip>

Either he messed with the sorting (it is BHG after all) or Randal forgot a "1" or a "2" (either one works).

Note that the same apparent out-of-orderness happens at the top of the box.

Who sorts alphabetically, when you can find your untitled document much better if sorted by (modification/creation) date?

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cellocgw
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:00 pm UTC

marsman57 wrote:I name files with my random thoughts "stuff[Mdyy].txt" where you replace [Mdyy] with the date in that format.

Ex. stuff121214.txt

I realized a while back that this could be a bit confusing for some dates (1/21 versus 12/1), but shrugged and figured the timestamp on the file would save me if need be.


An OCD cow-orker I knew solved this by putting the month into hex format. thus either 12114 (for Jan12) or 1C14 (for Dec 1) . BTW why did you bother with "stuff" in the file name? It doesn't help :twisted:
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Kit. » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:07 pm UTC

marsman57 wrote:I name files with my random thoughts "stuff[Mdyy].txt" where you replace [Mdyy] with the date in that format.

Ex. stuff121214.txt

I realized a while back that this could be a bit confusing for some dates (1/21 versus 12/1), but shrugged and figured the timestamp on the file would save me if need be.

Spoiler:
Image

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Keyman » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:25 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
marsman57 wrote:I name files with my random thoughts "stuff[Mdyy].txt" where you replace [Mdyy] with the date in that format.

Ex. stuff121214.txt

I realized a while back that this could be a bit confusing for some dates (1/21 versus 12/1), but shrugged and figured the timestamp on the file would save me if need be.

Spoiler:
Image

That {spoiler} might have the funniest rollover text in quite some time.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby squall_line » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:07 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:What I find especially worrying is that the files are not quite in alphabetical order:
<Snip>
Untiteled 139.docx
Untiteled 40 MOM ADRESS.jpg
Untiteled 242.doc
<snip>(sic)

Either he messed with the sorting (it is BHG after all) or Randal forgot a "1" or a "2" (either one works).

Note that the same apparent out-of-orderness happens at the top of the box.

Who sorts alphabetically, when you can find your untitled document much better if sorted by (modification/creation) date?


I'm pretty sure that Modified Date is the sort order in this case; I'm glad to see someone mentioned it before I could get to it.

Cracks me up that the MOM ADDRESS file is a .jpg. :)

Also, as Kit mentioned, using the ISO standard is a much better way of including dates in file names, especially for sorting purposes, even if one doesn't use the dashes to separate the year, month, and day. I'm trying to bring my co-workers into the fold with this naming convention, and also prepending the date on the file/folder name instead of appended to it (which somewhat defeats the purpose when the file names are all different). It's one of the things I picked up from working with log files, and I'm glad I did.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby orthogon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:13 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:I'm pretty sure that Modified Date is the sort order in this case;

Modified Julian Date?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby petz » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:26 pm UTC

The only thing worse than "untitled" documents in a documents folder are important files in a TEMP folder or the recycle bin. Had people panic when I told them I cleaned their computer by deleting the TEMP folder and emptying the recycle bin. Apparently a lot of people keep all their documents in these folders exclusively.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby orthogon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:43 pm UTC

petz wrote:The only thing worse than "untitled" documents in a documents folder are important files in a TEMP folder or the recycle bin. Had people panic when I told them I cleaned their computer by deleting the TEMP folder and emptying the recycle bin. Apparently a lot of people keep all their documents in these folders exclusively.

We should apply the "polluter pays" policy: files emptied from the recycling bin would be shipped back to the company whose software created them, who would be obliged to store them on their servers in perpetuity. That would focus the mind on reducing bloat and inefficiency in file formats.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby dtobias » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:27 pm UTC

This triggers all my pet peeves about missing or bogus metadata... web pages with "Untitled Document" as their title, MP3s without title/artist/release-date fields filled out so that when you add them to a media library (e.g., iTunes) you end up with something messy taken from the filename, and PDFs where the embedded title field (which shows up in the tab bar when you view them in a web browser, just like HTML titles) is just something stupid filled in by the tool that created it, like "Microsoft Word".

And dates in filenames should always be YYYY-MM-DD, with leading zeroes included. Just try and sort directories full of dated files named "Friday 12/12/14" and "Dec 13 14" and "December 12 2014" and whatever other combinations and permutations have been used by the same author in the same document series.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby dtobias » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:32 pm UTC

I'm also rather old-school about not liking to use spaces or most punctuation characters in filenames, because ancient command-line-based systems didn't like them, and anyway if you put them up on the web that way you end up with really ugly messes of URLs where if you read them out loud you'd have to say "...percent-sign-20..." in the middle of them.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Beavertails » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

dtobias wrote:And dates in filenames should MUST always be YYYY-MM-DD, with leading zeroes included.


I agree.

100%
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Flumble
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Flumble » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:21 pm UTC

dtobias wrote:I'm also rather old-school about not liking to use spaces or most punctuation characters in filenames, because ancient command-line-based systems didn't like them, and anyway if you put them up on the web that way you end up with really ugly messes of URLs where if you read them out loud you'd have to say "...percent-sign-20..." in the middle of them.

You say it like it's a thing of the past. :P
I recently tried to install a program (on windows, so it had a nice UI and such –it didn't even need compatibility mode) and it complained that the install path was malformed. I didn't check whether it was the space or the parentheses (Program Files (x86)) that caused the problem, but either way this program must have some old custom-written legacy code regarding the filesystem.


Beavertails wrote:
dtobias wrote:And dates in filenames should MUST always be YYYY-MM-DD, with leading zeroes included.


I agree.

100%

What's with the 4 digits for years? Try to think a bit ahead, like 6 digits.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Locoluis » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:41 pm UTC

I have a folder named "proyectos" ("projects" in English). Within it there's a sea of... two or three levels of folders.

For my webcomic (the only thing that can be disclosed from that mess), the typical file path has the form:

proyectos/sdscomic/YEAR-STORYLINE/STRIP-PANEL.xcf
proyectos/sdscomic/YEAR-STORYLINE/sdsYY####L.{png,html}
proyectos/sdscomic/SOMETHINGELSEv#/{hugo,rosa,eliana,pedro,etc}/*.xcf
proyectos/sdscomic/plans/ ← LOTS of text files.

There's also a folder (undisclosable name) that has a number of folders. One of them is called "src", which has many folders with pictures and other data that I downloaded in order to generate the data used in the other folders of that project. Another one has dozens of SVG files, Python programs and tab-separated text files.

I also have a Dropbox folder, which has several folders with cryptic (but meaningful) names, each one full of myriads of text files with equally cryptic (but also meaningful) names.

My family photos are in a third folder, "fotos". Unlike the previous two, this folder's tree structure is a real mess, with folder names increasing in vagueness as you go back in time.

Those three folders all receive regular backups. I learned the hard way to be especially paranoid about this. I cancelled my fighting game project as I lost over six months of code just a few days before release...

Also, I have lots of random "emergency diskette/pendrive backups", with lots of stuff from what I could safely describe as "stuff from previous lives".

While it beats having everything in the "Documents" folder (or worse, right at the Desktop), the age (the oldest files date from the mid-to-late nineties...) and complexity of my data is still hard to manage. There are LOTS of duplicates and obsolete files.

What's on my Desktop? A nice space background, and a few images that I drag-and-dropped on Google Image Search.
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:07 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:
jeanrenaud wrote:For some reason, the character count of the file in the tooltip (276) has broken the MAXCHAR character limit (260).

There are ways to get past the traditional limit.
I believe the unicode Windows API is not bound by such a limit. Maybe the comic hints at a disturbing level of competence on the part of WHG?

Many years ago, I discovered that my school's Archimedes machines had an interesting quirk - you could copy a folder into itself, in which case the copy routine recursively copied the contents of the folder, including the newly created folder, into the newly created folder until the path was long enough to cause the full name of the folder being created to overflow the character limit. Delete also worked recursively and could remove the tree. It was also possible to protect a file or folder from deletion, meaning you couldn't then delete it until you removed the protection - and that status carried over to any subsequent copies of that object. The thing is, the character limit for filenames to be deprotected was shorter than the character limit for filenames to be copied or deleted, so it was possible to create a directory tree that couldn't be deleted by normal means. What you could do was deprotect at a higher level and copy the deprotected folder into itself, overwriting the protection, so it wasn't quite a bug...

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby RabbitWho » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:18 pm UTC

Ahhh It's such a pity, I just upgraded my OS and did a lot of spring cleaning so my documents folder is all nice and organized and pretty. I really wanna look into everyone else's documents folders now... [yeah, you're right, i just renamed my neopets folder "philosophy" so I could take the screenshot]

Image

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby rhhardin » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:17 am UTC

Not to mention

temp
oldtemp
oldtemp.sv

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Flumble
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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Flumble » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:57 am UTC

RabbitWho wrote:Ahhh It's such a pity, I just upgraded my OS and did a lot of spring cleaning so my documents folder is all nice and organized and pretty. I really wanna look into everyone else's documents folders now... [yeah, you're right, i just renamed my neopets folder "philosophy" so I could take the screenshot]

(spoilered because the site didn't give me a thumbnail)
Spoiler:
Image

Isn't it nice? I didn't even have to rename anything funky. That's on the other partitions. :lol:

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby Greyjoy » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:05 am UTC

My My Documents folder has a shortcut to My Documents in it.

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Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby ps.02 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:46 am UTC

dtobias wrote:And dates in filenames should always be YYYY-MM-DD, with leading zeroes included. Just try and sort directories full of dated files named "Friday 12/12/14" and "Dec 13 14" and "December 12 2014" and whatever other combinations and permutations

I'm as much a fan of ISO 8601 as the next guy, but I do have to wonder: what type of computer do you use? That first bad example you gave looks odd to me as neither Windows nor Unix permit "/" in a filename.

From the "missing the entire point" department: a week or two ago I named a directory with an 8-digit ISO 8601 date and a coworker saw it and apparently liked the idea. But when he did it, he used strings like "2014125" and "2014129". *Facepalm*

Finally, ISO 8601 or no, I do sometimes wonder why I bother with a 4-digit year. I don't work with any data older than 2000 (my company isn't that old) and nothing I do in the next 50 years will matter by 2100.

maydayp
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:10 am UTC

Re: 1459: "Documents"

Postby maydayp » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:46 am UTC

most of my documents have plain file names "songs I want" "poetry" "lyrics". If it's a untitled document, that's 'cause I don't want to label it (ie/ rant space from teen years.). Or was in a rush and couldn't think of a title...
My camera pictures though, they are still in the default names.....

And I store all my documents in a file on my desktop... Old habit from not having my own user name, and that being the only spot we were allowed to store our files on. I do have a lot of short cuts on it too, but I try to keep it uncluttered as possible. (if I ain't playing the game, or using the program, it goes into unused desktop icons, or gets uninstalled. But I also hate the grid desk top and do a "plane" type layout, which changes as needed. (there is a row of, important, but rarely used icons, two deep on the left side, and one row lining the top) it's something like 3/1/3/1/5/1/3/1/3. It makes it easier for me to read.view each short cut, and not skim over them.


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