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I have been struggling to organize messages from several listservs for about
a year.  While I wouldn't say I have completely failed, my success has been
quite modest.  One thing I began to play with is the file name.  First, I
extract to a file with the extension .txt, so I can ftp all files I save to
a floppy or my c drive.  (I have telnet loaded on my PC which allows me to
use ftp.)  Second, since I use Microsoft word and am limited to 8 characters
for file names, I give each file an 8 letter name that begins with the
subject or listserv.  For example, all CDC communications start with either
cd or cdc followed by the date of the message.  Alawon issues are labled:
ala followed by the vol/num of the issue.  Nursing listserv messages begin
with nu or nur followed by an abbrev form of the topic: nurint20.txt (the
20th message entitled "introduction"). This allows me to group messages to
a floppy pretty easily: mget nur*.txt;*  for the vax, for example.  I am also
planning to do a short content-analysis of the nursing listserv so I try to
pre-index the messages using the file title.  However, 8 charcters provides
very limited possibilities.  Now, organizing my files is the next problem.
I no longer print ANYTHING if I can possibly avoid it.  Printing takes to
long and I have not begun to file the previous 6 months of printed messages.
 
So, there's my poor attempt to manage chaos.  I'd certainly like to know what
the rest of you do.  I think personal information management systems are
going to be a major focus for librarians and other information service providers
   .
 
Hannah King
SUNY HSC Library at
Syracuse
kingh@snysyrv1
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766 Irving Avenue
syracuse, NY  13210
315-464-7109
315-464-7199 (fax)