1 2 3 Previous Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 5:22 AM by snowshed Go to original post
  • 15. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Kappy wrote:

    How many times have you seen a utility written for an OS, then seen that ability added to the next version of that OS?

    Actually, rarely. More often someone writes a third-party utility to provide a feature not included in the OS, not the other way around.

    We're talking the same thing, here.  

    Let me warn you that although I have seen the feature in a shell add-on to Linux, the feature is not native in Linux, either. I'm no longer a Windows user, but that feature wasn't even part of DOS as I recall.

    I've never seen what I'm looking for either.    But, you've got to ask and look.  Maybe some enterprising or budding programmer will read this discussion, and presto chango, a new ability is added to an OS.  Especially if they did it as a cross platform project.

     

    Would you even be able to do this in DOS?  For my purpose in real life, a command line interface wouldn't work.  You'd need a graphical interface to see exactly what you'd be selecting from the library, unless you have oodles of time.

  • 16. Re: Library tutorial needed
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    None of the implementations I've seen have been anything but command line interfaces. It has been done in relatively simple Unix-like languages of which DOS is one. DOS, a derivative of CP/M, was developed by a Seattle company years ago before there was Microsoft. Bill Gates purchased the OS from the company, then turned around and sold it to IBM claiming to have developed it for IBM per a contract. Gates already had the contract to write the OS but could not complete it by the deadline. He found the Seattle company's development and purchased it for $50,000 and turned it to IBM for double or triple that amount. Hence the start of Microsoft.

     

    Unix was a development by the programmers at Bell Labs who developed the C language.

  • 17. Re: Library tutorial needed
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    snowshed wrote:

     

    Here's a screenshot of a spotlight search for JPG on one of my external drives.

     

    Smart folders have far more capabiltities than that. You are just searching for "JPG" in a file name. You haven't even scratched the surface yet. You can search for 160 different individual criteria and combine any number of them.

     

    Can you devise a Spotlight search that will select every 4th file?  What if the files I wanted in the folder was the 1st, 9th, 13th, and 28th?

    No, because that would have no meaning. You can sort files in any order. The functionality you are talking about in Windows doesn't do that either.

     

    What if the files I want in the folder are spread across different partitions and drives?

    OK. No problem.

     

    If you've stopped to think about it, I want a folder that mimics the card file at your library.  As simple as that.  

     

    My library uses an advanced metadata-driven database, just like Spotlight on Mountain Lion.

     

    Snow Leopard has the same Spotlight capabilities as Mountain Lion. Try it out before discounting it.

  • 18. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    etresoft wrote:

     

     

    snowshed wrote:

     

     

     

    Here's a screenshot of a spotlight search for JPG on one of my external drives.

     

     

     

    Smart folders have far more capabiltities than that. You are just searching for "JPG" in a file name. You haven't even scratched the surface yet. You can search for 160 different individual criteria and combine any number of them.

    I chose "JPG" simply to get a screenshot for the purposes of discussion.

     

    There must be a tutorial somewhere about using Spotlight.  As is the norm these days, online help isn't much help.

    Can you devise a Spotlight search that will select every 4th file?  What if the files I wanted in the folder was the 1st, 9th, 13th, and 28th?

    No, because that would have no meaning. You can sort files in any order. The functionality you are talking about in Windows doesn't do that either.

    Then searching will not work, as I will not get the results I am looking for.


    If you've stopped to think about it, I want a folder that mimics the card file at your library.  As simple as that.  

     

    My library uses an advanced metadata-driven database, just like Spotlight on Mountain Lion.

     

     

    Snow Leopard has the same Spotlight capabilities as Mountain Lion. Try it out before discounting it.

    But I've no desire to sit here and create a metadata-driven database for the files on my computer.  Which, to get the results I'm looking for would seem necessary to get the desired results.  A brute force approach to a simple problem.

     

    I'm getting the impression you are asking me to create something I don't need.  

     

    Our discussion reminds me of the old story about the space race.  The US spent unknown dollars trying to get ball point pens to work in space.  The Russians used pencils.     I'm looking for a pencil, not a ball point pen.

  • 19. Re: Library tutorial needed
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    The space pen is a good analogy - because it is a myth: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

     

    There already is a metadata-driven database of files on your Mac. It is called Spotlight. You have simply chosen not to use it. There are lots of people here willing to help you find a way to use your Mac as efficiently as possible, but you have to meet us halfway.

  • 20. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    etresoft wrote:

     

    The space pen is a good analogy - because it is a myth: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

    Myth or not, hopefully the analogy was good enough to get the point across that I'm looking for a simpler solution that what you are proposing.

     

    You've already told me, in another post, that what I want to do, won't work.

    *************************************

    Can you devise a Spotlight search that will select every 4th file?  What if the files I wanted in the folder was the 1st, 9th, 13th, and 28th?

    No, because that would have no meaning. You can sort files in any order. The functionality you are talking about in Windows doesn't do that either.

    *************************************

    I am baffled, you've said what I want to do can't be done with a search, so why insist a search is the way to solve my problem/wish/desire?

    There already is a metadata-driven database of files on your Mac. It is called Spotlight. You have simply chosen not to use it. There are lots of people here willing to help you find a way to use your Mac as efficiently as possible, but you have to meet us halfway.

    To repeat, you told me Spotlight cannot be set up to give me the results I am looking for.

     

    My thought/belief is, I've failed to communicate exacltly what I need to accomplish.  Possibly, by talking in generalities rather than specifics.  If you would like, I can post a not-so-hypothetical situation/condition of what I want to do.

  • 21. Re: Library tutorial needed
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    snowshed wrote:

     

    If you would like, I can post a not-so-hypothetical situation/condition of what I want to do.

    That would be ideal.

     

    I poked around a bit in the internals of Spotlight and it is possible to search multiple folders simultaneously with a little of editing in TextWrangler.

  • 22. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    etresoft wrote:

     

     

    snowshed wrote:

     

     

    If you would like, I can post a not-so-hypothetical situation/condition of what I want to do.

     

     

    That would be ideal.

    As I do not know where you live...  I live in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA.  Long ago, I became fascinated with the history of early railroads, and where they were built in the mountains throughout the state.  And with the history of some of the areas where the railroads penetrated, prospered, and were abandoned.  (Here's a very recent hike:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j881fp0m72w8u1e/jLMjIbA-f3)

     

    I've been going to various websites, and collecting screenshots of historic photos of different areas for personal use.  No commercial uses, such as books, postcards, etc.  And these photos are organized into folders, sometimes by location (Denver, London, Paris, Moscow, etc.), sometimes by subject (railroads, airplanes, boats, etc.).  But many of the photos may contain things, items, etc, that are common to all hard drive folders.  A photo of a steam locomotive in Denver, a Denver and Rio Grande train in Aspen, Colorado in 1892, etc.

     

    So I have photos that have steam locomotives included in the photos spread across the hard drive under different categories.  And the name of the files usually have no mention of a steam locomotive being in the photo.

     

    What I would like to find, for both OS X and Windows, is a utility or program for both OS's that performs the following function, and ideally adds or patches the function to the OS, not a standalone application.

     

    Since OS X does not have an equivalent function to Libraries in Windows, I'm going to use "library" to represent the target location(s).

     

    In a folder on the hard drive, I have a photo of Aspen, Colorado.  In the photo is a steam locomotive belonging to the the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

     

    I create 5 libraries, each displayed in a window.  The libraries are called Mining, Railroads, Aspen, Denver and Rio Grande, and Steam Locomotives.   These are the target locations.  And, I open the source folder that has the photo I just mentioned.  Drag the photo from the source folder to each library.  The OS/patch/program automatically creates a shortcut/alias to that photo in each library.  Just 5 operations on the user's end.  Done!

     

    Using shortcuts/aliases, 10 operations in Windows, at least 11 for Snow Leopard (since there's no Move command in SL.)  Now, repeat for 100 photos.  How much extra work for the user, to do mundane operations that computers are far more efficient at doing?

     

    What if you had 5,000 files you wanted to do this with?  I don't, but my brother-in-law would love this, and he's got terabytes of photos.  He's always searching his hard drives for a picture of this or that.  He knows he has them, just not where.  While some photo programs will do what I've just asked about, AFAIK you can't add PDF's, various office documents, CAD drawings, music files, or even URL's.  If all of these types of files and others could be shown/listed in one place, at the OS level, how much easier would it be for the user?

     

    Since the photos are all screenshots, I see no way for tags to exist that describe what's in the photo, unless the user manually adds that data.  If the tags don't exist, how will any search using Spotlight or Windows Desktop Search find the photos? 

    I poked around a bit in the internals of Spotlight and it is possible to search multiple folders simultaneously with a little of editing in TextWrangler.

    But, that is not something the average user can do.  Not a practical solution.  And far above my abilities.

     

    Gut feeling for me is, computers are not getting more powerful, making the job easier for the user overall.  Just diminishing the power so smaller devices can be used.

     

    Overall feeling is, we are just reinventing the wheel, treading water.  

  • 23. Re: Library tutorial needed
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    If the photos are already organized, it should be easy to tag them en masse and find them with smart folders. You could even tag them with geographic coordinates and see them on a map in iPhoto. I strongly advise against using screenshots because you are potentially throwing away a lot of data. There are a number of apps in the Mac App Store that will enhance Spotlight.

  • 24. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    etresoft wrote:

     

    If the photos are already organized, it should be easy to tag them en masse and find them with smart folders. You could even tag them with geographic coordinates and see them on a map in iPhoto.

    They currently are only partially organized on the hard drive.  As I collected the photos for the Keynote/PowerPoint presentation, I saved them in a project folder, rather than more categorized folders.  I haven't had time to move the files as of yet.

     

    I'm not an iPhoto user, basically I've not found/discovered anything in the program I find of use to me.  Even if I did do something like that with iPhoto, what would I do about other file types?

     

    (Dog tired at the moment, hope this all makes sense once it's posted!   LOL)

     

    These days, the kind of solution you're suggesting is something I consider a workaround.  IOW, a hard way to accomplish what I want, when there's a simpler way out there.  And Windows 7 has come close.  OS X is behind, in this instance.

     

    20-25 years ago, I would have jumped at doing this solution for the photos, but the days of having the time and interest in this approach are long gone for me.  After all of these years, the simple solution could have been implemented.

     

    It's almost as if MS and Apple are now more interested in doing the things they want to do, and finding ways to make exising features easier for the user have disappeared.  Now that I'm working more with Win7 to learn about it, I'm not finding that much advantage to it over XP for my uses.  As I've read others post, a lot of Win7 is just moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic.

     

    That being said, I'd like to learn how to do the tags, if you're willing to take the time.  But, be aware, I'm not going to take the time I don't have to tag all the photos or any other files.  The Windows solution to accomplishing my goal is far simpler than tagging files.  And I'm all for the KISS principle.  

    I strongly advise against using screenshots because you are potentially throwing away a lot of data.

    I agree wholeheartedly.  But the photos I'm working with are not available for free download.  With the number of photos that I captured via a screenshot, it would probably have cost $150 or more.  Not worth the $$ to create a Keynote/PowerPoint presentation for a Boy Scout troop. 

     

    I have to say that this 24" iMac was great for those downloads.  This is one with the 16:10 aspect ratio.  After loading the screenshot into an editing program, and changing the canvas size to match 8X10 photo aspect ratio, you'd never know it was a screenshot after printing at Walgreens.  (I don't print enough photos to justify a photo quality inkjet.)

    There are a number of apps in the Mac App Store that will enhance Spotlight.

    Just added that to the to do list that never shriks.  

  • 25. Re: Library tutorial needed
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,270 points)

    Sounds like a task for iPhoto. You can add any number of keywords to a photo and search for any combination.

    While the physical structure of Albums and Events is there, the keywords are the real power wrt organization/retrieval.

     

    If your source files are PDFs, then Yep! would be what you want.

     

    Regardless, you will have to tag the photos somehow, whether that is with Spotlight metadata, iPhoto keywords, or something else.

     

    Besides some very high-end (perhaps non-existent) software which can self-identify a "locomotive" in the image, you'll have to do the tagging yourself.

    You might want to check with the folks at NCIS, Criminal Minds, or Bones, as they seem to have all of that kind of stuff.

     

    And, I have no idea how selecting the 4th or 19th file has anything to do with your train image example.

  • 26. Re: Library tutorial needed
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    snowshed wrote:

     

    I'm not an iPhoto user, basically I've not found/discovered anything in the program I find of use to me.  Even if I did do something like that with iPhoto, what would I do about other file types?

     

    Maybe look for some other app that will do the job. Both Apple and Microsoft have operating systems divisions and application divisions. You can cobble together some homegrown solution on either OS X or Windows to help, but they aren't really designed for that. The Windows feature is actually a workaround for a fundamental problem in Windows. The fact that OS X never had that problem means that there is no need for the workaround. It doesn't mean there is anything more functional about Windows.

     

    I agree wholeheartedly.  But the photos I'm working with are not available for free download.  With the number of photos that I captured via a screenshot, it would probably have cost $150 or more.  Not worth the $$ to create a Keynote/PowerPoint presentation for a Boy Scout troop. 

     

    All you are doing is changing the medium. You are still making a copy and that is still a copyright violation. Whether it was worth the money or not, legally, you owe it.

     

     

  • 27. Re: Library tutorial needed
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Barney-15E wrote:

     

    Sounds like a task for iPhoto. You can add any number of keywords to a photo and search for any combination.

    While the physical structure of Albums and Events is there, the keywords are the real power wrt organization/retrieval.

     

    If your source files are PDFs, then Yep! would be what you want.

    This brings up the issue of multiple programs that can do the same thing, but only for certain filetypes.  Surely someone has thought about taking it to the next step, tagging files of all types.

     

    Regardless, you will have to tag the photos somehow, whether that is with Spotlight metadata, iPhoto keywords, or something else.

    This has me wondering, if you were to tag the files, any type of files, does it destroy some older application's ability to read those files?  Obviously, 25 year old apps may have problems, but what about 5 year old apps.  I tire of the endless spending of money on updated apps and OS's.  Yes, there will always be some need for this, but it's gotten to the point I can't afford it.

     

    But so far, I've no idea how to add these tags.

    Besides some very high-end (perhaps non-existent) software which can self-identify a "locomotive" in the image, you'll have to do the tagging yourself.

    I know.  But, tagging is not the simple answer for my needs.  :-(  As I've previously mentioned, the Windows 7 libraries go in the right direction for the simple answer, but tagging and searching go in the opposite direction.  I'm not saying there's no value in being able to search, just that it's not the best answer for what I want to do.

    You might want to check with the folks at NCIS, Criminal Minds, or Bones, as they seem to have all of that kind of stuff.

    You've forgotten the CSI shows! 

    And, I have no idea how selecting the 4th or 19th file has anything to do with your train image example.

    Random selection to point out, that no matter what tags you attached to a file, there will come a time when a tag that is needed for a successful search will be missing.  But, if you can simply look at a folder of aliases, you can manually find the file.  Or, stumble on a file that should also be included in one or more libraries.

  • 28. Re: Library tutorial needed
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,270 points)

    You mentioned that you have them organized, to some degree, but you want to have a file in mutiple places?

    Just create aliases to each file and place them in the appropriate folder. You can quickly make aliases by dragging and dropping while holding down cmd+option and dropping the alias into the appropriate folder.

     

    This brings up the issue of multiple programs that can do the same thing, but only for certain filetypes.  Surely someone has thought about taking it to the next step, tagging files of all types.

     

    I hate programs that try to do it all. They end up being a bloated mess that fail do even the basics well.

    As for iPhoto, I'm never looking for a file (and you aren't, either). I'm looking for an image. The image has meaning that only exists in the image. That's why I think it is better to tag the object in a system that understands the underlying meaning of the object, not the inode, bits, bytes, and such.

     

    There is an open source project attempting to create a standard for tagging files in OS X: http://code.google.com/p/openmeta/. I don't know how to implement it as it appears to be a framwork for other programs to use. It has some links to programs that use it. It only lists 10.5 and 10.6, so I'm not sure if it will work for Mountain Lion.

     

    This has me wondering, if you were to tag the files, any type of files, does it destroy some older application's ability to read those files?

    "Tagging" doesn't affect the source file. The metadata is stored in and external location, tightly linked to the source. A program that looks at those things should be written to handle different metadata that might be attached and deal with it in some appropriate way.

  • 29. Re: Library tutorial needed
    g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4 (1,120 points)

    About the only thing I've seen that sounds remotely similar to what you want are "Union Directories" implemented in the Plan9 From Bell Labs Operating System.  Unfortunately, while that implementation inspired the UnionFS filesystem in FreeBSD and Linux, they are much cruder implementations (operating at the mountpoint, not file level) and still don't do what you want.

     

    Also, I surely don't think that this feature is worth all the pain you'd go through to get a system running Plan9 (although if you're a retiree with a technical bent, you might consider it fun...I guess).