Needful software (I)

I’ve been using computers for about 20 years now and never had any issues in terms of violating file system limitations. One reason certainly was that I never ran the risk of having too long/deep folder structures because there wasn’t that much data. This of course changes when you have a constellation where you have a desktop workstation and a notebook for working remotely, and use the desktop PC to store your backups as well. You can pretty easy end up with a folder structure that has more than 255 characters (including filename and extension). What happens next is your computer crashing without warning every time the automatic indexing hits the folder. I only discovered it because I tried to move all the data to a Linux-based NAS (which has an ext-3 file system with almost the same limitations as NTFS on Windows). For some reasons Windows doesn’t give a warning when you put a folder structure of critical length into another folder but has no problem telling you thereafter taht it cannot do anything because it’s broken.

The core question is: How do we organize data? What’s most annoying about the classic folder concept is that it only allows for one context in which data can be represented, but technically, it doesn’t matter. The file system itself is nothing but a giant database where a string variable points to a physical area of your hard drive. Some more information that is stored there: file size, file type (extension), creation date, modification date.

I’d like someone to come up with a piece of software that hooks in at this very basic level and gives me whatever contextualization of the data I like, say, by last modification date, document type and a number of tags I have entered. Or the other way round, with a single click, not going through the whole procedure again. It’s all built in, but not being used. To be clear: I don’t want a search tool, what I’m asking for is a flexible explorer (hint: if you’ree finished making it, flexplorer.com is already taken — by a Cayman Island Domain Troll of course. Flexplorer-xp or winflexplorer are still up for grabs).

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