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I have a lot of hard drives I use for backup...
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tonycwkw
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Sep 3, 2007, 08:35 PM
 
Hello,
I have a lot of hard drives I use for backup, and in addition I sometimes burn files to DVD-R for archiving.

Is there an OS X application that can store a list of the contents of my drives?

What I need is a searchable table of contents for my digital life - the thousands of files that exist in various places, in many states of disarray.

My dream app would have a simple iTunes-like sidebar. Clicking on a drive or disc name would bring up the table of contents in the main window. You could then search across all table of contents from the upper-righthand search box.

It may sound like I'm talking about FileMaker Pro or some kind of database program- but what I really need is something that can take a snapshot of the contents of my backup drives with one click. Then I could eject the drive, and that snapshot remains, fully searchable. (Obviously what I'm talking about is far beyond Apple's Shift+Apple+4 screenshot command.)

You might also think I'm looking for something like Time Machine, which will be a part of Leopard. But what I need is a program that can handle the myriad backup DVD-Rs and hard drives that I have stacked in my closet. Moving forward, I may come to rely on Time Machine but how many times have you archived an iTunes show to conserve space... and later had no idea where you put it?

Short of using Print Window to make countless pdf's of my drives, has anyone heard of a program with the functionality I described?

Thanks to all in advance!!

cheers,
tonycwkw
     
mduell
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Sep 3, 2007, 09:55 PM
 
Mduell's hack: Write a small shell script to dump the contents of ls into a text file. Then use Spotlight for full text searching.
     
tonycwkw  (op)
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Sep 3, 2007, 10:01 PM
 
Mduell,
Thank you for the tip.

Can you point me toward a resource for learning how to write shell scripts? I've never done it before, and wouldn't know where to begin.

Would still appreciate others weighing in on my original post. Thank you.

Peace,
tonycwkw
     
besson3c
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Sep 3, 2007, 10:21 PM
 
Shell scripts are essentially Unix commands pieced together with the addition of programming syntax for loops, variables, and other programming constructs.

find / > ~/myfiles.txt

will print a listing of the files in your local drive to myfiles.txt in your home directory. If you had a drive called "mystuff":

find /Volumes/mystuff > ~/myfiles.txt

You can search this listing with a grep command:

grep "myfile" ~/myfiles.txt


What you could do is create a double-clickable Terminal file that will invoke the former command and put it in your dock to manually index these drives. Or, perhaps you could wrap this script in a Playpus application and invoke it via Automator or something whenever the drive is connected.

Is any of this helpful?
     
rjt1000
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Sep 4, 2007, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by tonycwkw View Post
Is there an OS X application that can store a list of the contents of my drives?

What I need is a searchable table of contents for my digital life - the thousands of files that exist in various places, in many states of disarray.
I have had good results with this app and you can try it out for free.

DiskTracker
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Sep 4, 2007, 09:42 AM
 
I use DiskTracker too. There are about a dozen other apps like that too. I don't know their names, but searching versiontracker for "catalog" or "archive" or similar should turn them up.
     
tonycwkw  (op)
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Sep 4, 2007, 11:39 AM
 
rjt1000, thank you for your suggestion. I will give DiskTracker a try.

Uncle Skeleton, I'd be eager to hear if you've tried any other applications, perhaps something that is a fully fleshed-out Universal OS X app. DiskTracker looks too much like OS 9 (!) and that worries me.

Would also appreciate others weighing in on my original post.

Thanks to all!!!!

Peace,
tonycwkw
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Sep 4, 2007, 12:48 PM
 
I've been using DiskTracker since OS 9, and as such my library file is already commited to it (so I didn't try any others). It hasn't been updated much. On the other hand, it doesn't need updates much, because it still does the same job it did from the start. I've been using it pretty regularly through all versions of OS X and haven't had any problems with it.

edit: I remember looking at one app once that just made file system aliases of everything. I thought that was cool because you were guaranteed that the file format wouldn't become unusable, but it didn't lend itself to searches by any criteria other than filename.
     
tonycwkw  (op)
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Sep 4, 2007, 12:51 PM
 
Hi,
I want to follow-up with what I've found, based on the most recent replies.

Searched versiontracker for catalog and came up with a number of choices. I whittled them down to two: DiskLibrary and CDFinder.

Tested both and CDFinder wins both for speed and options.

DiskLibrary is almost exactly what I imagined in my original posting, but speed is king so CDFinder wins:

http://www.cdfinder.de/about.html

Thank you to all.

Peace,
tonycwkw
     
mduell
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Sep 4, 2007, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What you could do is create a double-clickable Terminal file that will invoke the former command and put it in your dock to manually index these drives.
How do you do that?
     
besson3c
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Sep 4, 2007, 05:13 PM
 
Terminal -> Save As, check "execute this command", and enter your command into the space provided. You can string together multiple commands by separating them with semicolons, and if you have several you might want to save them into a shell script, save the script within your path, and call this script.

Make sense?
     
mduell
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Sep 4, 2007, 07:04 PM
 
Neat, thanks.
     
besson3c
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Sep 4, 2007, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Neat, thanks.
If you want something nicer that will produce a progress bar for you and behave more like an actual application, check out using Platypus to wrap your script into a Platypus application. Very easy to do, and quite useful.
     
mduell
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Sep 4, 2007, 08:55 PM
 
The verbose output of the CLI apps I'd use is perfect for me.
     
   
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