I use a lot of software: some big programs, a lot of small ones, plugins and extensions… Some of them are installed and I use them every day, some of them I use once a year. I store all distributives in one directory, for some software I even save multiple versions. Can anyone give advice on how to organize all those files, so it will be easy searching through them? I use Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
Whenever I download software, patches, plugins, etc, that I plan to keep for possible future use, I rename the files to something meaningful. Downloads often have weird names, and software installers in particular can have generic names. I don't replace the original filename, but I add text to its beginning: the application name, along with any important variant information like version.
Although I primarily use Windows, this should work with any O/S.
So the installer for an application called "Fnord" version 1.2, downloaded as "setup_fv12.exe", becomes "FNORD_V1.2_setup_fv12.exe".
I formed this habit a while ago and it has paid off on numerous occasions.