Saturday, September 27, 2008

Please - Organize your "Stuff"!

Now that you’ve assisted your adopted novice with configuring their e-mail, securing their system and provided a quick word processing tutorial, and because most novices are preoccupied with digital photography, you’ll probably have to dedicate a few days helping them organize their Windows Explorer to prepare them for a productive digital photo adventure.

So best you start day 4 explaining a bit about Windows Explorer and how to begin organizing their photos.

The way Vista’s Windows Explorer presents its folders is a reflection of the changes in the storage requirements of today’s users. When XP was released, digital photography was just beginning its phenomenal rise in popularity as was digital video and digital music. And because most users did not have a significant number of photos, videos, music and by the way downloaded program files, to make their folders easy to find and to facilitate backing up, their folders were all sub folders of My Documents.

But with the extraordinary increase in the number of photo, video, music and downloaded files most users now store on their computer Microsoft decided it was appropriate to give each its own Windows Explorer folder. Now Vista offers individual Documents, Pictures, Video, Music and Download folders.

Among the benefits this presentation provides is the means to efficiently and expeditious back up only what you need to back up. If you’ve backed up your significant collection of photos, music and videos and you’ve not made any additions, deletions or changes to the files, you only have to backup Documents the folder that’ll most likely contain the majority of their new and edited files.

Whether your adopted novice is a Vista or XP user, however, your task in day 4 is to demonstrate how to create sub folders. I cannot stress the importance of encouraging them to start and maintain an ongoing photo, video and music sorting into separate folders regime. If they do not they’ll end up with the equivalent of the shoe box photo storage and boxes of unsorted record and CD collections they probably now have in their "Fibber McGee & Molly Closet"(do you remember?).

And apropos of sorting photos, I suggest you teach them how to sort them into individual folders "they" create. Do not get them started with cataloguing programs such as Picasa and Photo Shop Elements. I’ll discuss catalog programs in the future, but for now cataloguing should not be a consideration.

Here's wishing you a Good boot.

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