[seqfan] Re: PAPERS has been erasing my pdf files

Fred Lunnon fred.lunnon at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 17:41:16 CET 2018

  [ Not maths, and certainly no fun ... ]

   Editors --- including related software such as mailers, file management and
synching systems, etc. --- are notorious for losing the very files
with which the
user has entrusted them.  Some random speculations about causes and cures ...

  (1)  The bane of engineering everywhere: for lack, or from ignorance, of any
theory of secure implementation, designers program for situations which their
own experience suggests.  Inevitably more possibilities lurk out there, waiting
to cause unforseen bugs.

  (2)  Anyway, do there exist models of secure file management, analogous to
those for (say) communicating sequential processes?  Besides, even when
secure algorithms are available, implementation and execution may prove more
expensive in terms of effort, time, or space.

  (3)  System crashes --- in the file manager, the operating system,
the hardware
--- are certainly culprits in some instances.  If at some level the
system decides
to de-fragment your storage, does it make a complete new copy of each file
before deleting the old one?  Does it hell --- duplicating a large
file could exceed
available space, and all that back-and-forth would cost time.  No problem ---
until the system crashes half-way through moving your file.

  (4)  Synching is another trap: there are plenty of woeful tales on
the internet of
people cheerfully deleting a temporary working copy of a file, happy
in the belief
that it had been safely synched across their other sites, only to
discover that the
deletion has been synched as well!

  (5)  An elementary example of (wetware) failure: frequently I write
a new section
in a temporary file for some existing document, complete it, copy the
new section
to the clipboard, delete the temporary file, paste the clipboard into
the complete
document, save the amended file, kick self in shin (again).  Because
that was the
wrong order: I should have copied, pasted, saved, then deleted!
How many further similar errors lie undetected in your trusted software?

  (6)  Backup, backup, backup, on independent software and hardware --- see
Neil Greubel's encyclopaedic post.  If it's confidential, encrypt it.
Saving and restoring may be a pain in the nether anatomy.  But so is
losing data.
We all know this --- do as we say, not as we do!

Fred Lunnon

On 1/19/18, neil greubel <jthomae at gmail.com> wrote:
> I take a different view from the online database storage systems. I have
> kept copies of materials (books, articles, notes, etc) in the formats (pdf,
> latex, Open/Libre Office, djview, etc) on at least one portable hard drive.
> My view is that in today's time most plug-and-play drives (sd cards, thumb
> drives, hd's) are cross platform functional and easily fit into bags and
> can be taken anywhere without internet access. There are larger desk top
> drives with 6-8 tb capacities, but are less useful when traveling. A major
> downfall is the memory of the person and the number of machines used. For
> example: I have an sd card in 4 different machines, add in a dozen thumb
> drives, and three 2 tb hard drives. Sometimes trying to find "that one
> paper" may take some time.
> Another online based storage system is Google Drive. With most Google
> accounts there is a large enough storage space (about 100 GB) and is
> accessible anywhere the internet is. There are options to this. If the
> paper/book is found online and it can be saved to Drive right away then do
> so. Alternatively a Drive component should be installed on the machine(s)
> and if saved in that folder then Drive can be automatically synced and all
> is good.
> I use Drive frequently, but always prefer hd/sd cards/etc..
> On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 4:49 PM, Neil Sloane <njasloane at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi! Thanks for responding. I've used Papers since it started, and it is
>> upsetting
>> to find that it has been losing stuff.
>> What I use it for?  Basically just a place to
>> hold my pdf files, so that when I want to look at a paper by X, I know
>> where to find it.  I keep the directory on Dropbox,
>> and I use it from an iMac and a Mac powerbook. That's all, no iphone
>> access.
>> I've been getting rid of a lot of paper copies of articles and replacing
>> them with pdf files
>> that i've found on the internet. But if PAPERS is deleting them, that's
>> terrifying.
>> Some of these articles, especially the books, are in DejaVu format,
>> but I thought PAPERS could handle that.
>> For articles downloaded from the arXiv, I save them to the Desktop,
>> then drag them in to PAPERS, then use the "match" feature in PAPERS
>> to get the metadata.  Otherwise I just type the metadata in by hand
>> (author
>> and title)
>> So I don't do anything fancy with PAPERS.
>> Best regards
>> Neil
>> Neil J. A. Sloane, President, OEIS Foundation.
>> 11 South Adelaide Avenue, Highland Park, NJ 08904, USA.
>> Also Visiting Scientist, Math. Dept., Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
>> Phone: 732 828 6098; home page: http://NeilSloane.com
>> Email: njasloane at gmail.com
>> On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 3:34 PM, K. M. Short via SeqFan <
>> seqfan at list.seqfan.eu> wrote:
>> > JabRef is similar to BibDesk
>> > If you want something with similar UI and capabilities theres always
>> > endnote which is usually available through universities for free and can
>> > access all the paid subscriptions your university has access to. It has
>> > a
>> > great ipad companion app but not phone app. Its a bit pricey though if
>> your
>> > uni doesn't offer it but it has all the same capabilities as papers
>> > including in app annotation, bibliography search, and so on as Papers,
>> and
>> > it has a nice UI as well as a web-based interface.
>> >
>> > Sent from ProtonMail Mobile
>> >
>> > On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 2:41 PM, Neil Sloane <njasloane at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Dear Seqfans, For decades I have been using the program PAPERS to save
>> > and organize my pdf files. I have thousands of them, and PAPERS has
>> always
>> > done a good job. But lately I have tried to look at articles that I know
>> I
>> > had saved there, only to be told that the pdf file has disappeared. Does
>> > anyone know what is going on? It has happened twice in the last couple
>> > of
>> > months. I guess I have to give up on PAPERS. It is like an Itunes
>> program,
>> > but for pdf files not music. Does anyone have any recommendations for a
>> > replacement? -- Seqfan Mailing list - http://list.seqfan.eu/
>> >
>> > --
>> > Seqfan Mailing list - http://list.seqfan.eu/
>> >
>> --
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