tl;dr | Garrett Guynn


Archive for the category “Computer Literacy”

Viewing Files

Below you will see my three preferred views of the folder structure I am using to save files and keep notes in my courses and for other purposes.

Hint: To switch views on a Mac, use these buttons:

View 1

This view is called List View.  The advantage of this view is that the structure directly represents the outline of this course.  The disadvantage is none.  This folder structure does it’s job perfectly.  However, if each folder were expanded, it may be overwhelming to see so many files at once.

View 2

This view is called Cover Flow.  The window is split into two.  The expanded folder structure below represents the visible files.  The advantage of this view is that I can preview the files contained in the folders by scrolling left or right or by moving up and down in the lower half of the window.  This is great for a folder full of eBooks.  The disadvantage is none.  Each view is used depending on the needs at the time.  If you have a smaller screen resolution, the screen space needed to use Cover Flow might be a disadvantage as you would want to maximize the window.

Alternative Viewing

These views (on an iPhone) show how this sync’d folder is accessible from anywhere.  The advantage is that it is accessible, the disadvantage is that the files are not editable.  Also, without decent bandwidth, it may be difficult to access these files.


My preferred view is List View.  This is because I think it is the most logical hierarchy.  FYI: If these files are stored on Google Docs, then they would be editable from your iPhone or other mobile device.

I am using Dropbox to sync these files.  I highly recommend this if you are not using MobileMe.

Folder Structure

Some people like to have a hierarchical structure in their folders and others like to store all their files in just only one or two folders.  I prefer to have more folders with less files in them.  The biggest reason for this is that the folder containing the files may have a unique name.  This is helpful when searching.  I often use Spotlight to find files.  Let’s say I need to install a licensing for my software.  I have a folder named, Software Licenses.

1. I use the Command+Space keystroke to active Spotlight and type “Software Licenses”.

2. Next, I press return.

3.  Here, you will see how I use folder structuring in practice.  This folder is synce’d to my iPhone.  If this folder contained hundreds of files clustered together, and not in folders, it would take longer to read the files.  You would notice this type of lag over a networked folder.  The main reason for this method of folder structuring is this: indexability.  This is directly related to Web Design.

4.  Each folder in the following image is available in Adobe Dreamweaver and sync’d to the server where the site lives. (Some of these sites are no longer live.)

I am using Dropbox to sync these files.  I highly recommend this if you are not using MobileMe.

No Folder Structure Alternative

It is safe to say that there is really no right or wrong way to structure your files and folders.  It is safe to say that keeping a cluster of files, which are tagged and orderly named will work just as well.  In the following example, I am using Google Docs.  Much like Gmail, you can label documents.

I am able to sort and filter these files based on both the filename and tags.  As you can see in my CPU101_S class, my files are grouped by filename.  My Strategies for Online Learning course is tagged.  I could search for “Strategies for Online Learning” and see only those files.

OS and App Versions

Determining the OS version on a Mac

1.  Apple Menu > About This Mac

2.  The OS on this machine is Mac OS X 10.6.2  (Snow Leopard).

Determining the App version on a Mac

I am going to determine the version of Firefox installed on this machine.  Compared to PC computers, finding the version of an App on a Mac is fairly consistent.  With the Menu bar fixed to the top of the screen, the first menu option is always titled after the name of the App.  Make sure that this App is the active App.

1.  Firefox Menu > About Mozilla Firefox

2.  The version of Firefox on this machine is 3.5.7.

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