Help me connect my MacBook Pro (2015) with my iMac (2017)

Background: I am moving into my wife’s office. She has there an iMac w/Catalina and I would like to use its larger screen for the work I am doing with Scriv3 on my MacBook w/Mojave. I have explored 4 solutions so far none of which seem appealing or will work. 1) ScreenShare [I can’t figure out how to fill the iMac screen - seems to be resolution incompatibilities]. 2) Use iMac as slave screen [I don’t have the cables and iMac 2017 doesn’t allow it?] 3) Use OneDrive [I am scared of synchronization issues] 4] Use a flash drive [I don’t want the burden of having to move the stick around when I switch computers].

The latest idea I have is to use my MacBook as the file source over my home network. Would this work? I have the idea of linking the iMac so it can read the scrivener file on my MacBook. If this is feasible then I have a couple questions:

  1. I would have to download an instance of Scrivener on the iMac - is this allowed with my license? If so can I just download a copy to the iMac and use my license number?

  2. Would backup and synchronization work in this situation where I am in Scrivener on the iMac but saving to the folder in the MacBook?

My goal here is to be able to work on my project at the coffee shop (when they open again) but at home use the iMac and make this seamless.

Does all this make sense? Is it possible? Thanks for any help you can point my way.

Tom in ‘locked-down’ Seattle

First, as far as I know this is a perfectly acceptable use of your licence.

Second, again AFAIK, you should be perfectly fine with accessing your project over your home network from either machine. Just quit Scrivener on one machine, give the hard disk a few minutes to update, and then open Scrivener on the other machine. Scriv will warn you if the project is open on the other machine if you forget.

Hope this helps!

Thank you Silver Dragon for the moral support. I have made progress and after some blind poking was able to connect the two computers and have now downloaded Scrivener on the iMac. Now I am faced with the choice of where to back up as I go through the install process of Scrivener on the iMac. I would like to point to the original back up folder on the MacBookPro. I am going to choose this now as I want to move forward but I do have some doubts about feasibility. i.e. Can i back up to the same folder from two different computers over my home network as long as I have Scrivener open only on one of the computers?

Should work as long as the pathname is the same on both computers. This is where a free cloud account like Google Drive comes in handy. As long as you a) have Google Drive installed on both computers and b) use zipped backups, your backups should be both safe and mirrored offsite. (I mention Google Drive not because I like it, but because of its v. large free tier. OTOH, if you’re already paying for something like iCloud Drive or Dropbox, those’ll work too.)

The easiest and (in my opinion) safest way to do what you want do is to get yourself a Dropbox account and then download and install the Dropbox client on both Macs. The Dropbox app creates a Dropbox folder on each Mac. Create a sub-folder for your Scrivener projects in the Dropbox folder on one machine and move your project to that folder. Wait for the app to sync with the Dropbox server. When all tick marks are green, you can let that Mac sleep and open the other. Give it tme to download what’s new on the Dropbox server, and then you have the project on both machines.

Thank you for the feedback. I think I have my sea legs going. My MacBookPro is my ‘server’. When I am using it I open Scrivener directly from it. When I am on the iMac, I call up Scrivener from the MacBookPro and it opens on the iMac and seems to work fine so far and I am making sure that I have only one instance of Scrivener open at any one time - either on the MacBookPro or on the iMac.

I am now fine-tuning the logistics of this set-up. For instance, I left Scrivener open on the iMac overnight and closed the MacBookPro. When I returned this morning to the iMac, I got a Scrivener message that it could not find the ‘parent’ (my words) file. Then I fumbled around trying to figure things out and got to the point of saving what had remained on the iMac to to the MacBook after I had reconnected the two machines via the home network then as I was doing that Scrivener went through a ~2mn process of rebuilding the index files prior to saving back to the MacBook. Ok but I guess it had lost track? I trusted this process and let this happen and it seems to be fine now. I have also created a note file to track the back and forth saves and backups just to make sure and so it seems now that while I am on the iMac I need to keep the. MacBook up and connected so I can preserve connectivity, auto-saves and a final clean save. What I will also do is when I am finished with a session on the iMac, I will close down Scrivener for a clean start up on the next session whether on the iMac or the MacBook. So, I think I’m good and so far so good.

I will comment if any issues arise. Thank you for the moral and technical support. TomP

Yes. In this configuration, the MacBook is effectively functioning as an external hard drive for the iMac. If it is disconnected, Scrivener will be very confused.