I need a new friend who's up to a big scripting challenge

I understand that Applescript is the tool of choice for people who want repetitive tasks to be done by their computer rather than having to sit at the keyboard for hours making the same clicks, drags and drops over and over under the same criteria. My trouble is, I am not the kind of person who can create Applescripts. The process seems to require knowledge of some computer language that I cannot understand and I have a learning disability that makes it nearly impossible for me to learn languages without another person with me to teach me.

My dilemma, which I have just about given up on, is finding someone who can write a script (or point the way to a script that has already been written) to do the following task:

Allow me to drag drop a folder that contains hundreds, perhaps thousands of files and folders which in turn each contain hundreds or thousands of files onto a drag and drop script (or perhaps a folder with a folder action script) and that script will read the names of the files within and the folders within and the files within the folders within, etc… and then create new folders with filenames that contain the first 4-12 chracters of any groups of files or folders larger than two files or folders and then put the files or folders with the first 4-12 characters that are the same into the folder created for them.

To illutrate the need I have for this script, consider this:

I have a digital camera and take hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pictures per week. When I dump them onto a disk, I often use a renaming program to change the filenames from the numbers like 100_214.jpg to names that describe content like Jenny-BDay04_214.jpg. Also, I have friends who send me pictures through email, MSN groups, or on partially-filled photo CDs that have numbered names that I change to fit content.

When I have the time to do so, I like to organize the photos into folders and burn them onto data DVDs. Unfortunately, this process can take hours since the files number in the 100s and 1000s and sometimes I have folders already made with names like Jenny or River or Cityscapes, etc. I need to be able to take my photos folder and just drop it into a script icon or a folder with a scripted folder action to save myself the time and the wrist damage.

If this is impossible, and I fear it is until some future date when an artificial intelligence can listen to my instructions and carry them out by creating its own scripted function, then there is a much simpler, yet less helpful script I would like to have:

I could use a script that would allow me to select, drag, and drop a number of files and folders with names that all start with the same characters (like Jenny, River, or Cityscapes) onto a script icon that will automatically read the first 4-12 characters of the file/foldernames and create a folder with that same string to place the files and folders in. This would not completely automate this process, but it would sure cut down on the number of clicks and drags I’d have to do.

An important thing to keep in mind is that I am not asking for a “Jenny” folder script or a “River” folder script, as that would be useless. I already have some folders named “Jenny” or “River”. I need a script that read the similar filenaes and creates the folders with those names based on a 4-12 character string parameter. No pre-named script for files I haven’t named yet.
If anyone could help me, please reply to this forum post but also email me.


Model: Powerbook G4 667MHz
AppleScript: 1.9.3
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Operating System: Mac OS X (10.3.9)