Personal computing discussed

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Drachasor
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:52 am

I have just used favorites mostly. Libraries annoyed me because if you add multiple directories, it all gets merged together in the library. It is extra work to determine the actual location of a file. You also can't navigate to the parent directory of a library. While most of the time neither is important, I found it aggravating enough to avoid the library system. I think there was another reason related to having libraries, but I can't remember it. Maybe there is a way around what was bothering me. Edit: I think it might have been something with having a folder in multiple libraries, so I could use them kind of like tags. That would get things pretty jumbled up rather quickly. Not sure though, it's been over a year.

I avoid putting files in the default documents directory since that does get cluttered. I admit this does make things a bit extra work saving at times, but that's kind of how it goes when games and so forth are cluttering stuff up. This is actually quite annoying if you are using an SSD with limited space and a mechanical drive, since I don't believe you can tell a game to use the non-default save location in a library. So either they all use the solid state drive or they all don't (if you add a folder from the mechanic to the documents directory). Someone correct me if I am wrong.

For the cloud, I use Viivo to encrypt files. I typically have a secure parent directory on a given cloud, which is then the one Viivo does encryption on and everything underneath it. Usually I have Viivo keep a local copy of the files in an unencrypted format. Then I'll also have files that I don't consider sensitive or are naturally encrypted that I put in other directories. I use Viivo because it is free as long as you don't need more than 5 such parent directories encrypted (which covers 5 accounts), and because it works on my phone as well as my computers. It also handles a bunch of cloud providers There are very few options like that --- ok, apparently effective the 1st of July Viivo will be shutting down. Dang. Now I have to figure something out before July 2018. So never mind that. Maybe I'll just make my own solution. How annoying.
 
Kougar
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:31 am

1) Yes, I throw documents into that folder, and installers / self-executables in the Downloads folder. Yes the documents folder gets trashed with programs (especially games) spamming it with new folders, but since I only throw documents into it I can ignore subfolders.

2) Yes. It makes it easy to copy stuff off the laptop when I get back home, I don't store anything on it that I'm not ready to lose to a reformat.

3)It does in a manner of speaking. I use a NAS for centralized storage, so when it comes time for me to clean install I merge the contents I want to keep or store onto the NAS into the same Docs, Downloads, and etc folders.

My NAS can be turned into a web accessible device extremely easily, my own personal cloud as it were. The only reason I've not done so is to make it secure I'd need to buy an SSL certificate, QNAP wants $45 for a three year SSL cert. I haven't been traveling much anymore so I've never gone ahead and bought one, but I will go that route before I would buy data storage service from an online cloud. The cloud will be able to serve files faster, but a good home connection is fast enough for me when I've wanted to pull files off it remotely.

just brew it! wrote:
Oh, and regarding the "declutter" aspect, here's what I've been doing for a while now for my desktop: When I upgrade to a new version of Linux (every 2-3 years), I always do a clean install to different hardware instead of an in-place upgrade. Using trailing edge gear makes this affordable; FWIW I'm still on the AM3+ platform (FX-8350).

Contents of old home directory (from the system I'm upgrading from) gets put in a subdirectory on the new system. E.g., the system name of my previous desktop was "eisbock", so there's now a "from-eisbock" subdirectory in my home directory on the current system. After cutting over to the new system, as I need stuff from the old system those directories get dragged back to the top level of my home directory on the new system.

Whatever's still left in the "from-xxx" subdirectory (i.e. I haven't touched it in 2-3 years) the next time I upgrade gets moved to the file server in the crawlspace (plus I have backups on external HDDs if the file server should fail). So the stuff from 2 systems back is still accessible, but isn't taking up space on the new build.


That basically sums up what I do with Windows. Every clean install is to a different SSD, and I retain the old OS SSD just incase I need to boot to it or pull data, settings, or logs from installed programs. By the time I do yet another clean install I'm pretty sure I won't need anything, and just wipe the old OS SSD to install onto it.
 
Drachasor
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:07 am

Kougar wrote:
My NAS can be turned into a web accessible device extremely easily, my own personal cloud as it were. The only reason I've not done so is to make it secure I'd need to buy an SSL certificate, QNAP wants $45 for a three year SSL cert. I haven't been traveling much anymore so I've never gone ahead and bought one, but I will go that route before I would buy data storage service from an online cloud. The cloud will be able to serve files faster, but a good home connection is fast enough for me when I've wanted to pull files off it remotely.


You can make your own SSL certs for free pretty easily. You then just have to install them on your own devices that use them.
The only reason to BUY a certificate is if a lot of people are going to have access or you might give a random person access (or you want access from random computers or computers you can't install certs on) -- you might not want to deal with the hassle of sending them the certificate and having them install it.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am

I personally have multiple folders created in different drives except for C and I prefer to keep my things organized my way using those created folders.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:00 am

I rarely do. More so on my work laptop, but even then I usually have my own scheme for things.

It may not be of any help, but there's a free program called WinDirStat that will recursively hit all your drive's directories and you can sort them by various things.
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:36 am

Drachasor wrote:
Kougar wrote:
My NAS can be turned into a web accessible device extremely easily, my own personal cloud as it were. The only reason I've not done so is to make it secure I'd need to buy an SSL certificate, QNAP wants $45 for a three year SSL cert. I haven't been traveling much anymore so I've never gone ahead and bought one, but I will go that route before I would buy data storage service from an online cloud. The cloud will be able to serve files faster, but a good home connection is fast enough for me when I've wanted to pull files off it remotely.

You can make your own SSL certs for free pretty easily. You then just have to install them on your own devices that use them.
The only reason to BUY a certificate is if a lot of people are going to have access or you might give a random person access (or you want access from random computers or computers you can't install certs on) -- you might not want to deal with the hassle of sending them the certificate and having them install it.

LetsEncrypt.org also issues free public certificates. Although their service is primarily geared towards web servers, it looks like there's a QNAP tutorial for working with LetsEncrypt's certificate issuance/renewal protocol here: https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?t=122747
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not for anything of consequence

Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:59 am

Anything I care about goes on Z:\, because windows does not have a reliable file system and spinning rust has a ~6 year half-life. Single drives + window's BS = you don't really care about what is on it. Same thing if your idea of backing up a single spinning rust NTFS volume is to occasionally copy it to another single spinning rust external drive over USB. Non-technical people should just use a couple cloud vendors, they are going to be way more reliable against the 5 million different ways your data goes poof.

If you try to talk about storage spaces or refs, I'll just laugh at you.

If a program doesn't let me change where it places its important things or whatever, I'll map the folders manually. I've only had to do this a handful of times.

Once you realize how much can just be downloaded or reinstalled etc, the amount of actually irreplaceable data is easy to manage. By volume personal pictures/video is the largest for most people, actual documents is usually less than a gig which means you have no excuse to not have a dozen backups of them all over the place (including using cloud vendors in an encrypted container). After that you can start looking at protecting the annoying-to-replace data.
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Vhalidictes
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:36 pm

Bauxite, you have a good point. Most of that 3TB I care about is probably replaceable at some level of pain. The issue for me is that my pain threshold for re-downloading (assuming it's all still available) is pretty low.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:53 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Bauxite, you have a good point. Most of that 3TB I care about is probably replaceable at some level of pain. The issue for me is that my pain threshold for re-downloading (assuming it's all still available) is pretty low.

You have 3TB of stuff? I thought I had a lot with half a TB of data plus almost a 1TB worth of game installs.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:02 pm

I CONSTANTLY use Documents... the way God intended.

This is due to servicing multiple customers that don't need to know who I am working with besides them. This allows me to switch between directories and a consistent matter wherever they are, and only not expose sensitive information between clients.

As far as I know, am the only one who bothers here at work, which makes me a little sad.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:08 pm

My pain threshold for re-downloading stuff improved massively when I upgraded from 3 Mb DSL to 105 Mb cable a couple of years ago. :wink:
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:
My pain threshold for re-downloading stuff improved massively when I upgraded from 3 Mb DSL to 105 Mb cable a couple of years ago. :wink:


If I torrented at all I'd have to agree. As it is, I don't, though. Hopefully I'll never need to start.
 
_ppi
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:29 pm

1. I use Documents, Pictures, Videos and Downloads folder, as due to system shortcuts, access to them is much simpler than anywhere else.

It is true that Documents folder gets for whatever reason cluttered by application folders (almost every game has a folder there ...), and also for this reason I use OneDrive for normal documents, and then I have no clutter. My company laptop has setup regular backup of Documents folder, therefore using anything else makes no sense.

2. Yes. Why should I have it different?

3. I use only OneDrive, which is well-integrated, therefore I cannot comment on the others.
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:57 pm

just only when a game uses it for game saves and only go there by accident

everything goes into c:\down and get's sorted and normally backed up on the external 3TB if need be
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Re: not for anything of consequence

Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:08 pm

Bauxite wrote:
Anything I care about goes on Z:\, because windows does not have a reliable file system and spinning rust has a ~6 year half-life. Single drives + window's BS = you don't really care about what is on it. Same thing if your idea of backing up a single spinning rust NTFS volume is to occasionally copy it to another single spinning rust external drive over USB. Non-technical people should just use a couple cloud vendors, they are going to be way more reliable against the 5 million different ways your data goes poof.
So what is your "Z:\", also spinning rust on NTFS?

Bauxite wrote:
If you try to talk about storage spaces or refs, I'll just laugh at you.

Why? As a file system it does its job. Of course you don't use it for backup's. SS/ReFS I would argue is ok for keeping uptime, but not as a backup?
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Kougar
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:
LetsEncrypt.org also issues free public certificates. Although their service is primarily geared towards web servers, it looks like there's a QNAP tutorial for working with LetsEncrypt's certificate issuance/renewal protocol here: https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?t=122747


Nice, I will look into that!

But at risk of sidetracking the thread, is it actually safe to use these free SSL certs? I have looked into rolling my own SSL cert before when I found a method to upload it to the NAS device. Problem is I read that the common free SSL certs had digital signature concerns that made them less secure. Wasn't sure if that was a valid concern or just a scare tactic to sell SSL certs, and figured it was somewhere in between. I have only a limited understanding of the process but I also don't want to leave my NAS directly facing the internet with easily breakable security.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:28 pm

On my Windows box I have two drives. The system drive is a 960 EVO m.2, storage drive is a WD blue 1TB HDD. I use the Windows library folders for temporary storage of things such as new downloads, documents currently in progress, pictures being processed, etc. My games are on the WD along with things that I still want immediate access to but am not currently working on. All else, documents, photos, exe's, and such get put on an external drive or other media fairly quickly, as I don't like storing things on the computer itself in case of drive failure or other such problems. Plus keeping the system clean makes for an easier reinstall, which I do with windows probably more often than most.
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just brew it!
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:20 pm

Kougar wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
LetsEncrypt.org also issues free public certificates. Although their service is primarily geared towards web servers, it looks like there's a QNAP tutorial for working with LetsEncrypt's certificate issuance/renewal protocol here: https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?t=122747

Nice, I will look into that!

But at risk of sidetracking the thread, is it actually safe to use these free SSL certs? I have looked into rolling my own SSL cert before when I found a method to upload it to the NAS device. Problem is I read that the common free SSL certs had digital signature concerns that made them less secure. Wasn't sure if that was a valid concern or just a scare tactic to sell SSL certs, and figured it was somewhere in between. I have only a limited understanding of the process but I also don't want to leave my NAS directly facing the internet with easily breakable security.

EFF, Mozilla Foundation, and Google are among their sponsors, and they're a non-profit whose mission is "to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web by promoting the widespread adoption of HTTPS". TBH I think I'd trust them more than I'd trust many of the commercial certificate providers.
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:24 am

DPete27 wrote:
Are there some clutter items that Windows creates? Sure. Savegames, scans, my scans, etc etc but I have sub-folders in places like My Documents, My Images, My Movies etc to further organize them.


The trouble is, it's not just some clutter, it's huge amounts of it.

I've been using a new computer side by side with the old for a few weeks while I wait for a case to be delivered. I haven't transferred most of my documents over so the user folder is almost entirely empty of my stuff.

Currently there are 18 folder in Documents, none of which I'll ever open. Of the 15 folders in the user folder I'd have a use for perhaps one of them (Downloads), with maybe three more that will contain relevant data that should be in user land (AppData, Saved Games, Desktop).

On my old computer I tried to user the user folder as intended but I just found there was so much clutter. The way windows explorer changing size and location depending on where you opened it from and in which order you close windows means you can't memorise physical locations very easily. It just ends up taking far longer than it needs to for navigating that top level.

I think this time round I'll stick my folders inside a single subfolder of the user folder and pin that to the sidebar which will hopefully be a quicker way to use it.
 
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:10 am

1) I moved the path of the documents/music/video folders off the C drive and onto my data drive.
I see no real need for libraries, b/c stuff I save all ends up in one of the documents etc subfolders, IIRC libraries virtually link 2+ folders to display it at one, I would find that VERY confusing.

Stuff then gets mirrored (manually initiated) onto my second internal HDD as primary backup and uploaded from there to oneDrive as secondary off site backup (automatic sync).
Only exception would be sensitive stuff, which has it's own folder and gets uploaded to an encrypted cloud (Tresorit) because I do not trust OneDrive that much.

2) Don't have a laptop but if I did I would probably 2 way sync these folders between the machines.

3) No I do not believe this setup would work with actual cloud use beyond simple retrieval at all, because then I would have to 2 way autosync my backup which could get messy.

meerkt wrote:
Never used %homepath%\documents. It's just a default dumping grounds for many programs, so it's a sure place for uncontrollable mess.

Yeah that is annoying.
Which is why I created a subfolder "docs" inside "documents" where MY stuff goes and assigned it another symbol. That way, I can easily ignore the rest of the program clutter while still having is backed up easily.
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Drachasor
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:37 pm

Kougar wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
LetsEncrypt.org also issues free public certificates. Although their service is primarily geared towards web servers, it looks like there's a QNAP tutorial for working with LetsEncrypt's certificate issuance/renewal protocol here: https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?t=122747


Nice, I will look into that!

But at risk of sidetracking the thread, is it actually safe to use these free SSL certs? I have looked into rolling my own SSL cert before when I found a method to upload it to the NAS device. Problem is I read that the common free SSL certs had digital signature concerns that made them less secure. Wasn't sure if that was a valid concern or just a scare tactic to sell SSL certs, and figured it was somewhere in between. I have only a limited understanding of the process but I also don't want to leave my NAS directly facing the internet with easily breakable security.


There's really not much reason to use a cert signed by an SA over your own if you are just using it yourself. The whole point of a CA signing a certificate is so that random people can know a given Certificate is valid. But if this is just for you and your devices, then it is very little work to just load that certificate up on them as a trusted certificate.
 
Drachasor
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Re: Do you use the Windows "Documents" folder?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:40 pm

_ppi wrote:
1. I use Documents, Pictures, Videos and Downloads folder, as due to system shortcuts, access to them is much simpler than anywhere else.

It is true that Documents folder gets for whatever reason cluttered by application folders (almost every game has a folder there ...), and also for this reason I use OneDrive for normal documents, and then I have no clutter. My company laptop has setup regular backup of Documents folder, therefore using anything else makes no sense.

2. Yes. Why should I have it different?

3. I use only OneDrive, which is well-integrated, therefore I cannot comment on the others.


As far as Windows goes, pretty much all of them are as integrated as One Drive. My personally biggest problem is dealing with stuff I want to back up and DON'T want a local copy. A lot of them make this rather annoying, though One Drive is going to improve this soon. Theoretically a lot of the SDKs should allow ways around this, but I haven't gotten around to coding any solution yet.

My work gives me UNLIMITED Box space, so I have been intending on using that in the long term -- I work for a University so the overall benefits are great and I don't plan on not working for them anytime. Worst cast I'd just have to move my stuff elsewhere, which would be annoying, but not impossible.

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