Are You A Digital Pack Rat?

Can we compile tips or guides here to minimize digital packratting. Folder structuring (hierarchy) and/or data classes or groupings that helps segregate the important from the unimportant?

How do you keep you home folder tidy?


I am definitely a digital pack rat.

I download and create a lot of files. I have worked with a lot of OS's (MS-DOS, Mac, Amiga & Windows) often working with IT to keep the files organized. One thing that I have done on my home system is use the best parts of many systems to keep 3TB of files going back 20 years organized so I can find what I need.

From Mac:
I liked being able to give icons and folders different colors. In Windows I enjoy making custom icons so I can find things at a glance. For example I have 5 drives. My C:/ icon looks like an Intel 750, the SSD's look like SSD's and the HDD's look like...well, I'll give you one guess.

From DOS:
My documents folder has 73 sub-folders. What I do is give the important folders numerical prefixes so they rise to the top of the alphabetical order. For example -

02.Audio... etc.

Each time you add a number you start a new alphabetical stack.

AmigaDOS has a unique folder structure. One thing that I brought over into Windows is the Drivers folder. It's not active like on the Amiga, but it's where I store all of the updated drivers that I download. Because I change hardware often I try to keep it generic.

Human Input Devices
Intel 750

Of course there are sub-folders in there but it is much easier than looking at a file labeled z97-ar-2801 buried in my downloads folder and wondering "What the hell is that?" (It's a BIOS update)


Drives. Lots and lots of drives. I don't use my home folder. my /user folder is nearly empty.

My setup (names of drives at beginning):

  1. System: SSD; OS and all utilities go here (ie Chrome, Krita, Premiere Pro)
  2. Stuff: this small (350GB) HDD has three folders: Download (self explanatory, this is where all my downloads go), Dump (a folder I just throw shit in to be sorted later into where things really belong) and Projects (files for all my work [except Premiere Pro] go here)
  3. Music and pr0n: yes, I named my drive that. This super small, 150GB HDD holds all my music, pictures, and text documents. I might wind up having to swap this and the Stuff drive because there's not a lot of stuff in the Stuff drive but my other drive grows over time.
  4. Movie and Video: massive 3TB drive. All my movies are here, organized by rough genres into folders. All my video editing stuff is here too: clips, recordings, etc.
  5. Games: 1TB drive. Holds games...derp. Organized by Steam folder, "Independent" folder, and folder. If i had another group of games that are organized by their own interface the way games are, I'd have more top level folders on this drive. I also have a few things like Nexus Mod Manager installed in a top level folder.
  6. 4 drives of different sizes, partitioned, backing up EEEVVVEEERRRRYYYTHIIIIINNNNG!!!! except the system drive. $%@! the system drive.
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Wow, Best forum post I've seen in a loooong time [across multiple forums i've been apart over the years]

So I like you guys have years of stuff kicking around. I have been unfortunate and lost some files from failed drives and partition schemes, but have recovered the most important ones.

I've handled sensitive work so I have a strange partitioning scheme. I have a drive mounted on /run/media/user/ where I point ~/home/Work to, That drive is an Encrypted LUKS container. Instead of using the 'Trash' my trash goes to this Drive. After a week,
I run dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=20480 which basically destroys the encrypted header and it's byebye drive !

My Comic book collection has it's own directory listed by Hero/Villain and Music has its own ~/AbletonLive with AbletonLive files of mixes and compositions I've done. Numark Traktor has the same as well. My pictures and movies are similarly sorted.

I use number prefixes to sort my folder order structure as well.

I do the same as well. I fresh install 1-2 times a year and run a bash script to load the majority of my packages. Thanks for the post.

@Miguel_Sensacion Encrypted Trash ...


I am trying/tried to develop a piece of software like the forensic tool srm but it takes quite some time to do all the checks, unlink, renaming and shredding with urandom so why not just LUKS encrypt and blow away the header and repartition on top of the encryption !

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