Browser bookmarks frustrate me. I need them for personal and professional use. Yet, like email, bookmark management just seems like a silo wherein I pile new bookmarks on top of old. I try to remember what concise list of tags I used in the past. But it's all a guessing game. Eventually the number becomes so great I export them all to an XML file and put that in a different kind of silo on a hard drive.
My bookmarks, and I suspect most folks', can be split in to three groups. The stuff we use daily, the stuff we're currently using but one day (work projects for example), and the stuff we want to come back to someday.
The first and second groups are, IMHO, what the bookmarks store in a browser is for. I want quick access to these. It's important to keep the two separate and clear out the transient stuff appropriately. When I finish a job I should collate all the bookmarks I've stored for that job in a text file and add it to the git repository and tarball for the job.
I've helped reduce the third group by embracing Pocket. But I still have bookmark folders full of long-forgotten links.
I tried using Pinboard and Delicious but that's even worse. They're like cold storage. I put stuff there and fool myself it'll be there when I want it. But it's easier just to Google something than to try and search these services.
So what to do? I don't know. I like the idea of keeping all those third-group links in appropriately named text files. But will I bother to keep them updated? Will I bother to look in them when I need a link?
What I'm more tempted to do is distill anything I learn from a link in to a document. A tutorial in my own words. Anything else can go in Pocket or simply be read and discarded.
I'm finally getting my house in order. That is my digital house. I've never been very strict about files and folders though I try to keep on top of it. Recently I've felt a new vigour to get things in order.
Aside from a system SSD, where I do store some current work on my desktop, I try to keep my system drive free of anything but OS and software.
Along side the system drive is a 1tb WD Red that is my main drive. This is backed up nightly to a mirrored NAS giving me three local copies of these files. I'm also in the process of backing this up to a new Backblaze account, but the 300gb are taking a while to do.
Finally in my main system is a 640gb drive that I use as a scratch drive. There is stuff on there I wouldn't like to lose but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I did.
My small home server contains a small SSD for OS and software. Also in there are a 2.5in 750gb drive that I use for downloading and general work with a large amount of files. Also in here is my Media drive, a 2tb WD drive that contains films, tv shows, audiobooks etc.
The media drive is manually backed up to an external 2tb Buffalo drive.
In addition to the above I have a portable 2tb drive that lives in my bag. Another 2tb external that used to be my media drive. Two 1tb external Buffalo drives, and a 500gb external Buffalo drive.
So what am I storing where...
Documents and files (1tb WD Red)
- Archive - Tarballs and zips of old projects
- Documents - Spreadsheets, text documents, etc that stand alone.
- FontStore - Not all the fonts I've collected over the years are installed. To maintain a fast, stable system I only install them as I need them.
- Library - A collection of code snippets, practical examples of things I use often, and command-line programs and scripts that I use often.
- Photos - All my photographs. Split between two folders called RAW and JPG. In each of these is a folder for the year, then a folder for the subject. Eg.
Photos/RAW/2015/2015-11-01 - A visit somewhere. By separating the RAW and JPG I can point things like Google Photos uploader to the JPG folder to have it automatically synced.
- Playground - This is a scratchpad for programming. It's full of little experiments and tests that I periodically go through.
- Projects - Things from the 'Playground' will graduate to the 'Projects' folder when they become more fully formed and have a purpose. These are not work-related.
- RaspberryPi - This is where I store all the files I might need when working with a Raspberry Pi.
- Software - This is software I use that can be hard to find online, along with a collection of ISOs, mainly of operating systems.
- Stuff - This is long-term and generalised. It's everything from silly pictures I find online, to JSON dumps of old Spotify playlists, to a list of items I have in storage boxes in my attic.
- Video - These are videos I've shot. Everything from cellphone to dSLR and timelapse.
- Work - This is where everything related to my work lives.
All my JPG photos are further compressed using imagemin, in particular the jpeg-recompress binary.
Currently this drive contains about 300gb of data with about 650gb free, so should suffice for a few years to come.
Third drive (640gb)
At the time of writing the folder structure is:
- Audio to sort - A LOT of mp3s, many many duplicates. All needs sorting and organising with the filenames and metadata put right.
- DOS - A collection of old DOS games and software just for fun.
- Games - Mainly programs and games for Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulation.
- Parents stuff - My folks can't be trusted to back up their laptops, so I periodically do it and keep it all here.
- SortMeOut - I recently went through a large box of old CDr's and DVDr's that I used to use for backups and offloading. It's fifteen years of old files. I've dumped it all here and am slowly sorting through it.
As I said above, it wouldn't be the end of the world if this drive failed. But it's showing no signs and I plan to do something with a lot of the stuff on here soon.
- Media - Contains films, TV shows, Audiobooks, Music, Audiobooks, and eBooks. Most of this is served through Plex, hence...
- PlexData - This is where Plex is configured to save all it's files, meaning I can replace my server's system drive without losing all the updates, changes, and customisations I've made to Plex.
- ToArchive - Periodically I'll move some films and TV shows I know I won't want to watch for some time to an external drive that is kept in a box on a shelf. As I make these decisions I move files here.
Back in October 2015 I decided to re-encode all video files to x265 and standardise audio formats and subtitle files. It's taken a long time to do this and I'm still doing it but the bulk of it is done. It's cut the space consumed by these files in half.
This drive is mirrored manually once every couple of weeks to an external 2tb drive.
2 x 1tb buffalo external
- Film archive - Films encoded in x265 that I can't bring myself to delete, but have no intention of watching any time soon.
- TV Archive - As the 'film archive' but for TV shows.
- Long Term Storage - This contains tarballs and zips of things from my distant past that I'm unlikely to want access to. Such as wedding shoots I did for people years go, or old university assignments.
This is mirrored on two external drives. Just in case.