mu.tuals
 
tuals - technologies for user-adaptive learning systems. Our mission
is to identify gaps in the application of cutting edge analytical technology. We aim to create a technologically enabled ecology of information that is scalable, robust and individually tailored, for which we will develop peerless collections of intelligent tuals that will learn and adapt to personal learning styles and will absorb, digest, categorize, visualize and repurpose digital information based on a dynamic model of the user's contextual perspective, as it is automatically derived from observing the user's engagement with the informational environment and from explicit user refinement.
 
aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 7: My Databases folder

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As mentioned in a previous post, I have relocated certain folders out of my Documents folder, into a new folder created in my Home folder.

Mindful Media Management. Home Folder


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 6: My Documents folder

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Okay, (small rant to follow) does it bother anyone else that app-makers interpret Apple's guidelines of limiting the locations of application-written files etc. to 'Application Support,' 'Preferences,' or 'Documents' as 'put everything in the damn Documents folder?'

Its just kind of anti-social behavior on the part of developers makes it hard for users to keep documents in their Documents folder. I, for one, have done my best to keep non-documents out of my Documents folder. Microsoft apple division, I hate you for putting 'Microsoft User Data' in my Documents folder. you suck. Keep your nasty data files where they belong. And you others...you know who you are. Shape up.

Seriously, guys, if something is a database app, like DevonThink or Delicious Library, what is documenty about the database file itself?!? (More, and more serious stuff, after the break..)


aaron's picture

Whats with these Stacks 'Drawers' anyhow?

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As a sidebar to my discussion of my strategies for managing my Applications folder, Ill answer the question: Whats with these Stack 'Drawers', anyhow?

A 'Drawer' is used to visually brand any Stack with a nifty customisable icon that remains the first item in the Stack regardless of how many new items are added to the Stack's folder.

Mindful Media Management. Stacks Drawers. Icons

But first: Why would you want to do all of this?

These simple steps allow users to visually customize and thus (hopefully more easily) differentiate among the Stacks in their Dock.

Here's how:


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 5: My Desktop

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Actually this one is usually, mostly all right.

My desktop is my landing pad for my own work, or stuff I grab from the internet that requires special handling (like renaming, tagging, filing, conversion, analysis etc). Like when I want to quickly make an icon for a new concept I am trying to represent and grab some images from the web as conceptual resources; or for PDFs, Word documents, and other stuff I've dragged from my Downloads folder to work on before filing.

Desktop Shortcuts are the enemy! And so is a mess of files...

My desktop is most often empty. This is my ideal.

When I have to keep this project or that in mind, ill sometimes drag an alias (or the project folder itself) to the desktop. Its being there irks me just enough to provide an extra nudge towards completion.


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 4: My Applications Folder

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Okay so this one is not *really* so bad. But its easy to get out of the sweet zone with this one, too.

I recently switched from a 'multiple-custom-folders-inside-the-Applications-folder' to a single custom folder inside the Apps folder. Ask me why...and we'll test your threshold of pain-tolerance, geek style.


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 3: My Downloads Folder

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OMG. What a nightmare. Of course, I'm mostly trying to build my collection of tools, so 99.8% of my downloads are applications.
As in the case of bookmarks, I can tell you that simply having accreted a directory structure (slowly over time) is *NO* guarantee that the folder structures that I used to file "Little Snitch.dmg" last time will be the one that occurs to me next time I have download an updated disc image of that app.
So how do I get past this endemic classification continuity/consistency problem?


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 2: My Bookmarks

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Ok. Ill admit that at one point in time I was assiduous about filing my bookmarks.
As all 'filers' do, I quickly ran into problems, though. In an ideal world, with a highly 'curated' filing system, each folder would *ideally* become like a keyword for 'finding' the bookmarked resources again. Except that firefox does not search the directory names when searching thru your bookmarks. Seriously?!? Big flaw, but true.


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 1: My Email Inbox

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My email inbox. Sheesh. You'd think that after spending hours. ..no, DAYS creating and tweaking rules for Mail.app, you could have a set-and-forget, self-maintaining inbox. But...Nope.
Especially since on a mac, you first need to put in all the effort of adding the addresses of incoming messages to your Address Book.app and creating groups (to be used by Mail.app rules).
But...No. Still a mess. My inbox ends up as the place where everything that 'slipped through the cracks' of my extensive rule-list ends up. I think I clean it up every 4 months or so. On a semesterly basis. I currently have about 300 500+ unfiled unfortunates in there.


aaron's picture

15 hard-to-clean spots on any hard drive...

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So here is my list of cobwebby digital corners that, despite my 'best' efforts, nearly always seem to be in a deep state of disarray. They seem to remain on the back burner, in the back of my mind as something I know I should tidy up some day, but that day never seems to come.
The list started out as my top 9 disaster zones, but as is so often the case, upon painful reflection, this list grew larger. And, in fact, grew into a series of defined projects that intersect along some important organizational lines.
So without further ado, here is my list of top 15 hard-to-clean spots on any hard drive:


aaron's picture

finding the application responsible for adding Spotlight Attributes

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As I have begun to work more intensively with the SpotLight Attributes (thanks to both old-skool tagging apps and newer OpenMeta offerings) I have noticed that the list of SpotLight Attributes (accesible through the refine search UI in finder search window: /command F in Finder/ click on 'kind', select 'Other') has grown SOOOooooooohhhhhhhhhhh long.


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