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Topic: What do you do with all of your magic Instructions
Message: Posted by: Dawai (Feb 6, 2019 06:09PM)
I have so many instructions. I started to down load it in my computer. Pdf file or taking picture.
Just a thought what everyone do with their Instructions.
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Feb 6, 2019 09:20PM)
The ones that are hard copy, I have them in a Binder separated by main type of prop/trick. Magic, wagon, Tenyo, 3D magic Works, Babcock, Viking, etc. The ones that are soft (pdf or videos) I have them in 2 folders in my computer under Instructions.
I never thought to scan the hard copies in PDFs, it will be a lot of work, now you are making me think...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 7, 2019 03:19PM)
It is not a bad idea to scan your instructions, but put them on a DVD, as computer hard drives fail at some point. I know from experience. Even my 4 TB back up drive died. Lost a lot of instructions. My computer hard drives failed as well, just a couple years ago. Better safe then sorry.

Recovery programs start at $100, and go up to a thousand dollars or more for outside recovery service. For my 4 TB drive it took 2 whole weeks to read the drive, and it was not a fully successful recovery.

That is why I suggested DVDs, less likely to become none readable. I found even if you back up your device regularly, you need a back up for the back up in cases. Thumb drives work, kind of, if you want you thumb drive to always be readable, you have to assign it a drive letter in Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management, then assign a permanent drive letter. Of course if you remove and insert the thumb drive often, you have to make sure another drive is not using that letter before inserting. Finally, always use the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the right side of your desktop in Windows operating system, as sometimes the computer is updating the search functions, and you will destroy the drive if it is being read while you remove it.

I have has some strange things happen, I purchased 2 identical Western Digital drives, a year later then both died on the same day in different computers.

What I do is keep each trick in a resealable plastic bag along with the instructions. The bag will slow the ageing process, and if you push all the air out when sealing, will keep everything is perfect condition.

I keep all the bags in a foot locker, if I remove one to use the props, I can review the instructions or DVD. The I put the bag with instructions in another box marked "In Use", Shouldn't need a foot locker for those bags.

Putting instructions in folders or 3 ring binders is the worst idea ever. I did it for years. I then went to a magic auction, and they sold all the props without instructions and at the end of the auction, auctioned off the binders of instructions. That is how lazy the guys that get those estates are, they don't inventory anything, and auction off the prop with the instructions.

In this day of online instructions, it is even worse, as the websites are not up forever. In some cases, it is not possible to download the instructions.

You can use freezer bags, or Office Depot sells large zip-lock plastic bags as well.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Feb 9, 2019 06:19PM)
I agree that computers and hard drives can be an unsolicited problem. What I do, contrary to what Bill has mentioned is to keep all of the instructions in a binder or in my case, multiple binders. I scan them onto an external hard drive and separate them by type.ie: silks, coins, cards, Dove magic, parlor and stage etc. Each paper instruction is in it's own plastic sheet protector. When I purchase a new effect, I scan the instructions onto the external drive and file them in the binder. It took me a while but I scanned the instructions of all the effects I already owned. If something happens to the hard drive, I still have the paper instructions.

If I decide to sell an effect, I just make a copy of the instructions and include it with the item. As Bill mentioned, some new effects now come with the instructions on a DVD. In that case, I try to copy the instructions to my external drive and file the disc in the folder just as if they were paper.

Taking this one step further, we've all put decks of cards in a drawer and somewhere down the road, taken it out and can't remember what the effect is or how to perform it. I place every small effect of this type in a plastic bag with the name of the effect on the bag. I also put a letter on the bag ( A B C etc) I put the same letter on the sheet protector in my instructions binder. Yes, it's a little anal but as I get older and tend to forget things, this has helped me several times.

Not all of my effects are kept in a drawer. I have many items in carry cases. For those, I just keep a list of each item in the case. If I need a refresher, I know the name of the effect and can go to my binder of instructions. I wouldn't expect anyone else to be this detailed but it has always worked for me.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Feb 10, 2019 08:24AM)
If you use the prop in regular performances, keep them in a file.

If you're merely storing the prop, keep it with the prop. so you won't wonder what the prop does. This is especially important with trick decks - write what it is on the flap of the box in small print.
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Feb 10, 2019 08:33AM)
My phone has a scan app, I scan them to Dropbox. They can be named, dated and tagged with multiple tags and finally I create a file. I can access from MacBook, iPad or iPhone. Then the original goes with the prop or in a file of instructions if I am using the prop.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Feb 10, 2019 11:34AM)
Lot's of ideas here. I think the real answer is to do whatever works for you. My method is very detailed and time consuming but it's something I wanted to do.
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Feb 10, 2019 11:42AM)
[quote]On Feb 10, 2019, Dave Scribner wrote:
Lot's of ideas here. I think the real answer is to do whatever works for you. My method is very detailed and time consuming but it's something I wanted to do. [/quote]

Absolutely Dave. Being electronic allows me to see it too lol. You know that post 50 arms arenít long enough disease :) I canít tell you how many things I take a picture of and blow it up to read it!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 10, 2019 06:37PM)
I was thinking more for the survivors then the magician, he will be gone, and the kids and wife have all this stuff to deal with. So, if the instructions are not kept with the props, it will just get all put in the trash.

Yes, I did the 3 ring binder, with each page in plastic sheet, boy did that start getting expensive, then when the type started sticking to the inside of the clear plastic sheets, it was no longer worth it, as the instructions were being destroyed. I tried the both kinds of plastic sheets, soft cloudy, and clear. Both started to spoil the instruction sheets.

Remember when Windows 10 came out, Microsoft offered the Cloud with 10 GB of space, free. Several months later, the found out it was to much for them to give out, and told everyone will be reduced to 5 GB. Then gave a date you have to have your files removed or lose them forever. Well, I barely got mine off in time. What an ordeal, I will never use the Cloud again, because of it. If I had not had an extra drive at the time, I would have lost everything I uploaded.

In the end, it does not really matter, as most widows, just usually give the stuff off, they don't realize how much money they are giving away. Selling on eBay could become a part time income for them and their children. At any rate, I think it is best to talk to your family and see if they are even interested, best to know now then not at all.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Feb 11, 2019 07:13PM)
Well, I've made sure my wife knows where my instruction binders are and also knows my system. When I'm gone, she knows exactly where the instructions are and how to match them up with the actual effect. I have no concerns about that. Maybe I'm in the minority here but I'm not worried about the future of my effects or instructions.

As for the pages sticking to the plastic sheets, I've been using this method for over 50 years and never had the problem. Maybe I've just been lucky.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 12, 2019 08:14AM)
Yes Dave, you are in the minority, being we have a magic shop here, I have been in the store, when widows come in with loads of magic, and just gives it free to the store owner. Once I went to check out an estate with the owner, he gave here $50 for the lot. She took it, no questions asked, then drove into town for other items she found, and handed it over. She had some great props, from the 1940's, her late husband got some of them from a retired vaudeville entertainer. They were metal Thayer props. Very unique in the working as well.

Having been to a number of auctions at Abbott's, I was speaking from experience. I even purchased an Abbott effect, and had to wait 10 years before they put them on their website, so I could read the instructions. The binder was auctioned off as the last item, and would not look for the instructions so I could obtain them.

So I like to just let others know what I have experienced, as they may be informed what may happen if they don't pass on the information, to the person in charge of their estate.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Feb 12, 2019 10:08AM)
Yup, experience speaks volumes. We've both had different ones and that's what makes this discussion a good one.
Message: Posted by: bdungey (Apr 11, 2019 09:27PM)
Remember the 3-2-1 rule for backups. 3 copies of your data in 2 separate physical locations with 1 being off site.

Otherwise, I store my books neatly on a shelf. I don't have too many just yet but proudly display 13 steps and card college!
Message: Posted by: Nem (Apr 12, 2019 06:51PM)
I keep instructions in a binder. No problem as long as I don't lose that!
Message: Posted by: sandromagic (Apr 30, 2019 03:04PM)
I keep mine copied on a hard drive and in a hard binder.They are not so many... for now. Thank you for the ideas.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 11, 2019 07:21PM)
I remember having a binder for my instructions. That was a long time ago. The binder has now grown to 5 4" binders. Many years ago, I was in a hobby store and found binders theat have the word Magic on them. I bought all they had and haven't seen them anywhere since. They just look magical as they sit on my shelf.
Message: Posted by: Deckstacker (May 12, 2019 09:18AM)
I just stumbled onto this thread and am so glad I did! I started locking away the instruction cards that come with some m--ked decks separately from the decks themselves so as never to have them accidentally viewed by others. The little instruction sheets for other tricks are now scattered here and there, but thanks to reading what y'all have posted here, I realize that I'm probably only months or maybe even weeks away from total chaos unless I get organized soon. In the past I have used a thick binder with pocketed inserts to keep the solutions to my Japanese puzzle boxes organized, and that is probably the way I'll go now with the magic trick instructions. Thanks to all who have posted above--you have just helped me head off a problem that I hadn't realized I had. (smile)
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Jul 20, 2019 11:40PM)
Echoing the same process - scan into PDFs and folders. and all hardcopies, originals, go into an accordion binder/storage.
I take the cover sheets from the DVDs and just stack them into a box.
Have one physical folder holding instruction sheets for wha is currently in the performing case.
Message: Posted by: cabin fever (Oct 18, 2019 05:56PM)
[quote]On Feb 10, 2019, Wx4usa wrote:
My phone has a scan app, I scan them to Dropbox. They can be named, dated and tagged with multiple tags and finally I create a file. I can access from MacBook, iPad or iPhone. Then the original goes with the prop or in a file of instructions if I am using the prop. [/quote]I agree. I have all my original written instructions in a file and have so for years. If by chance I never received the instructions I make my own and have it in the file as well.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 20, 2019 04:26AM)
How will you loved ones know which instructions go to which prop or deck of cards. Remember, they have no interest to even look at the props, much less spend days sorting. When a name on the instruction is something like, Nemo Rising Cards, do you think they can pick out the houlette, deck of cards, gimmick and dye, egg beater, and presentation table.

As far as instructions in the cloud, or on any computer or drive. Can you loved ones remaining know how to find the cloud, retrieve the files, print them out, associate them with the props. Does everyone have all your passwords to even turn your computer on, and know how to get to anything that is important.

Will they know what a set of color changing knives look like, and the books that are related to them are. Of course not.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Oct 20, 2019 07:07PM)
Bill, you are so right. I am at the age now where I am working with my wife to simplify our lives as we grow closer to retirement. I have quite a few collections including some coins, stamps, comics, toys, and even knives...none of which need any further documentation to enable them to be sold. My magic collection...like everyone's...is different. Without instructions or in some cases provenance or COA's (certificate of authenticity), the value of the prop can be greatly reduced. And you are spot on regarding hoping our families will know how to connect the dots.

Much of my magic is stored in its original packaging with the instructions included. For my older props, which is the majority of my collection, I've organized my instructions in file boxes, in acid free sleeves. They are filed alphabetically by effect title...and Bill is so correct. This system means absolutely zero to anyone not familiar with vintage magic props. I may as well have invented my own language and filed the props using Ozish, my new language that no one will ever be able to understand.

So, I'm thinking I need to numerically pair my instructions with my loose props. I can use small stickers that affix to the back of each prop, and link to instructions labeled with the same number. Simple. And the instructions will stored alphabetically by trick name, but the number of where they are ordered in the file, will be recorded on the back of the prop.

Of course, I realize this plan is based on my current collection, and not taking into concern future purchases which will disrupt the order. So, I'm thinking I may need a sub-category besides the instruction number, e.g. Item 53A.

I'm just riffing here, as I find myself looking at my magic room, which quite literally looks like Dumbledore's office, and wondering how the heck I'm going to have my family make any sense of it? Working that out will be truly magical.
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Oct 20, 2019 09:58PM)
I keep an inventory of all my magic props, gimmicks, DVDS, instructions in a database I wrote using FileMaker Pro.
FMP is cross platform and can be used in both Windows and Macs. I customized it just for my magic collection.
I also use another for my home videos going back to 1979. 80 VHS, 45 - 8 mm tapes and many digital files.

The magic database is an inventory of almost all my stuff and where it is being stored. I have 18 different bins and cases and boxes.
Each item includes which binder the instructions are in or the file path if itís on a computer or location of DVD.
Also, date of purchase, price, seller, my proficiency with the trick, children or adult, category such as card, silk, levitation, etc.
I store this database on my Mac. But my IPad gets updated automatically when changes or additions are made.
If I make a substantial amount of changes I print it out. Also each box or bin has a printout taped to the outside listing what is in that box.
Itís a lot of time to do this but it works for me.
Besides, Iím retired and have the time..
Message: Posted by: pattrick (Nov 8, 2019 06:56AM)
I have a shoebox.
Message: Posted by: AnthonyCC (Jan 18, 2020 12:27AM)
For the ones that will fit, I put them into a binder with clear sheet pages. It's a great way to keep them in good condition and easily accessible.
Message: Posted by: chmara (Jan 30, 2020 08:58PM)
I have several three-ring 3" binders with instructions in clear protectors. I should have segregated them into various types of effects -- and some are in special show books with instructions in performance order. I continues tis while I had a working copier so I have some dupes for individual shows.

Some instructions have been removed from the binders and put in file boxes ready for sale (if there are instructions) escpecially close-up.

Years ago I used to save everything into a hard drive file -- but the disk went kaput. Thank goodness I have a good memory, except for the exact titles, instructions yes, titles no.
Message: Posted by: thegreatscungilli (Apr 19, 2020 10:16AM)
Hard Copies usually go into a binder BUT since I am stuck at home for now I started scanning them and putting them on memory sticks, I am doing them by categories like utilities, gimmicks, type of effect, etc.. I am making two copies as a backup in case one of the sticks should fail
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 30, 2020 01:04AM)
Looks like the page 2 members did not read the page 1 posts. Oh Well, the old saying, "You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But You Can't Make Him Drink"; comes to mind.

Change all your Computer and Back Up mechanical hard drives to SSD drives (Solid State Drives). It is proven that they will outlast any mechanical drive for less money per drive.
Message: Posted by: Brian Thomas (Jun 23, 2020 06:58PM)
I started collecting in the late 1970s. Back then I simply punched holes in whatever instructions there were and put them in report covers.... about 30 to a cover. Of course the instructions for some effects did not lend themselves to having holes punched in them and I simple put them shoeboxes (e.g., booklets... Doug Henning's Twilight effect comes to mind, the instructions were a nice little book). Simplistic I know, but that's what I did way back when... and low and behold, 50 years later, I still have report folders... although the shoebox stuff has been transferred to plastic boxes with snap on lids. And all of it in plastic tubs when not in use. After reading all of the above I think I will attempt to re-marry effects with instructions, which might require more recollection the I can muster. Lots of the old stuff has been untouched for too many years to count.