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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - A place for all my stuff!


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NJRonbo

 
Member Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posts: 69
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Have a few questions about where to place all the software
and documents I am adding to my Macintosh.

First, since I don't know my way around OS X, I am really
at a loss at how to best organize my macintosh.

Thus far, everything I have installed goes into APPLICATIONS.

But that got me to thinking....why not set up folders with
specific names such as UTILITIES, DOCUMENTS, GAMES and
have a more organized approach as to where I wish to install
my applications.

These questions are based upon what happens when I click
on the Macintosh Hard Drive icon upon my desktop and a
windowpane opens with FOLDERS ON LEFT and PROGRAMS on
right...

Can I create new folders on the LEFT side of the pane, beneath
APPLICATIONS and all the other categories listed, and drag specific
programs to each?

If one day I decide to clean house and reorganize the location
of where I want my installed software located, can I simply drag
it to another folder and expect it to be found when I click on the
icon? I know in Windows once you move a file it is a big hassle
for it to be located when you click on the program icon.


Basically, I'd really appreciate some tips on how to keep my
Macintosh well organized as far as installing programs.

Also....

Is it really true that once I drag a program to TRASH that it
is completely removed from my system? Does it also remove
any documentation files it may have installed as well or do I
need to do a Spotlight search to remove as many instances of
that program as possible?
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MacHeadCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRonbo View Post
Have a few questions about where to place all the software
and documents I am adding to my Macintosh. I will also talk
about a great piece of software I am considering buying.

First, since I don't know my way around OS X, I am really
at a loss at how to best organize my macintosh.

Thus far, everything I have installed goes into APPLICATIONS.

But that got me to thinking....why not set up folders with
specific names such as UTILITIES, DOCUMENTS, GAMES and
have a more organized approach as to where I wish to install
my applications.

*Snip*
The Utilities folder already exists: it is nested in the Applications folder.

The Documents folder already exists in your user account.

There should already be a Games folder in the Applications folder.

Hope this helps. :girl:


Edited to add:

It's quite all right to install applications you download in the Applications folder, as this is the natural and default install location for applications in Mac OS X. I always say that Mac OS X knows much better than I where it should install things. It's when you start moving things around that the system gets confused and messed up.
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NJRonbo

 
Member Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posts: 69
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Thanks so much for the answer.

Also...


If one day I decide to clean house and reorganize the location
of where I want my installed software located, can I simply drag
it to another folder and expect it to be found when I click on the
icon? I know in Windows once you move a file it is a big hassle
for it to be located when you click on the program icon.

Also....

Is it really true that once I drag a program to TRASH that it
is completely removed from my system? Does it also remove
any documentation files it may have installed as well or do I
need to do a Spotlight search to remove as many instances of
that program as possible?
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MacHeadCase
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For dragging around installed software, read my edited post above.

For uninstalling, you can manually drag to the trash applications BUT this doesn't trash orphaned/rogue files that are left behind like pref files, folders in Application Support, etc. Some will say it really doesn't matter if you leave those behind, but pref files can become corrupted and I dunno I just like a tidy Mac.

So if you want to keep your Mac clean, you will need to search through Spotlight for these bits that are left behind, not to mention that you won't find any invisible files that can be installed with certain apps. To me, this is time consuming. I use AppZapper: it's fast and efficient, not to mention that it has a cool zapping sound!

Some applications though DO require their own uninstallers like for example, Adobe apps.
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cazabam

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRonbo View Post
If one day I decide to clean house and reorganize the location
of where I want my installed software located, can I simply drag
it to another folder and expect it to be found when I click on the
icon?
Yes. The mac's application bundles contain everything they need so theoretically they can be run from anywhere.

Quote:
Is it really true that once I drag a program to TRASH that it
is completely removed from my system?
Pretty much, yes. It is completely removed in the sense that no part of the program exists any more (although there are a few exceptions, especially those that provide an installer). However, any settings that were created in your home folder will still exist in case you reinstall it at some point. Spotlight should help you easily find and eliminate those. Most of them just go under /Users/yourname/Library.
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yogi

 
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Cazabam is right, but I personally recommend keeping all applications in the applications folder. Not only do you keep your system tidy that way, but sometimes OS X relies on Apps being there (some older apps behave badly).

Anyway, as stated, Apps appear to be single files, but they are actually bundles containing everything. So you could move them around, but I don't see why, because you don't really have a mess since there are no evident folder jungles like windows, and you have all apps in one place to manage in future.

The folders in the left column of the finder are only shortcuts to real folders. You can drag any existing folder into the column to have a quick way of accessing it. The "catgories" you call them are just your folders named movies, pictures and music residing inside of your home folder. Be careful with these folders because they contain the information for iTunes, iPhoto etc. They will mess up and break if you move them around.

My tip: Just keep your documents in your documents folder, create as many folders as you like in your home folder, and put your apps in the apps folder. But never move a folder that you didn't create unless you're sure it's safe to do so.

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cazabam

 
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Indeed. Keeps the applications in /Applications. However, I do create sub-folders for stuff that doesn't demand to be in the top level that I don't use so often. I have quite a lot of stuff in Applications and it can be a pain scrolling back and forth to stuff.
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djames42

 
Member Since: Oct 07, 2005
Location: Seattle
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Indeed... Under my Applications folder I have folders such as Games, Internet Apps (Adium, iGrabNews, etc), and Utilities. Under Utilities I have a few others such as "Audio and Video" (for things such as Senuti, VLC, Democracy, and Jam), and DVD Utilities (MacTheRipper, Popcorn, Toast)
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Carol247

 
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You might want to purchase Mac OS X The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition. It is very useful as a reference book and will answer many questions that you might have along the way. It is written in easy to understand terms. You can find it for a good price on Ebay or Amazon. I just got mine and it's packed full of information. Of course, this forum is always at your fingertips too:>) with many knowledgable people to help you out.
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Brown Study

 
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I've read that Software Update, among other application-update packages, might not work properly, since they look for the apps in the Applications folder, and that some pathways must be as the updaters expect. If you move any apps, return them to the Applications folder before running updates.

I never use Spotlight, so I change the name of a folder to remove its icon. I change the name back again before running system and security updates.
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