April 25, 2005

Dude, where's my slide?

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 25, 2005 9:17 PM

I have on my hard drive a significant fraction of all the slides made for Clarke group flux qubit talks. Under the current system they are grouped by talk and sorted by date and venue. This, it turns out, is a terrible organizational scheme—I frequently need to find a particular slide, where I have a reasonable idea of the subject and content, but don't remember in which talk it appeared. This leads to an inefficient searching process in which I try to guess when the slide was made and look through talks from that period.

Obviously a better solution would be to keep a set of Powerpoint and PDF files, each of which contains all the slides I have on a particular topic. Unfortunately it would be a lot of work to maintain such a set, and sort the slides for each talk that comes along.

Maybe I should just use Google Desktop Search? I've always found it a little scary, so have never installed it. Anyone have experience with this? (Or a better suggestion?)

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I only have my talks/posters on my computer (and not all of them due to catastrophic backup failure), and have found no great solution.

I do try to name the figures/illustrations imported into the talk/poster well, since I'm usually looking for those instead of the exact slide.

The bigger problem I have is sorting papers -- pdfs; right now I name them AuthorYear and sort them into folders by subject, but this makes finding papers when I can't remember the author almost impossible. How do you handle that?

Posted by: Wren | April 26, 2005 11:50 AM

My naming scheme is author-journal-year, which is similarly unhelpful, but I sort them in directories by research group: generally I do remember which group performed a particular experiment even if I don't remember the first author. This probably doesn't work as well in every field, and might not work for theory (I don't have a lot of theory papers archived locally).

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 26, 2005 12:01 PM

My "organization" is sort of a structured chaos that works reasonably well for me (usually) but makes it impossible for anybody else to find any of my stuff.

Posted by: Mason | April 26, 2005 7:15 PM
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