How Catfish Can Make Your Digital Life Easier

Info, linkedin, Software, Technology Aug 24, 2012 Comments Off

Many of you who read this Blog know that my last job, as Art Director at a television station, involved my managing hundreds of thousands of media files. My tool of choice to manage them was Adobe Bridge, and I wrote an article for the Creative Cow Magazine a while back.

What I didn’t explain, was how I managed the thousands of files which weren’t on our servers. My secret was Catfish, free disk cataloguing software that had a tiny footprint, and would enable you to find any file that was on your massive collection of CDs, DVDs, floppies (dare I say it), thumb drives, and even network and local internal drives, without having to physically insert them, or be logged on to them. You didn’t even have to install it, since it was just a basic executable file which could be left on a thumb drive, along with all of the catalogues – the size of a large catalogue was minimal, since Catfish was made to live on a 3.5″ floppy disk. The catalogues could be searched with wildcards, and you could sort, export, and even print logs to store in your disk cases!  So now the bad news – I tried to run it on both my Vista and Win 7 machines, and it wouldn’t load. Apparently it only works up to and including Win XP.

Now the good news! Apparently Catfish lives on – under the name Cathy. Programmer Robert Vašíček in Slovakia has come up with a small package which is very reminiscent of Catfish (which ended development in the mid-90s), and seems to work just as well, if not better. It even has some cool features that Catfish didn’t have. You can catalogue a folder just by dragging and dropping it from Windows Explorer to the Catalog tab in Cathy, and it’s done! Features include the ability to ignore file types or directories, catalogue subdirectories, use wildcards or part of the file name, find duplicates and clean them up, browse directories, and a whole lot more. Although the package is free, there’s a donate via PayPal button, which I intend to use. Cathy is well worth the cost of a few beers, and it will save me a lot of headaches in tracking down the thousands of files I have to manage and retrieve.

You can find Cathy at the developer’s home page. Scroll down to the middle of the page to download Cathy – by the way, there are French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch versions available for those of you whose primary language is not English. Happy fishing!

[8/29/12]  As a follow up to the above, I ran into some problems with Cathy working in Windows 7 64-bit, so I feel it necessary to post another alternative, which works very well. It’s called Gentibus CD, and you can find it here. I have installed it, and have it running in Windows 7 64-bit. It doesn’t catalogue quite as fast as the slim and trim Cathy or Catfish, but, needless to say, it works, and it’s Freeware. I plan to donate to the programmer, though, since a good cataloguer is worth a lot when you can put your hands on a file without inserting a disk. I tested it on DVDs, CDs, an external USB drive, and network drives, and it worked well.

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