PART 17: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
Trashy Stuff
17 July, 2019 by
PART 17: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
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                                                          PART 17: TRASHY STUFF  

                                                          TOS out your old receptacle 

                                                          NeoDesk comes with a recoverable trash can, which can be used as a NeoDesk-compliant desk accessory or as a stand-alone application. In either method of operation, dragging an icon of a file or a filename to the special NeoDesk recoverable-trash-can icon removes the file from view and makes it appear to be deleted. At regular intervals, you click on the trash can and select the files you want NeoDesk to dump. At that time they are erased. Until you empty the trash, you are able to open the trash can and take out any files you have decided to keep.

                                                          This is an excellent idea, and is the way some other operating systems work. (The Apple Macintosh's trash can also saves files that are deleted, but it does not save them indefinitely the way NeoDesk will do if you fail to empty the trash; this is both good and bad, depending on how much disk space you have available and how much you value your files.)

                                                          However, there are a few cautions that you should be aware of.

                                                          First, the way NeoDesk 4's recoverable trash can stores its pending-delete files and folders is non-standard. (If there WERE a standard, it would be non-standard, if you know what I mean.) This means that any application that searches through root directories and folders for all available files and then reorganizes them to improve disk performance will scramble everything being saved in the recoverable trash can. To make this as clear as possible, if you use Diamond Edge, Cleanup ST or any other hard-disk defragmenter, you must first empty the NeoDesk trash can.

                                                          Second, the sole purpose of tossing anything away is to get rid of it. This may seem too obvious for a comment, but if you use a recoverable trash can as a regular way of putting files and folders into suspended animation, you probably are ignoring some basic housekeeping duties. (And you may have a few closets that the local fire-inspection brigade would like to look at, too!) Old files that are not needed just get in the way.

                                                          Third, you may wish to consider an even better recoverable trash can if you are worried about the danger of using a disk utility when files and folders marked for deletion are in the NeoDesk trash can. This better method is simple: Create a folder named TRASH on your hard disk and assign a trash-can icon to it (call it "Trash folder" when you place it on the desktop). If you have files that you want to delete but are unsure if you may need to refer to them in the next week or so, drag them onto this icon the same way you would drag them into the trash. Every now and then, open this folder and drag all the files you know you don't need into the real trash can.

                                                          This method has no drawbacks, except of course for the progressive loss of disk space if you forget to empty the trash folder. Hard-disk defraggers will cause no harm, since everything in the trash folder is still alive and well -- and, of course, visible to the rest of the operating system. A minor inconvenience of this method is that restoring files to their former folders is not automatic, as it is with the NeoDesk trash can; you have to remember where they came from and put them back manually. But it's a lot safer. 

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