Nick Samuel

Digital Spring cleaning

So my general PC is was a bit of a mess and hasn’t really had much TLC go into the arrangement of folders, files and everything else for at least since I graduated in 2013.

And even then I wasn’t particularly organised; I just hadn’t accumulated enough stuff to make my computer feel “unmanageable”.

As of a few weeks ago every time I went to retrieve a file from my desktop or downloads I’d hear my hard drive stuttering – assuming I could locate the file I needed in the first place that is.

Anyway, I had a few days off between finishing and starting my new job, so decides to change a few things up.

My Computer

File Management

Here was the state of play when I right clicked and view properties:

So first thing I did was wipe the recycle bin and then meticulously sorted each file in the desktop and documents into an appropriate top level folder or deleted them there and then.

In case you couldn’t guess I’m a bit of a digital hoarder when it comes to music and I plan on resisting Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming services for as long as possible.

What do they call it in economics, a sunken cost fallacy? Well that’s me, I’ve spent too much time building up “my” music collection to simply throw it all away.

So I unzipped, extracted any music files and automatically added them to my hard drive, sorted all remaining files by size and deleted about 95% of them.

I’d like to share some improved statistics but there’s not much to say besides the desktop and downloads are now clear. Some progress.

Dual Booting: Windows & Linux

It feels like I’ve been dual booting Linux Mint and Windows 7/8 for over a year now, however I never really incentivised myself to fully switch operating systems.

Mint boots by default, however I couldn’t really access much of my files due to the formatting of the Windows Hard drive and without my “iTunes” collection I feel pretty lost on my computer.

So I backed all this up to a “military grade” portable hard drive I received a few Christmases ago and was pretty much good to import into Rhythm Box.

That was one problem solved.

Bookmarks and Passwords

Another massive stumbling block for most dual-booters is bookmarks and passwords, at least I’m guessing.

I exported all my bookmarks from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox and whacked them into Linux, no problem.

Next stumbling block to overcome was the issue of passwords and more importantly password management.

Historically I’ve used the “native” password managers within most browsers but unfortunately they don’t sync cross browsers. Plus as attractive as having a Firefox account is, the idea of storing browsing data in the “cloud” and picking up sessions seems like it could be a slippery slope (or summin).

Equally there was something about LastPass which never felt quite right but after a bit of research on Reddit and round the web I stumbled upon the open source BitWarden.

With an account set-up I imported my passwords into it easily enough and set-up a “Crypt” which is accessible from any browser, my phone and through a Linux “utility”.

Phone Apps

Since I had landed a new job I couldn’t really see the need for the LinkedIn app any more so I deleted that mother from my phone as well plus other apps I seldom use for anything meaningful.

After it was announced Google will soon delete Google Plus, it looks like Twitter is the only “social” network I’m active on right now which suits me fine.

I’ve just got to unfollow a few SEO folk that’s all 🙂