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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » What do you do with all of your magic Instructions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dawai
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Regular user
Honolulu,Hawaii
132 Posts

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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.
pabloinus
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Inner circle
1508 Posts

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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...
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21384 Posts

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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.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4945 Posts

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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, 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.
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Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5699 Posts

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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.
Wx4usa
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New user
Magician Trainee 3rd Class
96 Posts

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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.
-Hal in Alabama USA
The real magic is making someone's day brighter and turning their frown upside down.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4945 Posts

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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.
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Wx4usa
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Magician Trainee 3rd Class
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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.


Absolutely Dave. Being electronic allows me to see it too lol. You know that post 50 arms aren’t long enough disease Smile I can’t tell you how many things I take a picture of and blow it up to read it!
-Hal in Alabama USA
The real magic is making someone's day brighter and turning their frown upside down.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21384 Posts

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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.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4945 Posts

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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.
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Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21384 Posts

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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.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4945 Posts

Profile of Dave Scribner
Yup, experience speaks volumes. We've both had different ones and that's what makes this discussion a good one.
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