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Author Topic: Do you archive/store your downloads (mainly install files)?  (Read 16898 times)
mitzevo
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« on: October 07, 2007, 10:42:46 AM »

I wanted to know how many if any (probably so..) of you archive (or store) your downloaded files, mainly program install files. Program install files include .rar/.zip/etc archives/installers, .exe installers, etc., the files that setup/install/unpack programs/files.

If so, do you have a certain way of archiving them? Do you spend a lot of time archiving them? Or just dump them into a "installers" or similar directory/folder?

Some reasons why I archive install files:
The most obvious reason is that if you ever need the install file for some/what ever reason, you have a local copy - You do not need to download the file again. This can be great for large (10mb+) & rare files. And a chore for small files, because if you need a small installer file, you probably just end up redownloading it, but this time the later version - I archive all downloaded installers.

Also some times when you want to download a file, you try to download it from the web, but some times it takes a very long time just to download a small file, either due to problems or what ever - now you either try to look for a mirror (another server/place where you can get the file) or, if you have a local copy, resort back to your local copy.

Another reason is, you may not have internet access, but you need an installer for what ever program.. your archive to the rescue smiley

Some problems with archiving them:
Organizing them! If you are fussy then organizing can take up a lot of time.. too much time infact. One thing I've come to dislike is installer files without the version in their name.. some of you probably like this, but for me, it's extra work since I archive every download [Side note: I don't download a lot, but when I do download some thing I want to make sure I don't have to go thru the trouble of downloading it again, for what ever reason.]

For instace, let's say last month I downloaded skype.exe, and the version is at 3.00, now today I update my skype, and also save the .exe installer to a temp dir, ready to be sorted later.. So now I am free to do some clean up, so I go of to store skype.exe 4.00 to my Archives > Software > Messengers > Skype directory.. but hmm.. there is already a previous version of skype here with the same name (the old version).. What to do? Overwrite it with this newer version? Rename the older version? Rename the newer version... Rename both versions!? Sing the national anthem and hope they sort them selfs out!? Some of you would probably just overwrite the old version - fair enough. But myself, I like to keep versions in case I need to roll back to any one if I am having problems, missing features, disliking any version, etc. So I am left with two choice.. Rename the old, and rename the new.. Or create directories for each version.. The later is my preferred method of archiving the versions. [Mainly because searching for filenames can do wonders Thmbsup] Now if the installer was named skype_4.0.0.exe, this saves me from having to create extra directories for each version.. makes sense right? I can just dump them in the Skype directory, and have a nice listing of the different versions.

Disk space is another problem - ok, not really a good enough problem, especially in todays times Grin

Any thoughts, tips, remarks?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:22:00 PM by mitzevo » Logged

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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 10:58:47 AM »

Some I do, some I don't.  The rule of thumb I use is: "Is this file necessary to rebuild Windows if I have to do an emergency reinstall?"

Files that meet the criteria: WinZip, TweakUI,  Daemon Tools (last free edition), etc.

Files I keep for convenience: MediaPlayer, WinAmp Lite, etc.

As for organization, I just toss them in a folder without worring about it.  It's not like I have the library of congress in there or anything.
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Ampa
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 11:16:49 AM »

I am a bit of a Virgo when it comes to archiving downloads...

I have a separate partition, with folders for apps, games, utilities, shell extensions, audio, drivers, graphics etc etc. When ever I download a file it gets renamed with the version number and filed away in the correct place.

Every few months I make a snapshot of the partition, on to a DVD, of the programs that I actually have found myself using regularly. I usually keep the last couple of DVDs so that I can roll back if necessary.
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 11:21:05 AM »

I picture is worth a thousand words....

Anyway, I don't leave raw executables sitting around on my drive. They are always archived. This give much more protection against damage in the event of a malicious virus.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:17:25 PM by Nighted » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2007, 12:07:26 PM »

I backup up all installers onto DVD and onto an external harddrive. This is just OCD of me at this point - I started doing this back in the days before broadband and can't kick the habit. Kind of a drag, in a way, because I could free up GB's of external disc space if I could bring myself to delete those installers that are still available via download... (but with huge harddrives available for a pittance, it really doesn't matter!).
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mitzevo
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2007, 12:20:45 PM »

Quote
I am a bit of a Virgo when it comes to archiving downloads...
Ampa, what exactly does this mean?  Grin

Nighted, very nice.. things I can see:

  • you add [version] to most (or all) of your files
  • you also use a "!folder" like naming scheme for important files and/or folders - I guess to keep them in the front (if arranged alphabetically of course). ! is also my prefered character for this - some times i use an @, not a lot tho tongue
  • you use quite an organized structure/hierarchy (ok maybe not hierarchy) of directories
  • x rated yahoo smilies... what the.. huh

btw, nice theme. Grin

« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:27:41 PM by mitzevo » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 12:36:37 PM »

Quote
x rated yahoo smilies... what the..

Yeah, I noticed that as well and was wondering...
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 12:40:53 PM »

x-rated...it means that they are naughty...bewbs etc...
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Dirhael
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 12:43:10 PM »

I archive *everything* into their own organized folders, categorized by what the program does (development, graphics, audio, video etc.), then by application name, and finally be type of release (retail, beta etc.). With the cost of storage space these days, I don't see a reason why I shouldn't do this and so far it has saved me on more than one situation where some small little obscure utility have just vanished from the www. Of course, I should probably start deleting some older versions of my apps as at times I think I am taking this archiving thing a little to far.

Case in point; I currently have well over 100 versions of Xyplorer stored and I never really use anything but the latest release...but at some point it could be nice to have, especially if I am having a problem with a specific release smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 01:47:55 PM »

mitzevo, It is weird that you posted about this. The reason I just logged in was to post a similar question. Odd.  huh

I have thought about saving every downloaded file as well, but always end up just relying on the Internet as my archive. You can always find a copy somewhere. And with a 10 MB download connection, it doesn't take long for even several hundred MB of files.

However, I do have a need for something very very similar. I want to better organize my software CDs, software DVDs, and various compressed archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.). I plan on converting the CDs and DVDs into ISO images. I have Terrabytes of HDD storage with hundreds of Gigabytes RAIDed. I have set up Openfiler to make all of this storage space available in various forms (SMB, NFS, FTP, and WebDAV).

Now I want to put a web frontend on it. I want some way to easily browse as well as search the files. Indexing should cover the metadata as well as introspect the files data. For example, this way I could search by file name or words inside a file.

I do not know of a best of breed solution for this. Ideally it would be a PHP application that uses a database to store the metadata and the index, and then provides links to the files in the filesystem.

Now, I know that I could build something like this using Microsoft technologies to index the files and ASP apps served up by IIS, but I am not as proficient with Microsoft web technologies as I am with LAMP.

I am aware of one script that runs FilesHome.com, but it doesn't even come close.

Any ideas?
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 03:53:25 PM »

Pretty complicated setups you have here.

My choice is dumping all files in a single folder, there's no version control, so that means once a new version is out, the old one goes to the recycle bin. As for extensions, addons, plugins, etc., they have a separate folder, and they're organized in subfolders with the name of the application to which they provide the additional functionality. I also have a generic folder for standalone components (like, for example, TrID's filetype database). Drivers, free games and game patches also have their own dir, as well as specific Windows updates (specifically, .NET Framework 3 and DirectX supplemental runtimes). My lack of version control also applies to the rest of the files.

Finally, I have a text file which contains the description of all the files dumped there.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 03:57:02 PM by Lashiec » Logged
mitzevo
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 04:13:54 PM »

Keeping a .txt / .nfo / etc files is also handy as Lashiec and Nighted have mentioned [Nighted mentioned in IRC that he some times uses .nfo files to describe a file, etc.]. Either one big .nfo / .txt file with all the files and some descriptions, or individual .nfo / .txt files for each installer/etc. For example.. someProgramInstaller.exe, someProgramInstaller.exe.nfo (or perhaps someProgramInstaller.nfo).

Also interested to know what you guys use for your top-level folders/directories for archiving the different types of files (graphics, software, fonts, etc.). I want to try and build a complete list - ofcourse a lot of peoples will be different, but once some ideas come in, we (or just my self) can come up with (and put to use) a good categorization scheme for archiving (or sorting) your different files. Well that's the idea..
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 04:26:15 PM »

I should mention that my text file only contains real descriptions of the files, or more precisely, the name of the program, component, etc. It does not contain the name of the real file, so I have no way to relate the description to the file, at least in theory. The relationship is in my head, and I'm pretty good at interpreting weird file names cheesy. And I always can view the tooltip in executables, or open the compressed files.

So, mitzevo, I'm a bit lost when it comes to your other question. Are you talking about something like what brett asked here?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 04:27:58 PM by Lashiec » Logged
mitzevo
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2007, 04:30:03 PM »

Yes that is right Lashiec, I forgot about that one.. very useful  Grin It's a start.

edit: actually it's very similar to what I'm after, but not dead on smiley but as I said, it's a start.. I'll post my "research" later on.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 05:15:28 PM by mitzevo » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 05:49:18 PM »

If you lose one of your versions, you can see if its archived at OldVersion.com:

http://www.oldversion.com/

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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2007, 08:47:31 PM »

Oh, now THAT's cool.  Thaks, lizard.
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lanux128
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2007, 08:50:57 PM »

this is a cool topic, i always have this paranoia from the days of dial-up.. after downloading, i'll make a folder & throw the installers in it. after a while, sub-folders will appear categorizing them and eventually as folder gets bigger & bigger, i'll just burn them to a CD.. as the installers are deleted, i'll be relying on a disc cataloging program to index all these CDs and find out the contents in each of them.. smiley
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2007, 08:58:49 PM »

... as the installers are deleted, i'll be relying on a disc cataloging program to index all these CDs and find out the contents in each of them.. smiley

This is exactly what I've had to resort to - I use WhereIsIt? to keep track of where the installers are... Lots of fun!
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lanux128
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2007, 09:05:56 PM »

yes, Darwin.. these things fall into pieces all by themselves.. maybe it's our natural subconcious instincts as hunters & gatherers.. tongue (lanux128 making a feeble attempt at an anthropology analogy). anyway, that is why we have a thread with this mega-list of disc cataloguers (over 200 catalogers, as compiled by Crush & Tomos).

List of disc catalogers

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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2007, 09:44:46 PM »

this is a cool topic, i always have this paranoia from the days of dial-up.. after downloading, i'll make a folder & throw the installers in it. after a while, sub-folders will appear categorizing them and eventually as folder gets bigger & bigger, i'll just burn them to a CD.. as the installers are deleted, i'll be relying on a disc cataloging program to index all these CDs and find out the contents in each of them.. smiley

Pretty much the case with me, too.  I make a sub-folder for each installer, modify the installer name to include a version number, and add a (or use the vendor-supplied) .diz for my cataloguer. I might also throw in a couple of useful reference documents or whatever. When the HD folder reaches DVD size, off go the files.

During the past couple of years I've sent the same material to external HD's. These days HD costs are an all-time bargain (as recently as 2001 it cost me $770 each for 18GB SCSIs, whereas I recently added a couple of 500's to my system for under $300 a piece -- not SCSI, though).  For the first time in my computing life I find that I have more drive space than I'm likely to fill in the near future.

Overall, it must take a lot more time to save this stuff than it would to source it again. I've found, however, that when I need something I need it NOW and then a local copy will save the day. Also, my location means that I have to use satellite internet -- which is prone to outages -- or fall back to dial up. Inevitably, when I do need something it is at a time when internet access is at its worst.

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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2007, 11:04:54 PM »

I rely on my Download Manager, which saves the files to a "use" category folder within one large Downloads/Software folder.

That works for me, if and when space got to be an issue, I think I'd archive onto an external drive or CD. Actually, CD would probably be my choice.
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2007, 01:44:37 PM »

I practically don't archive. When I reneed something, I find that I can download it fast enough to be a non-problem.

Bye!
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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2007, 08:54:04 PM »

Like everything else on my computer, I backup all my downloaded applications, drivers, etc. on 3 different external hard drives (one in my bag, one on my desk, on at my parents' home...).  embarassed

All software are put in an "Sofware" folder.

Inside this folder, each application has its own folder (use FileNanny for this - a little shell extension that can be found here), and a note describing what it's all about (use Filenote for this - another little shell extension http://www.moonsoftware.com/freeware.asp)... I don't classify apps in different folder categories, but I tag them (more efficient, I find).

I usually get rid of older versions, unless I have good reasons not to do so...

I try to keep a registry of all uninstalled applications where I write the reasons why I've uninstalled them. I also TRY to keep a record of installed applications, and why I've chosen them instead of others...  smiley
   
Yes, downloading again IS faster than it used to be, nowadays, but having everything at hand is much better and much much quicker. It feels safer also…
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 12:28:03 AM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2007, 12:21:01 AM »

Armando, FileNanny sounds interesting, how about a link? smiley
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Armando
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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2007, 12:26:11 AM »

Tadaaam : IDEA: Create a containing folder by right clicking on a file   Wink
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