3 Letter ID Naming Convention

First let’s address the three letter concept.

I come from the DOS days where file names were of the eight.three format (12345678.123) or (filename.ext)

I was hard pressed to name files with only 8 letters and be able to recall or search my computer for any particular file. For this reason, I came up with three letter ID’s. Two letters (AB) just weren’t quite enough to ID the intent of the file. Also, 26×26 is only 676 letter combinations available. With three letters (ABC), 26x26x26, there are 17,576 combinations available to me. I try to use consonants, no vowels if I can help it. This way the 3 letter combination is less likely to be in a lot of words when I go to do a search. Example: “TSP” (Turlock Step n Pards). There are not to many words that would use those 3 letters in them, making the search for “TSP” more relevant and efficient. If you add in numbers,  that ups the number to 36x36x36 which equals 46,656 combinations. If you can’t find 3 letter combo that sounds like it would apply, I would wonder.

The reason for three letters, is that our brains can recognize much more easily what the three letters might be representing than 2 or 1 letter. Also, because 4 letters,  just make the file longer for not much more in recognition, I chose a consistent three letters, and works very well for me. (Just look at the media network or business names ie: CBS or IBM for a clue to this concept.)

Who, When, Where, What & Why

In Windows 10, we now have the ability to scan for any variation of file names and search orders throughout the computer. This is the reason I use the Windows operating system of alpha-numeric prioritizing in searches.

I use “Who” first. For instance, we have been using TSP (Turlock Step n Pards) as their 3 letter ID. I then use the next “W” of “When“. This is the Date. Most dates show up in a human user friendly format. ie: September 7th 2018”. To the computer, and to be more concise, a more logical search and view format would be “2018” as the first element of “When“. Since using numbers would be a shorter way to say when, we will use 2018-0907. (which is a chronological year… to the day order) I always use a – (dash) between the year and Month/Day. Also notice I left out the dash between the month and day that is often found with cameras. Simply, it helps makes the file name as short as possible.

We now have the event of “Who and When” for the beginning of the filename.

And Finally…

“THT-2018-0907”. At this point, one could go back into the archives of the Promenader and figure out what it was all about without adding any more to the filename and still find it efficiently on the computer.  but… we’re not done yet.

Using “THT-2018-0907”, we can now add “That 70s Dance” to this. It would now read “THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance” to give a more useful “human” info, for the filename to most people. With a filename that satisfies three of the five W’s of “Who, When and What“, the last two W’s, Where, and Why are much easier to find after you locate the event you’re looking for. The reason for not adding them, is more for human convenience, and keeping the filename as short as possible.

Download = Camera –> to Your Computer

This is the critical point for me to be sure the files get named, otherwise, it never gets done. Here is what I do:

I make a folder in my Pictures area, on my computer and name it using the above convention. (“THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance”)

  • Flickr note: “Folder” in your computer is the same as “Album” in Flickr and, Album is = to a sub folder under “Collection” in Flickr.

I then download/empty the camera card into that folder. I use the Windows “Move” command which empty’s the card.

  • Be sure to delete any blurry or undesirable pictures, before you proceed to the next instruction. Blurry is totally unusable for anyone and wastes bandwidth uploading it, as well as server space since no one will use the picture.

To Name or Rename:

  1. I then copy the folder name: [R Click] on folder name and [Rename]
  2. Make sure the name is highlighted then: [Ctrl][C] to copy.
  3. Then click into the folder and click on any picture once, then highlight all of that events pictures [Ctrl][A].
  4. Right click on the first picture filename and choose “Rename” and paste the folder name into the filename area, then hit enter. This will name and numerate all of the highlighted files. (“THT-2018-0907 That 70s Dance (34)”, 34 being the 34th picture of the set.)

Of course, when I upload to Flickr, the filenames now go up with it. The filenames are instantly searchable in Flickr. This probably holds true in Facebook.

Click here for the 3 Letter ID List that I have come up with so far.

I may expand in the future with this page if need be.

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