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Package Watcher (new package watcher)

by ScoobyDoo Posted 26th Feb 2007 at 11:39 AM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 10:14 PM by Nysha
42 Comments / replies (Who?) - 17 Feedback Posts, 1 Thanks Posts
I've got over 500 different packages installed into my downloads folder, and it's a total mess. I know 500 isn't big but still, so I've decided to write a little program that would keep track of any new files I've added, hence Packet Watcher. (I don't think is the right category for this, but it's the only one I saw with "In Testing")

Basically what you do is start the program, have it start watching, install the package(s) or simpack. Then it'll remember what files you've installed. You can then have it delete them in the future.

PLEASE backup your downloads folder first, as this is a testing version! I've only run it on my machine, since I don't know anyone that has the Sims. If theres problems, I'd like to know about them.

Also you do not need any of the EPs for this to work, infact with some code modifications it could handle any application.

Extract PacketWatcher.exe and place in your Sims 2 folder. The SRC directory contains the source code (C#).

You do need .NET 2.0 installed to run this.

Revision 1: Deleting empty folders causes nasty crash, option has been removed.

Version 02-26-07 is stable release. (However if there are folders within Downloads, don't use this one please)

version 03-11-07 and 03-25-07 is broken (due to subfolder problem) and no longer available.

Version-03-28-07 is now available for testing. Please read notes further down.

Finally got around to working on it again. Nine months Moving folder issue should hopefully be fixed (Subfolders weren't being re-enabled correctly). Also added quite a few new expansions since then.. (celebration, BV, H&M, teen styles, and the 2 stories)

Operating System:
      Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc
Utility Type:
      CC Managers: Tools for installing and managing custom content, custom music, custom paintings etc.
Plugin Type:
      Not Applicable: Standalone tools

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
Package_Watcher-12-19-07.rar

Size: 21.9 KB · Downloads: 2,339 · 20th Dec 2007
21.9 KB 2,339 20th Dec 2007
PackageWatcher-03-28-07.rar

Size: 70.0 KB · Downloads: 3,033 · 28th Mar 2007
70.0 KB 3,033 28th Mar 2007
PackageWatcher-02-26-07.rar

Size: 47.3 KB · Downloads: 1,680 · 28th Mar 2007
47.3 KB 1,680 28th Mar 2007
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
 
42 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 40 Feedback Posts, 1 Thanks Posts
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Lab Assistant
#26 Old 4th Mar 2007 at 2:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiac1979
Personally, I find the most current files in my hefty Downloads folder "the old-fashioned way". I open the downloads folder, right-click, and choose date modified, right-click again, and chose modified again. Now all my files are in order from newest to oldest!
No newfangled gadgets fer me, no sir ree mister!
(Pack mule whinnies in approval)


That would be great if it worked for me. The only date I get is the date the creator made the file, not the date I downloaded it.

To the creator:
I am finally getting around to downloading & installing this (been a busy week) I will let you know how it works out. Great time for it as I have installed Season and going thru all the downloads as I have a non-hack related conflict.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#27 Old 4th Mar 2007 at 4:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmyfrmtx
That would be great if it worked for me. The only date I get is the date the creator made the file, not the date I downloaded it.

To the creator:
I am finally getting around to downloading & installing this (been a busy week) I will let you know how it works out. Great time for it as I have installed Season and going thru all the downloads as I have a non-hack related conflict.


Same here, it tells me the date when it was created, no the date the simpackage (or zip) was installed on. Besides that does't tell you WHAT it is, especially with some of those GUID filenames.

I do want to expand the package group details a bit more, like adding URL where you downloaded it from (copy and paste from the browser), possibly marks for which EP are required or incompatible (this i know i'll be needing in the future when i get a new machine and want to install the EP's).

Something else I'd like to know, is there a package structure file documentation available? Since SimPE and Clean Installer exist I would assume so. I'd also like to do dependency checks ("are you sure you want to delete X, there are package that need it?")
Lab Assistant
#28 Old 5th Mar 2007 at 12:52 AM
When I'm wrong I admit it, and I was wrong -- kimmyfrmtx and ScoobyDoo are correct. Most files are a dang burn mess of numbers and letters. Even the pack mule was right -- he was actually making a whinnie in disbelief! Guess I won't trade 'im fur a pack llama, afterall.
Instructor
#29 Old 5th Mar 2007 at 2:07 AM Last edited by VoVillia : 5th Mar 2007 at 2:14 AM.
Thanks ScoobyDoo!
Now I can keep my mods and downloads better organized!!
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#30 Old 7th Mar 2007 at 5:50 AM
I've added a couple more features for organizing. URL entry so you don't need to use the description for it. Theres also two new check box lists, one for required EPs and one for incompatible EPs. If you have a package that states it's incompatible with certain EPs then just set the appropriate checkmark. Useful if you don't have all the EPs right now (like me). I'll post it when posting files comes back online.

Oh, the two settings files got redone, the newer version will read the older settings and update them. Their more future-proof now.
Test Subject
#31 Old 7th Mar 2007 at 1:58 PM Last edited by evilxevelyn : 7th Mar 2007 at 4:03 PM.
Delphy has some sort of package detection process for new uploads (as I'm sure we all now know if we've done our reading). Perhaps you could ask them for some pointers on that process for your program? That could be awesome.

*Now that I have actually used your program (alongside the clean installer) and organized all my junk, I see that implementing the above would probably require a whole new program (not that I know anything about that at all).

And also thanks for this program which I just finished using.
Field Researcher
#32 Old 12th Mar 2007 at 12:26 AM
This sounds nice... ! I look forward to using this tool in conjunction with sims2pack clean installer. What Clean Installer does is roughly categorise my downloads by type, because to put every small set in a little folder with corresponding name and creator would just be too darn confusing not to mention the time and work! I love the fact that your tool categorises them by name and creator and even time WITHOUT having to create elaborate folder system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo
I've added a couple more features for organizing. URL entry so you don't need to use the description for it. Theres also two new check box lists, one for required EPs and one for incompatible EPs. If you have a package that states it's incompatible with certain EPs then just set the appropriate checkmark. Useful if you don't have all the EPs right now (like me). I'll post it when posting files comes back online.

Oh, the two settings files got redone, the newer version will read the older settings and update them. Their more future-proof now.


I hope you update it soon
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#33 Old 12th Mar 2007 at 5:31 AM Last edited by ScoobyDoo : 14th Mar 2007 at 10:50 PM.
Alright Version 03-011-07 is now out for testing.
Heres the complete run-down so far, I hope this isn't too confusing.


Features now included:
  1. Additional entries for URL, required EPs, incompatible EPs
  2. The ability to backup/disable packages by moving them to another folder and then reenable them latter on without having to delete and reinstall them.
  3. It'll replace settings.dat with Package_Watcher.ini file. (settings.dat will be removed)
  4. It'll take installed_packages.dat file and create a new installed_packages_1.dat file from it. (installed_packages.dat will not be removed [for safety sake]). Once installed_packages_1.dat is known to be good, you can delete installed_packages.dat fie.
  5. Addons.dat is a simple text file that contains all the possible EPs (at least those i know off the top of my head)

Update Instructions:
  1. Replace package_watcher.exe and copy addons.dat into the same folder you had package_watcher installed in before (usually sims 2 folder)*
  2. When you first run it, it'll bring up the setup dialog again, asking for a backup folder. Choose/create a folder but DO NOT place it in the Downloads folder! Otherwise they won't be disabled or partially disabled.


New Installation instructions:
  1. Place package_watcher.exe and copy addons.dat into a folder (usually Sims 2 folder)*
  2. When you first run it, it'll bring up the setup dialog again, asking for where downloads is located and a backup folder. Select where downloads is located and for backup choose/create a folder but DO NOT place it in the Downloads folder! Otherwise they won't be disabled or partially disabled.


* Tech. package_watcher can go anywheres just keep installed_packages_1.dat, addons.dat and Package_watcher.ini there with it.

Edit: Looks like I left out Open for business and life stories in the addons.dat file. If you need those right now simply open addons.dat in notepad and add the necessary lines.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#34 Old 26th Mar 2007 at 3:36 AM
Version 3-25-07 is now available for testing.

Features now include:
  • You can now view which packages are in multiple package groups. I'll explain latter.
  • View and remove missing packages from a package group. Useful if you delete content from ingame.
  • Addons.dat now contains Life stories and open for business.
  • After you install a package group, it'll ask you if you want to install more, ideal for those of us who have a tendency to download quite a few packages in a row.

No changes should be needed to your ini file or installed package list should be necesseary, but as always back them up (especially installed_packages_1.dat!)

This build is ideal for those, like me, who have a bunch of packages and have no idea what their for.

I hope I did this all right and made it understandable.

How do I install it?

#1. I'm starting from scratch, no custom content installed:
  1. Simply unzip this program, in the Sims 2 program folder is a good place.
  2. Setup the downloads path and disabled path.

#2. How use it?
  1. Start package watcher
  2. Click the magnify glass (first button "Start remembering changes")
  3. Wait till the popup window tells you to start installing, this should be instaneous
  4. Install your content as you wish, through QX, SimPack, or zip/rar, etc...
  5. Click the Finished
  6. Fill in the report window, name, description, url...etc. Only name is required.
  7. Repeat as needed

#3. I have a gazillion packages already installed, but I know which some of them belong to, how do I get those into a package group?
  1. First move all those packages you know someplace outside of Downloads (The desktop would work nicely)
  2. start the package watcher program
  3. Click the start watching
  4. Now move all of those packages back over into the Downloads folder
  5. Click finished and vola

#4. Ok that helped, but I still have a gazillion others that I have no idea what they do?
  1. Repeat as above but with the unknown packages instead.
  2. I'd name the package group as "Unknown"

#5. Ok now that I've got that all sorted out, I want to install some new packages, especially sims, any special tricks should I use?
  1. Select your Unknown package group
  2. Click the disable button, this willl move all those package files into disabled folder
  3. Do #2
  4. Click on the disabled packages
  5. Select the Unknown group
  6. Select restore package
  7. If you get no messages, then your done
  8. If you get warnings about unable to copy files because they already exist, you'll then get a message if you wish to delete the spare packages, clicking yes will delete the spares, clicking no will leave them in the disabled folder.
  9. Close the disabled package window
  10. Click on the Unknown Group in the main window
  11. Click on Check For Duplicates
  12. A list of groups should appear, if there are none, then you shouldn't have gotten here???
  13. Check box mark the package groups (Right mouse button for shortcuts)
  14. View the duplicate files if you wish then click remove matches.
  15. This won't delete be actually deleting files, just removing them from the unknown list.

#6. I've just installed an EP, now what?
  1. I believe I read you need to disable custom content before first starting (Am I correct?) if so then select all your package groups and disable them. (If you check your Downloads folder it should be empty)
  2. Do whatever steps is necessary
  3. Once your down, reenable all the packages.

#7. Ugh one of my packages might be broken with the new EP, how do I test?
  1. If it's in a known group (i.e. not Unknown) simply disable it and test
  2. Otherwise if it's in the unknown group, that will take longer to do it manually

#8. When I go to disable some packages it says it can't find the file. What do I do?
  1. You've deleted some packages from within Sims
  2. Enable that package group
  3. Select that group
  4. Click Edit Description
  5. Show missing files, if you wish
  6. Delete missing files will remove the missing files from the group


Edit: Sorry I forgot to include the SRC (source code). Next release I'll fix that
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#35 Old 28th Mar 2007 at 11:56 AM
Rule #1 don't delete attachments unless your sure what they are... oh well 02-26-07 release had 1,200+ downloads, it's back to zero

Anyways...
Release 03-28-07 is ready to be tested.
There was a serious problem with subfolders, you could disable them but when you went to reenable them they got deleted. I wasn't doing subfolder scanning and this should fix that.
Test Subject
#36 Old 29th Mar 2007 at 10:54 PM
God bless you... I also am a download freak and have almost 25,000 files. Most are on my external drive all crunched in zip files It's very difficult to sort when life doesn't offer much time...Thank you thank you thank you
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#37 Old 9th Apr 2007 at 12:13 AM
Anyone finding any problems with it?

I know it doesn't do collection, as of yet, nor lots. How are lot packages handled? Are they added to the lots folder in a seperate file?
Test Subject
#38 Old 31st Oct 2007 at 4:30 AM Last edited by Gypsydancer : 31st Oct 2007 at 6:30 AM.
Hi there,

As a long time player and an only fairly recent,
uploader of goodies,
<grins at the thought of all the "Sims2-candies">.
After two years and about 2.79 Gb of in-folder downloads and 4.25 gigs "on hold" (waiting to be un-zipped, screened or organized <hehe>) I am also of course looking for ways to organize the Downloads folder.

So first of all I would like to thank you for this next extra effort in this overwhelming task!

Secondly, I am wondering...with as carefully as I have read your details and ensuing thread....I am still not *completely clear as to what your organizer does that is different than the Clean Installer and Delphy's DDO? I have both and am wondering, How is this going to supplement those programs?

Thirdly, now that it is the end of the year (almost November),
How has the program fared during these months of no posts?
Have you changed it recently? What are the major glitches?

And TO ALL who has been using it...How has it tested for you? Do you use it often/rarely? What is the benefit you most receive?

Thanks all-

Have a FABuLouS Week!
Gypsy

(10/30-Velly Frst MTS2 POST!)

PS-So Sorry about the loss of 1,200 downloads! (referring to Post #35), I think we have all been there in one way or another...unfortunately!!

"I am dating a SuperModel-Zoologist.., whom I stole away from a Professional Football player..., and she is off to the Galapagos Islands to artificially inseminate Igauna's!!! ... Is that so hard to belieeeve...??"
-Frasier
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#39 Old 20th Dec 2007 at 12:48 AM
Opps sorry about the delay... I think this program got left in the sidelines LOL

This doesn't actually install packages or manage packages the way DDO does. This watches what packages you are installing and then remembers them in a list. If you latter decide to delete that download, you can delete it through this app, because it remembered exactly what all you installed. Alternatively you can disable and re-enabled those packages too. Great when you get new expansion packs and got a buggy-hack, simply disable the hack entries and do the good ole binary search. (remove half at a time)

For Clean installer, first start this app, run the watch command, use the Clean Installer or q-xpress to install the apps. Click finished and it'll remember what packages were installed by clean/q-xpress.

For DDo, it works, but you have to be a bit more careful, since my app only remembers names, if you rename or move packages they will no longer be covered by my app. Deleting files in DDO is perfectly ok (same with deleting in-game). Someday hopefully I'll get CRC checksums included, then renaming/moving won't be as big of a deal hopefully.

There is one glitch that needs to be fixed, subfolders can be touchy. It can disable packages in subfolders, but when re-enabling it won't move them back to the original Download subfolder. The quick fix right now is re-enable as normal, then go in your disabled download folder and manually move the folder back over. Then everything will be ok.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#40 Old 20th Dec 2007 at 1:46 AM
Alright, the subfolder bug should be cleared out. Finally got my butt in gear LOL
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#41 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 6:17 AM
Unrelated to Sims, but just as useful. If you play and mod Morrowind, just drop a copy of the excuteable and addons.dat file. IF you really use the requirements/incompatible checkboxes, simply load the addons.dat into notepad, remove the existing entries and replace them with Morrowind, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Setup the Downloads folder to your Morrowind\Data folder.

The rest is useable like before. Do note, that unlike Sims, morrowind allows for plain resources, not in a package file, (i.e. dds,mp3....etc) Some mods may overlap (replacing existing files), use your own discression.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#42 Old 15th May 2009 at 9:29 PM
If your using this with Win 7 and you install it into your Program Files, it needs to run as Admin otherwise it won't save settings... If you store it in your my documents (example, along side your game data) then it should be ok

Sorry about this, someday I'll do a complete rewrite of this.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#43 Old 8th Feb 2015 at 1:51 AM
thanx
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