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OnTooMuch's Organizing Tips
Hel-LO there! I've started using XML recently, and let me tell you, I CAN'T live without it now! LOL!

XML can really help you keep track of your computer files, IMHO. That is, if your computer needs as much organizing as mine does, anyway ;-). If you don't think you need that, well, LYL, but IGJ! :-p But if you think you could use the organizing power, then stick around!

First, you HAVE to hear how I got into XML. It's SUCH a funny story! Well, one day, the NAZI-esque bosses we have made us stop using instant messenger services! }:-( Why? I ALWAYS made sure to never let instant messaging interfere with my professional work. :D But, anyway, that new rule meant I had to close some things from my system tray:

When it came to shutting something down, I was HOPELESS! I couldn't keep track of which picture was for which program. :OX So, one of my technically savvy GFs told me XML could really help me keep track of things like that. So it's times like these when you need XML.

Now, you need to choose an XML parser. I got one of those graphical XML parsers off of the Internet. NEVER use a text-based parser!

I learned my lesson using text-based computer stuff when a friend suggested I use Linux. He made it sound SO cool, but I couldn't even get my Little Mermaid backgrounds working on it, much less my N'Sync and Britney Spears screensavers. Can I just say I can't STAND Christina Aguilera! OTGLMAO!

Anyhoo, all graphical XML parsers give you one window to type in XML data and another window to type in how you want it to be displayed. They also have a window that shows you the properly displayed data. With the parser doing all the work, you can J/C!

I generally make my data setups pretty simple. Here's an excerpt from my system tray pictures list:



<picture>Sideways Blue Triangle</picture>
<means>Windows Media Player</means>


<thingsForListeningToEightiesMusic >


This makes it EASY AS HECK to add information, without having to add tons of confusing code. In your "how-to-display-it" window, you set up one colorful template that will display every set of information. Now, whenever I get stumped, I check the display page of the XML parser for prettied-up reference. Isn't everything SO much easier to understand with bright diagrams!

Now I use XML to organize my other computer files as well. My Calista Flockhart interview clips on RealPlayer (she is a GODDESS), the pictures of my cats that I scanned, my "The Sims" saved games, my illegal Destiny's Child MP3s (SHHHH!!! I know, I'm SO bad!!!). Yes, Destiny's Child. I'm TOTALLY into soul music! Oops, there I go, rambling again! LOL!

Well, hope that helps you get a start with your organizing. I'd stay to chat longer, but IGGB!

OnTooMuch is a software customer service rep (no one knows her real name anymore - she communicates almost entirely through IM). She would like to move into professional site design someday. Her personal Web site shows her skills with Flash text, frames, animated gifs, hit counters, sound loops, pop-ups, tiled background images, horizontal rules, Java applet rollovers, and tables to fit multiple banner ads per page.

More Stories By Tod Emko

Tod wrote humor-oriented articles for the Syracuse Herald-Journal and held various writer, editor, and cartoonist positions at other publications before accepting his role as a computer nerd. He has years of experience as a front-end Web developer and Perl programmer, and is now a senior XSL script architect and XML documentation writer for

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