Simplest solution to working on 2 macs: Target Disk Mode?

I’ve been trying to simplify switching back and forth between my 27" iMac and 13" MacBook Air for work purposes.

I’m tired of fiddling with backups, networks, iCloud, dropbox blah blah blah. Though Scrivener itself seems fairly friendly with Dropbox, Devonthink (which I use for sources) isn’t. And Devon’s proprietary sync technology is a bit of a mess imho.

It strikes me that since the MBAir is my main work machine I should just put all my work on it – including Scrivener and Devonthink files – and when I want to use the Imac for work, I can just run the files directly off the the MBAir in target disk mode (via a thunderbolt/firewire adaptor).

By the way, my usernames, passwords and file hierarchies are the same on both machines.

Of course I could just use the iMac as a display for the MBAir instead - but then I lose access to all the stuff I keep on the iMac and its attached drives – not ideal.

Keeping in mind the usual caveats about keeping good backups etc in case of accidental unplugs (I still intend to keep auto zipped backups on DropBox),

Is there any reason not to do this?

None whatsoever. It’s probably the safest way to share a project between two computers. Of course, you are using Time Machine or some other method of backing up to a separate drive, and also sending your Scrivener backups to a cloud service, in case, in the unspeakably horrifying possibility of a drive failure, theft, fire or other disaster, you still have access to your work, don’t you?

Always remember, if it can go wrong, it shall go wrong. So gird your loins and keep a backup copy somewhere else.

I figured as much, but thanks for the reassurance.
It strikes as the easiest, most elegant and – given the speed of the MBair’s SSD even without Thunderbolt on the iMac – fastest solution to the problem.

No I agree, this is the best way to edit the contents of another computer if you have the option available. It’s a little more work, but accessing the hard drive as a normal external drive bay is as safe as using any external hard drive—and that’s pretty safe.

Next best option isn’t available to you: just plug one Mac into another with ethernet cable via their networking ports, creating a small ad hoc network. The Air model does not have an ethernet port though, seeing as how the whole unit itself is roughly the height of an ethernet plug itself. :slight_smile: But that’s a useful trick for older Macs that only have USB ports.

Actually, I do have an ethernet port on the MBAir using an adapter and I do sometimes connect via a gigabit ethernet hub. The results are good, though in practice not quite as fast as FW TD mode for large Devonthink Databases with large pdfs in them.

Nice to know both methods are approved by the Lit&Latterati.