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3951  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Prelude to request for help for distributed pc cycles help from dc community on: September 16, 2007, 11:28:23 PM
it would be fantastic if TOOWILD could help out.   cheesy
3952  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Prelude to request for help for distributed pc cycles help from dc community on: September 16, 2007, 09:53:54 PM
I have a 233mhz on dialup that can be used exclusively for this for as long as you need, and I have my 3.2 ghz main pc that is always running and online.
3953  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA - Always on top, hotkey activated StopWatch on: September 15, 2007, 08:56:56 PM
Sure...not a problem. I'd be happy to add it.  smiley
3954  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Comments to this forum: regarding display image on: September 15, 2007, 03:01:05 AM
The problem with linked images is if the link dies, so does the image.

What if the image you are linking to is gone in a month or 2 or 6? The post you linked the image in will be showing a broken image.

If you attach the image however, it will be there for the life of the forum.
3955  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming Can Ruin Your Life: A Fantastic Blog Essay on the Mind of a Coder on: September 14, 2007, 02:57:11 AM
Even though I will use the term programmer to include both programmers & developers, there is a difference between the two and how they think about what they do, so if you don't agree with this guy's essay or what I am about to say, it could be because one is written by a programmer and the other by a developer.

  • For a developer, the application is the work of art, and the code is the paintbrush that creates it.
  • For a programmer, the code is the work of art.

Quote
Programmers become obsessed with perfection.


I think we are born obsessed with perfection, rather than become that way.

I have been a picky perfectionist for as long as I can remember, way before I knew what a computer was. Since early childhood..putting my dolls away in their original clothing, including all accessories, in their original packaging...sorting my clothes by color in my closet.

If it doesn't fit my idea of perfection it annoys me. I will see only the flaws until they are all fixed. And this is in everything. And I will spend way too much time fixing things most people wouldn't bother with.

Quote
Is programming the road to ruin? Or is it that those with a predilection for detail and mental gymnastics find themselves drawn to it. Perhaps it simply exacerbates a pre-existing mindset. There are certainly other traits (stereotypical or not) that most programmers seem to share.

I think the latter would be more accurate.

I think most programmers will recognize some of themselves in this essay -- but it's real value may be to those people who live with coders and want some insight into why they are the way they are.

So if you're a coder with a significant other, print this out and give your loved one a copy to read.  It may help them understand why you are the way you are..

It really doesn't explain it at all. We are what we are, and are the way we are, before we are even exposed to programming. It's not programming that does it to us...it's why we are attracted to it.

We are programmers on the inside long before we even understand what that means or even type our first line of code. The way of thinking is already there, programming may just make that way of thinking become more refined.

Our kind existed long before computers. We were always the builders, inventors, tinkerers, and creators. Your grandmother may have been one of us if she loved to crochet. It can be compared to coding in asm. And you can be almost sure that if she spent any large amount of her spare time doing it, she was thinking about it and stitching and creating new patterns in her mind while she was doing other things. (crocheting was something else I took to, at a young age, like a duck takes to water)

The article does a so-so job of explaining what we are, and to a degree why we may be attracted to programming, but not really accurate about why we think the way we do.

A friend of mine once said that programmers are at least 70% control freak, and that you will rarely find 2 programmers married to each other and it actually working, because in the relationship each wants their 70% of the control and that adds up to 140%, which is why it doesn't work.

And that in an environment in which 2 or more programmers are teamed to work together on the same project, it only can work if they consider themselves as members of the same team in a game of programmer vs machine.

And if they are too much over the 70% mark, they won't work well with other programmers because they will want all the power & control over the machine for themselves and will be unwilling to share enough to get the job done. These are the ones that are better off working by themselves.

I don't know how true the 70% figure is, but I do understand the programmer vs machine game and the desire to win and be in charge of the machine, rather than the machine being in charge of you. (even though we all know the machine is always in charge of you any way, I am referring to the idea of getting it to do what you want rather than it doing as it pleases and driving you mad)

I guess she could be right about how much we want to be in control of things in other areas of our lives that don't involve computers, such as our relationships. And I think we may also react to a lack of control in those other areas by burying ourselves in our work in order to compensate for that lack of control. That we will do anything to have it, or at least feel like we have it, somewhere, as if to say if you can't be in control of your life you will go be in control of a computer, instead.

I also think that programmers are like drug addicts. There is no high in the world quite like the one you get when you think you have won that programmer vs machine game, and solved a difficult problem or completed a project, or found and fixed an elusive bug that has been driving you crazy. It is the best feeling in the world, and it's quite addictive. It keeps you coming back for more....and more...and more.

I think a lot of programmers and software engineers/developers fall under the INTJ personality type. Many of you are probably already familiar with the Myers Briggs typology.

I am an ENFP:

http://www.typelogic.com/enfp.html
http://www.jungtype.com/types/enfp.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENFP
http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP.html
http://www.personalitytype.com/types/enfp.html
3956  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Stay Away From Microsoft VISTA on: September 12, 2007, 07:02:51 PM
Quote
Get on down the road, take the time to get familiar with Vista, spring for new hardware if what you use is not supported in Vista. But get with the 21st century.

XP is a 21st century OS!  tongue

So is WinME!  cheesy
3957  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Instant Boss featured on Lifehacker on: September 12, 2007, 06:28:22 PM
A lot of traffic? I think that is an understatement.

Up until this, the amount of bandwidth used by my sites and the other sites I host, averaged between 1.2G and 1.5G per month. I have already used 2.8G and the month isn't even half over.  ohmy

If you are curious as to what it looks like when a site gets "lifehacker'd" take a look:

[attach=1]

I am just so glad that I ditched free servers and that the hosting I pay for, the server can handle it and my account covers what ever amount of bandwidth I need.  smiley

------------------

It has taken me awhile to be able to respond to this thread.

No, it's not that I was busy and didn't have the time, or that I didn't know the thread was here. I don't handle compliments very well. They usually make be feel very uncomfortable. But unless I responded, this thread would be like a party without the guest of honor. So I am obliged to do so. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to go run & hide, even if that is really what I feel like doing right now.

Sometimes I am amazed at what people like and make a big deal over, especially if it's something of mine that gets the attention.

I have often felt like a small child with their crayon scribbles on display with everyone around me patting me on the head and telling me how nice it is. I have felt as if the attention I was being given was undeserved. I am basically still a beginner with a lot to learn. What I did was no big deal.

And then I remind myself that there are plenty of people that can't handle 'hello world', nevermind anything more complex.

And I remember the folder on my hard drive, full of applications written by people I know, who supposedly know more about programming than I do. Most of these are unfinished, abandoned, horrible GUI's, or just very buggy.

And then I remember some of the stuff I have seen released as shareware and some of the crazy price tags attached to them....'painted turds' being passed off as 'fine art' that seem to be released for the purpose of greed.

While I may not have a very high opinion of the work I do, I guess I can understand why others do.

at the very least...

  • I gave some time (not something everyone has)
  • to write some code (not something everyone can do)
  • and gave it away for free (not something everyone would do)

So...

Thanks for all the compliments & stuff.

I am going to go run & hide now, if that is ok?
3958  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DC-IRL DD #5 - BELLEVILLE, NJ on: September 12, 2007, 02:36:12 PM
Unless others in NJ would like to do this still, I believe this has been canceled.

Josh will not be able to attend due to not having the time to drive up here, like he had hoped he would.

Additionally, I have some problems of my own that make it near impossible for me to host and/or attend any events for at least the near future. When things improve for me, I will post here to let everyone know and maybe we can plan something then.
3959  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Looking for a very specific programming language ide on: September 08, 2007, 03:05:31 AM
Just BASIC
XBLite
XBasic
KBasic
ActiveBasic (Japanese)
3960  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Stay Away From Microsoft VISTA on: September 05, 2007, 11:57:03 PM
Look at .NET apps - they don't use the registry,


That's not true. I have plenty of .NET apps installed that DO use the registry to save settings.
3961  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Settings backup software? on: September 05, 2007, 07:06:21 PM
Genie Backup Manager is very similar to what I was thinking...only it's not free.  Sad

And I was thinking more of just the registry settings for each application, giving people a nice list with check boxes that will tell you just what you are backing up and restoring and let you select just what you want or need. Instead of some cryptic mumbo jumbo, you'll know just what you are doing because it will be in the simplest language possible.

If done right, the average user wouldn't even need to read a help file to know what he is doing.

And if the settings could be saved as a single .exe (since people do understand how to run an .exe, while the idea of a .reg can scare many), it could be easily run to quickly restore those settings without the program itself and it might even be possible to create fixes for other people that may have screwed something up on their system.

Could be a great tech support tool.

AHHHHH! ...the images in my head are getting too complicated to even put into words!   ohmy
3962  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Settings backup software? on: September 05, 2007, 05:54:15 PM
OK...now let's get back on topic here...

Would anybody be interested in an application that will do what I suggested? Starting with Windows, and then adding other applications 1 at a time as their registry settings can be deciphered, supporting more & more applications with each release?

Or maybe something with a plugin architecture that will allow the user to be able to add plugins for the extra applications that they have, and allow others to write and submit plugins for it. (I think this is better as I don't think any one developer can possibly be able to include all the important settings for every version of every application that exists)

The more I think about this idea, the more complex it becomes and it is at the point in my mind that it has become something I don't think I am qualified to create. It is becoming a power registry 'decoder' and backup/restore/repair tool...done in a way the common person can understand and use.
3963  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: What would you consider your biggest waste of time project? on: September 04, 2007, 12:09:02 PM
I had this friend that was staying at my house for awhile. She had an odd hobby: she stole magnets off cars in the middle of the night. (actually, she had a lot of odd hobbies)

She had a huge box full of them at my place and many more boxes of them at her mom's house.

I started writing an application for her to keep track of what she had in her collection. (she had no idea I was doing this)

If I had finished it, it would have been a lot of work for an application usable by only a single person (her), and I wasn't even sure she would want, like, or use it. But I kept working on it any way...like a crazy woman.

I was out of my mind.

I used VB 6.  embarassed

I had no internet for about a week.  ohmy

I was in a lot of pain with a leg injury and couldn't walk.  Sad

I was giggling the whole time like I had snapped.  Grin

Lucky for me I got my internet back and snapped out of it and stopped working on that project before it went too far. It was also the last time I ever did anything in VB 6.

[attach=1]

me - internet = insanity
3964  Other Software / Developer's Corner / What would you consider your biggest waste of time project? on: September 04, 2007, 08:01:38 AM
This is not about code that you may have written for SomeCompany Inc.

And it's not about code for a project that you eventually released to the public.

This is about code that you slaved away with night after night, till the wee hours of the morning, losing many hours of sleep. Code that was of no interest to anyone in the world but you, at that time. Something you became totally obsessed over for reasons that may (or may not) be only known to you.

We have all had projects that have made others ask the question "why?", but have you ever spent too long on something that made you ask yourself "why?" at the end?

So what "probably-shouldn't-exist" code have you wasted way too much time on?  tellme
3965  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Settings backup software? on: September 04, 2007, 02:33:33 AM
App, out of curiosity, and if it's not indiscreet to ask : why do you want to backup Windows settings? (Sorry if it seems like a stupid question...)

I have had a few mishaps over the years that were easily fixed and some only because I had enough sense to eventually backup the registry settings for a specific application.

I am sure there are those that aren't as skilled at figuring out how to fix some things that go wrong and if it's just one little thing it would be great to have a small tool that can do it for you.

I can remember a time waaay back when I had no clue how to fix my taskbar when I accidentally dragged it to wrong part of my screen. Took me about 2 hours of dragging it all over the place to accidentally get it back to the way I wanted it.  embarassed

People take a lot of time customizing things to get it all just the way they want it. It would be nice to be able to make it easy for them to save just what they want...and even nicer to make it easy for them to restore it too.

What if you just want to play around with all your settings and mess with colors, cursors, sounds, etc. Wouldn't it be great to be able to go back to the way you had it all with just a click or 2?

I am sure there is more than just the basic appearance settings that we'd all like to be able to easily save.

If this is the kind of tool I would end up making, I'd probably ask everyone for their input on just what settings are a pain to have to remember or fix when it goes wrong.

This has already been discussed thoroughly here:
http://www.donationcoder....ic=8960.msg65858#msg65858

I have looked there and nothing is quite what I had in mind. They all require you to know what registry keys to back up. I was thinking more like being able to select an application from a list and check off a bunch of boxes that explain what each setting is, to make it easy for those that don't understand.

This wouldn't really be for power users that are comfortable with the more complicated tools that would require you to know what you are looking for. This would be for the less computer savvy average pc user.

I mean, I am perfectly happy with diving into the guts of my registry and messing around, exporting the keys I want & need. But is everyone else?
3966  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Why I gave up on it on: September 02, 2007, 04:00:30 PM
Mouser - how about a 'basic/advanced user' option to remove the extra features and just leave a simple set for people with minimal needs or just learning the program?

Or maybe a lite version.
3967  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a Freeware Timer software on: September 02, 2007, 07:34:59 AM
I have a very simple countdown timer in my DClock 2 program that can be launched from the clock's menu or run on its own (Timer.exe):

http://appsapps.info/dclock2.php

If you don't like the timer.wav file (says 'sorry, you're out of time') just replace it with what you like, naming it same as original. Just remember to keep it short in length. Don't use a full song or something else long like that.
3968  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: For Discussion: Search engine query repository and bookmarking service on: September 01, 2007, 02:57:18 PM
Quote
tuned via the feedback of users looking for and finding similar results

this is the part that kind of appealed to me -- the idea that it might have a way to look at what you are searching for and suggest new community-built searches which could get you closer to what you were really looking for.

most of us have developed a kind of searching "skill" where we know lots of little tricks to get a search engine to return what we want and bypass many irrelevant results.  but there are always cases where you can't find what you want and you could benefit from some domain expert knowledge about how to refine your search to get what you want.

This is why I used to love AOL's search. It had a feature like that, where it gave a list in a sidebar of similar and related searches that you could click if you didn't easily find what you were looking for.

AOL's results were all from Google, but it had a few extra features that really enhanced the standard way of searching.

In addition to that one, they had a 'clipper' that allowed you to mark particular results as you went looking down the page and when you moved to the next page, the clipped results would follow you, being placed in a top section of the page, above the 2nd page's results. (you could also 'unclip' them if you later changed your mind)

You could do this for page after page till you had one giant page of what you found to be the most relevant links for what you were looking for.

Then you could just save the page to your hard drive and/or send the page to someone else that might have needed it. It made sharing and saving large batches of good results a snap.

Then they changed it all and became almost identical to Google in every way they could, doing away with all the great power search features that made it unique and I haven't had a use for the regular AOL search, since. (I am pretty much a Google user 100% now)

If there was a way to add some sort of feature like this to searching, in addition to the saved and refined searches, I'd jump all over it.
3969  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Settings backup software? on: September 01, 2007, 02:20:33 PM
Is there an application that will work for Win98/ME/2K/XP that will back up a bunch of various Windows settings that will allow you to check off what settings you want and make it easy to back up and restore them all and/or just the specific ones you want?

And if so, are there any FREE ones that will do this?*

Bonus points if it also lets you back up settings for a bunch of popular applications too. (MS Office, Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, etc)



*If it doesn't exist, please don't offer to make it. If this turns out to be the case, this may be my next project.
3970  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Stay Away From Microsoft VISTA on: September 01, 2007, 12:06:42 PM
Vista scares me for a lot of reasons, but this is the primary one:

I have always been about a step or 2 behind in either OS, hardware, or both. This is because of economic reasons. I just can't afford to buy computers or OS's. Every computer I have owned has been a gift and the OS's I have run came along with them.

My father purchased a P1 in 1997 that ran Win95. Back then, hardware capabilities were changing so rapidly that within 2 years it was, for all sakes & purposes, obsolete. Somewhere during those 2 years he upgraded it to Win98SE. He gave me that PC in 1999. Had he not done that I wouldn't have had a computer. It was my first PC.

Less than 1 year later (2000) he bought me a P3 with WinME. That was the OS that was obsolete before it was released. But had he not given me that as a gift, I would still have been using the P1 with 98SE. He took back the P1 at that time, so I still only had 1 PC. (later he decided to toss it in the trash and I rescued it before it hit the curb)

That P3 was dead by 2002 and I was back to using the P1, only I decided to install the WinME from the dead P3 on that, replacing the Win98SE. (best move I ever made).

So at a time that most people were running 2k or XP on a P4, I was running WinME on a P1. Not long after was when I began programming.

It wasn't that hard to develop applications that would run the same on 2k or XP as they would on my old piece of junk with crappy 9x. I didn't need to have a better system or OS to do it. I didn't need much extra knowledge of an OS that I had never used, either. Chances are if it worked on my pc, it would work on 2k or XP and additionally, the GUI wouldn't look funny or out of place.

By the time I got a P4 running XP, people were/are getting ready to move on to Vista. This PC was also a gift. Had I not received it, I would still be on the P1 running WinME right now.

I am afraid and Vista scares me because I know my situation isn't likely to improve at any point within the near future and I will have this pc till it dies (hopefully not any time soon) and it will not run a newer OS than the XP it came with.

My skills as a developer aren't that great. I am lucky if the things I make work on my own PC with XP, nevermind on Vista. They look funny and out of place on Vista, too. Fixing just the GUI problems is beyond my skills & understanding, nevermind all the really crazy crap that is driving experienced Windows programmers nuts (like the things mouser is complaining about now).

I do not and can not officially support Vista in any of my applications.

What kind of future can I possibly have as a Windows developer? A few more years and I will be about the same as a Win3.1 or Cobol developer...just about completely useless.

Yeah, sure, I could go with .NET and use the free VS2005 I have, but I can't stand VS and it doesn't support the only language I feel comfortable with (Delphi). I feel like I am lost in a foreign country...no, make that lost on another planet, with both the IDE and any of the languages it supports. I was lucky I was even able to install it properly.

And any Delphi developer will tell you that Delphi.net is a joke...don't go there and don't do that unless you really want to create crapware not worthy of anyone using, even if you paid them to use it.

There is a good reason why I program in Delphi: It's the only language I have come across that makes enough sense to me that I could get beyond 'Hello World' without problems and actually make something useful.

So where does that leave me?

I feel like when Microsoft released Vista, they crushed all my plans, hopes, and dreams.

Maybe this is why I haven't done much programming lately and haven't felt like making any improvements in any of my existing projects. There just doesn't seem to be a point in doing it any more.
3971  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2006 / Re: Getting Organized in 2007 on: September 01, 2007, 08:23:38 AM
I am going to pass on this year's experiment.

I never realized just how productive I really was till my personal failure with last year's experiment. I thought I needed help in the area of productivity...thought I could be doing much more with my time than I was.

What ended up happening was the opposite.

Before last year I had a system that worked for me, even if it left areas of my life quite neglected for awhile. I just never realized how well it worked.

It allowed me to hyperfocus on a major task a day and stick to it till it was done, and actually enjoy the time I spent on them.

I seem to have lost the ability to do that by trying to cover all my bases in all areas of my life at the same time. It forced me to think about too many things at once and distracted me, leaving me unable to focus on one single thing and get it done. Instead of 30 projects finished in 30 days, one at a time, I ended up with the same 30 projects never completed and hating any of the time spent on them.

It's a damn shame when things you once enjoyed, that felt like play, become work that you get no pleasure from. I nearly gave up programming, web design, digital art, and most of the things I used to love to do. It all stopped being fun.

It also forced me to think about things I never thought about before...or didn't want to think about, just adding more on my plate when I already felt full. My life works better when I am focusing up close and in detail, taking it one day at a time, rather than stepping back to look at the big picture and thinking about 6 months, a year, 5-10 years from now. It's how I keep my sanity...just get through today and don't worry about tomorrow.

All of this GTD stuff tends to focus on a longer time span than 1 day, making you plan ahead, set weekly, monthly, yearly, lifetime goals. I can't do that. It interferes with me getting through today.

The more I tried to do, the less I was able to do and it was quite depressing. I feel like I have damaged my attention span somehow and taken all the fun out of my life.

I am still recovering from last year's experiment...trying to get the old me back. This past year has been the least productive in my whole life. It hasn't been easy to reverse and go back to the way I used to do things.

No, I won't be trying this again. I have things really want to get done some time soon...or at least get started with before the end of this year. And I want the fun back in my life so that I can enjoy the things I used to love.
3972  Special User Sections / General Review Discussion / Re: Educational Software reviews? on: September 01, 2007, 07:42:37 AM
Giveawayoftheday has Equation Wizard 1.2 available for free today only.

Maybe someone with better math abilities than me might like to grab it and take it for a spin and write a mini review for it.  Wink
3973  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The software awards scam on: August 31, 2007, 05:03:20 PM
I think rather than an award with some kind of point value, just a nice Cody graphic with "Read the Review" on it.
3974  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Acceptable expletives on: August 31, 2007, 09:58:09 AM
The first time my daughter ever used an expletive, I asked her what it meant and she didn't know. So I told her not to use words that she didn't know the meaning. That took care of things for awhile.

Fast forward to a few years later at about the age of 7 or 8 when she used another...and did know the meaning.

I handed her a thesaurus and told her to show her intelligence and choose more creative language, before someone makes a mistake and thinks she is either stupid or lazy.

She came up with a rather catchy amusing substitute. (I'll let you know what it was later in the story)  cheesy

A few weeks later, my husband was rather angry at a friend of his about something and called him the original expletive my daughter had used earlier. (he has a pretty hot temper and can cuss up a storm)

My daughter ran into the house and grabbed the thesaurus, came back out, handed it to her dad and told him the same thing I had told her.

He wasn't in the mood for it, threw the thesaurus across the courtyard and gave her a look like he was going to bite her head off.

She then said to him "Ok, ok, you can use mine if you want. You can call him a 'fanny cranny'." (I love this expletive substitute of hers!)  Grin

He replied with "How about I just call him a 'meatball'?"

"But Daddy...that doesn't mean the same thing." (brave girl, arguing with her dad while he is already angry)

He yelled out "I don't care...he has a meatball for a brain!"

Everyone else in the courtyard heard this and ever since that day, everyone has been calling my husband's friend by the nickname of "Meatball"...with most of them not knowing why.

This nickname has stuck with the poor guy for close to 14 years.

Even his bowling team called him that, and on occasion had even put that as his name on the scorecard.

Not long after that, I was having troubles with Windows Vista and it made me so very mad that for the first time in my life I really felt like saying some terrible things. Now App101 has a "welcome back" quote in the DC IRC channel of me saying the smurf word a lot. embarassed

<Deozaan> I have never purposely said a cuss word in my life and I'm ready to cuss big time!
<Deozaan> This is smurfing me off! I'm so smurfing smurfed by vista that I feel like smurfing the smurfing smurf out of the smurfing smurfer!

All that smurfing 'smurf' smurf really irritated the smurf out of my spellcheck!
3975  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder on: August 30, 2007, 11:45:23 AM
I could write volumes on file organizing, but here is the basics (and yes, it is just the basics, sorry it's so long):

It seems to me that the way that Microsoft thinks with the My Documents folder, they expect you to only have 1 hard drive and one huge partition on it and keep all your stuff in that single folder.

I don't use the default folder provided by Windows for anything I care about...and that would be everything that's mine. (I hate putting anything on the OS drive that isn't part of the OS)

And I don't install programs to the default folder on the system drive. And if I can move a default folder off the system drive without encountering any problems, I do it.

Almost every category of file has it's own partition and I have more than 1 hard drive, including an external drive for backups.

extended system & software
--bookmarks
----daughter's
----mine
--cursors
----type
--drivers (specific to this pc)
----device
------version
--email
--icons
----subject
--programs installed
----program name
--taskbar shortcuts (these are the folders of shortcuts that are the bars on my taskbar instead of the default quicklaunch)
----mine (I have 2 of these, unlike normal people)
------taskbar1
--------Drives
--------P1 & P3 drive folders
--------system tools
--------misc tools
--------office tools
--------web
--------p2p & chat
--------audio & video
--------programming & web design
--------art
--------misc personal stuff
------taskbar2
--------games
--------important bookmarks
--------misc programming references
--------C books I am currently reading
--------most used delphi reference books
--------desktop customization
--------misc file utilities
----daughter's (she only has 1)
------type (purpose) of application or file


media
--midi
--mp3
----artist
------year-album name
--------disk # (audio files go here)
--------art (cover scans go here)
--------lyrics (text files go here)
--phone calls (voicemail)
----sender's name
--sounds
----category
--swf
--video
----movie
----music
----shorts
--wav
--wma
--playlists
----daughter's
----mine

images
--clip art
----disk name
--collected images
----subject, type, or purpose (cats, wallpaper, siggy tags, etc)
--personal photos
----camera name
------date-subject (originals here)
--------edited (edited versions here)
--personal art
----mine
------application name (bryce, psp, axialis screensavers, etc)
--------project name
----my daughter's
------(she does her own thing in here and I do not interfere)
--received photos
----source (name of person that gave them to me)
------date-subject


projects
--programming
----ideas
----language (delphi, C, AHK, etc)
------code snips
------project name
--------version #
----------previous builds (contains zipped sources)
--screenshots (this is sort of a Snagit dump that I clean out periodically)
--web
----site name
------version #

Books
--fiction
----author
--magazines
--new (dumping ground for new unsorted books)
--nonfiction
----subject
------(I break this down much further)

Personal
--daughter
----(she does her own thing in here)
--me
----bills
------account name
--------year
----chatlogs
------application
--------year
----------month
----friends (this is a collection of misc stuff from or related to specific people)
------name of person
----poetry
----private musings (& things that may become blog posts)
----receipts
----surfulator knowledgebases
----etc (lots more folders to sort stuff only of interest to me)
--hubby (this is pretty much empty)

backups
--laptop
----(my daughter determines how this is arranged)
--P1 (entire contents of my other pc)
----drive letter
------(entire contents of that drive)
--P3 (a pc that is long dead & buried)
----drive letter
------(entire contents of that drive)
--P4 (this pc)
----system
----application settings
----registry
----etc (important files & folders)
----email
----bookmarks
--pocket pc
----cf card
----system backups

downloads (some folders get cleaned out and sorted to other locations)
--AIM
--Ares
--Email attachments
--FlashGet
--Fonts (I have over 12,000)
----A
----B
----C
--MSN
--program setup files
----9x only (things for my other pc that can't/shouldn't run on this one)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----clueless (setup files for applications I don't know what they are)
------application name
----installed (currently installed on this pc)
------application name
--------version installed
----------documentation
--------older versions
----------documentation
----linux (things meant to run on linux)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----not installed (tried, but not installed on this pc)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----obsolete (old DOS stuff & things that are so old they won't work)
------application name
----Pocket PC (things meant to run on WinCE)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----untried (downloaded but never installed on any pc)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
--psp
----tubes
------categories
----frames
------categories
----brushes
------categories
----textures
------categories
--Safe 2 Share (items I copied here specifically for sharing over p2p)
--torrents
--WinMX
--xchat
--Yahoo


As you can see I am pretty much an organizing freak when it comes to my files. I think my PC is the only thing in my life that is well organized.

It's not that complicated for me, because it's done to the way I think and I have been doing things this way for years. I can find everything rather quickly, and in the cases of folders I access often, there are shortcuts to them on one of my taskbars, often times right next to the shortcut of the application associated with those files (ex: xchat downloads folder next to xchat application shortcut).

I can find my files in my sleep and do not usually need to use a search utility or even the search built into windows for most things.
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