Desktop Icons On Drives

Posted by: Anonymous

Desktop Icons On Drives - 05/30/01 12:07 PM

The entry today about icons (on the main MacMinute page) reminds me of another thing that can help make your desktop more intutitive.<br><br>Many people do not put icons on their hard drives, and, even with very large hard drives being cheap - still don't partition them. With HFS+ partitioning is no longer the quick improvement that it once was, but it can still be an advisable thing to do.<br><br>When I reformat hard drives for friends, if the drive is over 2 gigs (which is NOT these days??) I often partition it into 2 (of course this varies - but do you want an 87 page textbook or a summary that just gets the idea across??) parts. Then you give the parts some sort of meaningful icon with the old Pretzel-I (Get Info) and paste-a-new-icon method (OS 9 and below of course). <br><br>Many people have never put a new icon on their hard drives - if you only have one partition is will give you a nicer hard drive icon, if you have more than one partition it can give you a visual indication of what the partition is for. The second partition is useful as the Scratch storage that a browser uses, is a good backup, etc. I normally figure out what the owner will use the partition for and then paste a compatible icon on the drive. The main drive (System and Applications folders) get an icon that looks like the model Mac that the owner has and the Scratch/Emergency/etc partition gets an icon that indicates it's purpose. On my Mac at home I have an emergency partition (system folder and utilities only) that has the icon of a tool box. The Scratch partition has an icon that looks like an external hard drive (haven't gotten very creative there), etc. <br><br>This seems to have helped pals avoid losing files by putting them in the wrong folder - they now drag the files (say a JPEG of their Mom) to an icon that looks like a camera. They then wait for the camera to pop open and put the photo in a named folder. They do not make the mistake of putting the file on the wrong partition.<br><br>Of course this does use up some (valuable) screen real estate but these days monitors are so large that there is no need to carefully hoard each pixel.<br><br>People also are not quite so overwhelmed by an enormous list of files when they open their hard drive (it is surprising how many folks have that reaction at first).<br><br>To forestall some obvious objections - of course with "small" hard drives such as the 2 gig mentioned, the second partition is of a minimal size. And all this can be done (and more elegantly) with 3rd party software, other techniques, etc but it seems that this forum is a nice place to suggest FREE and simple enhancements. <br><br>
Posted by: TreeBeard

Re: Desktop Icons On Drives - 05/30/01 12:26 PM

I have six partitions on a 10 gig IBM HD in my PowerMac<br>and yes I totally agree that though partitions are not so necessary these days they are most definitely an safer and cleaner way to use the Mac. This method also does actually impart the knowledge of heirachal directories to the novice in a much shorter time. Partitions allow such as an installed backup system on a second partition so that if perchance things do go wrong... the ?blink? will only last as long as it takes the boot process to find the other startup disc... to boot,.. this can be done with such as Retrospect so that the system backup is kept updated with changes. Third party Disc Repair tools can be installed on a separate partition thus allowing you to repair your computer without having to boot from a CD... the list of benefits to having partitions can go on forever. The best part is that such system folder heavyweights as the internet caches and Mail folders etc can be aliased off to another partition thus saving getting dragged down by them and also when doing installs or if corruption strikes ... the files are not actually in the system folder.. to get corrupted... thus many problems are avoided... at least in my experience. <br><br>..
Posted by: johnengler

Re: Desktop Icons On Drives - 05/30/01 06:35 PM

I would like to take this opportunity to draw anyone that is using Mac OS 9 or lower (and probably Mac OS X) to the fact that partitioning a drive that is over 8GB is a very very good idea.<br><br>There is a little known issue with the Mac OS that if you don't have some of the System Resource files located within the first physical 8GB of the drive, then your Macintosh won't boot.<br><br>This will never be an issue with those that don't update their System software after an initial install, but for someone that has filled the first 8GB of drive space and then tries to update to a newer System version, it will be a huge issue. <br><br>It will cause a unbootable Macintosh, with very little reasoning. Nothing will be wrong with the machine's hardware, just the System files will be in the wrong place on the Hard Drive.<br><br>Some URL's for your reference at MacFixit.com:<br><br>http://www.macfixit.com/ultimate/Forum26/HTML/000486.html<br><br>(since when did MacFixit's search engine start sucking? I found a lot more (better) links when I had this problem 5 months ago... oh well, sorry there aren't more from MacFixit)<br><br>And at Apple's TIL's:<br><br>http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n60175<br><br>http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/N25249<br><br>Also, If you're trying to update the icons on your Hard Drives, and you can't. Try turning off File Sharing first (in the File Sharing control Panel) or making that drive a "non-shared" drive through "Get Info" command under the file menu. (same goes for renaming the drives)<br><br>Cheers,<br>John<br><br><br><br>***<br>"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." <br> -- Ecclesiastes 10:2
Posted by: Alex

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 05/30/01 07:27 PM

Another desktop-icon-related point is, if you're setting up a Mac for people who need this sort of visual assistance for their filing, keep the desktop relatively clean!<br><br>I know the Mac OS is very forgiving (well, until X anyway) of where you leave "stuff", but for newbies too many desktop icons is just confoozing. I try to set systems up for people with only icons on the desktop that are useful (e.g. "The Internet" and "Email") as well as having the Documents folder and a Programs (collection of aliases) folder living as tabbed windows (so much for my great ideas in X!). I use (and try to train others to use) the Desktop to organise any current projects (in their own folders) and then farm them off to my heirarchy of Documents subfolders when I'm done with them. If I've got anything on the desktop at the end of the day, I know it's stuff I still have to do tomorrow!<br><br>As always, "your" filing structure on "your" Mac is "your" business - this is just a methodology I've found to be helpful, especially for newbies.<br><br>
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 05/31/01 08:18 AM

Alex has a very good point there, and could probably expand it into a hint - try to keep the desktop as clear as possible. The alias-in-a-tabbed-folder idea is an excellent one since the tabbed folder disappears automatically when you are done with it. <br><br>Newbies often can be recognized by having desktops covered with files - they don't know how to organize their stuff.<br><br>OK, just a quick jab at peecees for fun: how many times have you seen someone on a peecee that has a desktop full of files? And then the peecee crashes and the files on the desktop evaporate into never-never land?? They seldom know to only put shortcuts to files on their desktops; the resistance of Macs to losing files in this manner is a great advantage.<br><br>
Posted by: johnengler

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 05/31/01 08:58 AM

busy desktops (lots of files) might also mean that folks are just busy as hell and not good at organization anyways... or maybe really really clean desktops mean that you're very anal?<br><br>***<br>"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." <br> -- Ecclesiastes 10:2
Posted by: TreeBeard

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 05/31/01 09:15 AM

I periodically stuff all those loose (unnamed uncatalogued) papers on my desk into a folder that I forget to write a name or date on and have a pile of these bulging nightmares in every corner. I trip over them as I reel down the path. That is why Im scatterbrained, there are untagged bits of it lying around everywhere. I'd even lose my name if Stan didn't have it recorded for me.. smile but my desk is clean <br><br>oh one good report... I don't have a sticking sphincter valve<br><br>..
Posted by: Alex

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 05/31/01 05:55 PM

A tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind, so I'm told... so I must need some serious help!! Actually, for me it simply comes down to being a generally disorganised person - a little structure and discipline goes a long way. (just ask my wife!)<br><br>
Posted by: bdog

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 06/03/01 09:02 PM

I have a custom icon for each of the two partitions on my internal HD (both are different-one for x and one for 9) and a custom icon for my external firewire HD and a custom icon for my 3 zips AND a custom icon for my homemade utility disk image, wich results in a custom icon for the CD itself.<br><br>P.S. that's a funny looking pretzel if you ask me!!<br><br>-- John Bailey (Bdog)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 06/04/01 01:44 AM

I have 2 HD's, with 2 partitions each. Each has a different icon.<br><br>I'll post a pic of them in a few, just "because" :)<br><br>Cipher13<br><br>
Posted by: johnengler

Re: Desktop Icons - Keep It Clean! - 06/04/01 05:02 AM

ditto. My disks all have custom icons under OS 9. I think I'm using Xicons icons though... great site Xicons, and the owner is really cool and responsive to users needs.<br><br>***<br>"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." <br> -- Ecclesiastes 10:2