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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #208: Clenaing Up and Backing Up

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 1305 days ago 2299 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 207: Aftermath Part 208 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 209: Taking a Break Now and Then »

Sometimes I can be somewhat dorky. By that I mean that the silliest things make me happy – things that are so small and insignificant that most normal people wouldn’t notice.

I spent the entire day yesterday cleaning up and organizing my computer, and boy am I happy! As usual at this time of year, it really was a mess. I think that when I am pressed for time, I tend to not put things where they should go immediately and as with anything, they tend to build up. Even my desk top was atrocious. There had to be fifty files and icons on it and whenever I tried to find anything it took me much too long to sift through everything and locate it.

I thought it was funny how a virtual desktop could get just as cluttered and messy as a real one. You wouldn’t think. I use my desktop to put stuff on temporarily when I know I am going to email it or upload it and then it is supposed to go into a file that is its permanent home. Usually things only stay up there for a day or two and then get filed into the system. I also have probably about 20 or so shortcuts up there to my most used files and programs. Twenty may seem a lot, but I have tried for many years to pare down the number and I have come to the conclusion that every one of them is necessary to me. The less clicks the better as far as I am concerned. I am all for efficiency.

I also enjoy my set of custom icons that I use throughout my system. I found this program called “Icon Packager” and it allows you to change the icons of your entire system quickly and easily. It was only about $15 and I felt it was well worth it, as I look at my computer all day and being a graphics person in general I love having my computer unique and cool looking. That along with some beautiful desktop backgrounds makes my computer a very pleasant place to work. When I am not working, I enjoy the beautiful artwork displayed on the screen.

My partner is what I call a minimalist, and teases me incessantly because of these things. He also thrives on organization and he prides himself on his own computer desktop which has only four icons on it and a black desktop background. Neat. Clean. Simple. I must say it is very appealing to see things so streamlined on his computer, but I still prefer my cool eye candy. I suppose that is why they call them “Personal Computers.” To each his own.

As far as the guts though, everything is neat as a pin. And more importantly, everything is backed up. I don’t believe that I have ever housed so much information on a computer before and had it so efficiently stored and organized. From drawings to movies to music to web stuff everything has its own place and everything is now in it. And everything is backed up on totally separate disks and computers. The chances of everything going at once are very small. If they do though, my patterns themselves are backed up on a DVD so they are completely safe. I have even gone so far as to store the said DVD at my friend’s house so that if there is a fire or something like that, I still will have my pattern files. There are over 400 of them and losing them would not be good as you can imagine.

Even the hundreds and hundreds of reference photos and pictures I have are all tagged for easy indexing and locating. I love that Windows 7 has a great search feature in its file explorer. I believe that feature came out in Vista and although I was a die-hard XP fan, that feature alone won me over. When I first realized that it was able to do this, I spent more than a month tagging the thousands of photos and pictures that I have. I would sit at night and spend an hour or two just renaming and tagging things so I could search by keyword and find all the relevant pictures I wanted. What a job! But once set up, it is a marvelous efficient way to find things and quite easy to keep up. When I find new reference photos or pictures, I put them in a separate folder I call “new pictures” and it is kind of a temporary holding tank until I can properly name them and tag them. Once that is done, I file them into their respective folders (bears in the bear folder, etc.) My temporary new folder had over 300 pictures in it to be named and filed and that was a large part of my work yesterday. But now the folder is empty and I can start fresh.

In looking at all of those files, I was reminded of so many projects that I want to get busy on. There is so much cool stuff to do I can’t wait to get started. I just have to decide on a direction.

I have had many requests for some more non-seasonal candle trays so I think I will begin there. I want to do many more geometric Frank Lloyd Wright type candle holders as well as geometric swirls and such and I think it will be a fun way to get drawing again. The trays are still selling quite well and I believe there are many who want to have them all so I need to strike while the iron is hot and get going on them.

My partner spent the day yesterday rewriting and coding several articles for the site. I have had the articles as downloads on the site, but they are in PDF format and it would be more beneficial for us to have the actual articles up there as it would not only add relevant key words to the site which will help our ranking with the search engines, but will also give people reason to keep going back to the site to read them. The template that our site is on doesn’t really support the format that we want, so he is hand-coding everything to make it look attractive and easy to read and include the pictures. They aren’t there yet, but when they are done and up there, they will be a great addition and look very professional.

We were looking at some sites of web-designers yesterday and couldn’t believe how crummy some of them looked. We wondered how one could proclaim themselves a web designer and offer such ‘blah’ stuff. Many of them looked like a third grader put them together. As I said, we are all for streamlining things, but there is a difference between ‘simple’ and ‘plain’. Many of them were not easy to navigate either, and were missing several important features. It just made us think.

The sun is coming up now and I just can barely see out the window and much to my amazement there appears to be a blizzard outside. The snow is blowing and swirling and coming down really hard. I don’t have regular cable or TV (I watch everything from my computers) and with being as busy as I was I didn’t really get to read the news yesterday, but this morning a few people were talking about a big storm that occurred across the bay from us on the eastern coast of the US that was heading our way. I think it is here.

I have been wishing for snow for the past week now and I think that my wish is coming true. but I am prepared. I have food, water, cat food, etc. and even if I do lose power, I can paint and draw. It is good to be prepared. I don’t know if I will be going for my walk today though. If I do, I will bring my camera. It looks like we already have about six inches of snow and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon.

If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, you will know why. Keep warm and be happy! And have a wonderful and creative day! :D

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"



11 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#1 posted 1305 days ago

i have to hand it to you sheila
if you can make heads or tail of this computer clean-up

i wander around in mine sometimes
i find a file somewhere
and open it
empty
then somewhere else
‘oh wow there is that pipe wrench
i’ve been looking for’
then there is the 20 year old
laying around asking for money

i can never seem to find them when i look
and can’t seem to erase pictures
no mater how hard i try

kind of like a pyramid
from some unknown pharaoh
that was a pack rat

some i move when the window gives me a choice
but can’t find it again either

when i do a check
it tells me everything is just fine
so i leave things in place
in the molasses they are trapped in

when they start leaking out of the ports
i will sweep them in the trash

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7475 posts in 1519 days


#2 posted 1305 days ago

Oh, Paton . . . . you have my deepest compassion and sympathy! I HATE when I can’t find something that I am looking for. I always say I am “organized because I am so unorganized”.

When I was in grammar school we still had ‘card catalogs’ in the libraries and I remember thinking how stupid it was to have to learn how to file stuff. You know what? Even with the huge advance in technology and having everything in digital files, it is still important to keep them somewhat organized.

A couple of years ago my computer was 4GB. Now between my own (1TB) and the network it is up to 3TB on several different drives. I have no choice to but keep things tidy – especially with two people accessing much of the information.

I think the best way is to keep it as simple as possible. I have helped a couple of friends organize their computers and as much as I love old fashioned stuff, I always had a little geek living inside that is fascinated by computers and how they work. I am not an expert by any means, but can hold my own with most stuff and keep learning every day. It is worth the time investment for me to be able to fix most problems I come across, but it has taken me several years to learn to do so. Thus my signature line. :)

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1437 days


#3 posted 1305 days ago

I liked the old card catalog system. ;)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7475 posts in 1519 days


#4 posted 1305 days ago

Me too, RG! It does have its merits! I used to want to be a librarian actually. I LOVED the library and the peacefulness and quiet and the hundreds and thousands of books. I even used to go there on Saturday and listen to the classical music albums (YES – VINYL!!) and spend hours there reading and listening to music!

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#5 posted 1305 days ago

oh
and thanks for the tip
about the speed of the scroll saw

now i will make an effort
to organize my computer
and start a list of where tools are in the shop
maybe with a google map

when i find the scroll saw
i will do as you suggested

thank you

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1714 days


#6 posted 1305 days ago

Sheila if you want snow and alot of it
I´m pretty sure you are welcome with a shovel in your hand
on an island called Bornholm here in Denmark they have had 5 meters snow
and the island is more or less totely closed down and have been so the last 6 days
the police and the homegard milits is helping to bring food and medic out to people and animals
they have requested for haevy maschinery this morning from other parts of the country
to help clear the road sytems over there
not even the rest of Scandinavia has so much snow as they have
in the week up to Chrismas and during chrismas we have had down to -20 to -25 degree celsius
at the nights here in Denmark
so be carefull not to get what you ask for ….LOL

have a great day
Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7475 posts in 1519 days


#7 posted 1305 days ago

Well . . . I am a reasonable girl, Dennis! You know what they say – “Anything in moderation!”

I caught up on my news here a little this morning after writing the blog and I saw that some places in New York had over 30 inches! YIKES!!! Where the heck do you put that in a big city??? It brings back memories of my childhood when I lived in the city of Chicago (not the suburbs) and people marked their parking space territories with chairs, boxes, and anything they could get their hands on. Woe to the person who parked in a pre-claimed space!!!!!

I’ll take some snow – in moderation please!

Hope you are keeping warm and safe there Dennis!

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14590 posts in 2275 days


#8 posted 1305 days ago

The organization/cleanup may be a bad sign. History’s grand masters worked from a clutter. Take a look at Einstien’s office or Harry Pope’s shop. I used to worry about my clutter until I found out about that; then, i quit worrying about it :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1714 days


#9 posted 1305 days ago

:—)) LOL
I take snow in small dozes too Sheila so I stay on my island this time
but where I was raised we had ither lot of snow or heavy frost during the withers

I like the snow in the winther but my back hates cold wether and sometimes lock
together ….........sadly when you enjoy a good snowball fight with the kids….LOL
and come in after a few hours in the snow and have frech homebaked with jam
and hot cacao with whiped cream on top…......well those memery´s …lol

Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7475 posts in 1519 days


#10 posted 1305 days ago

OH CRAP, TS!!!! You mean I gotta make it messy again???!!!! And I thought I was doin’ good!!! LOL Maybe I can just say that I’ll leave the major amount of clutter inside my head. That way I will know it is there but I’ll look good for appearance sake. :)

The cocoa sounds great Dennis! I am drinking a nice cup of coffee laced with a touch of cinnamon while I am watching the second leg of the storm attack. It was calm for a while and is not raging again. My kitty “Pancakes” is by my side and the other two are curled up and sleeping. In between my answering here and reading, I am drawing my next pattern out. It is a good day!

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1714 days


#11 posted 1305 days ago

I just sit here read a little on the screen the coffee and reading a new book
woth something I studyed alot in my younger days becourse some of my uncles
was in the resistance under WW II and one was a german soldier ,in the later years alot of new infomation
has come forward after they have opened the achives
and I tought an updated correct version was in place with the wether we have at the moment
the book I´m reading now is about the D-Day and the first time after….....

well I gess nothing to do with woodwoorking just me that need it I think before I can move on
and get out of the sore tiredness feeling I have after some very long weeks on the job
during November and December….....I wuold rather bee in the basement and tryed last night
but not much was done ….had´t the right feeling for it

but I gess in the long run it will turn out to have been a well used time after all
to take an evening off just relaxing with a book and talk with some freinds on L J :-)

take care
Dennnis

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