two computer sync for brainless types like me

I have a question of finesse for some who can hopefully decipher a lot of the sync mania for me.

I have two macs and an ipad. I can sync chapters to the ipad over dropbox. I get that, and I love the snapshots in 2.0 (thanks KB!)

Now that I’m having two macs in regular use, I want to know the best way for a lazy (read, it should do it itself) writer to always have the most up to date project on what ever mac he works on?

I saw in the wiki about subversion and all that, and well, I get the idea of using a document vault like subversion, but that seems clunky to me. Or, maybe because I think it requires more caution than I know I’ll give to it, I think it’s a kludgy solution for me.

I’ve got mobile me and dropbox, but frankly, I don’t really want to have to pull a copy when I want to start working, because that’s an extra step between me and writing which means I’m four times more likely to get distracted somewhere between urging to write and getting to write.

I’d like to know that if I go sit down at the iMac, the projects are up to date, OR, if I pick up the macbook, it has the latest. So that whichever one I pick up, I have the latest and greatest version.

Is there a way to do that? If not, how soon is one coming?

You can store the project itself (the .scriv file) in your Dropbox folder and just work on it straight from there. It’s not perfect–if you sleep your computer before the sync has finished, for example, then the copies won’t be updated properly and there’s the possibility for file corruption. So because something could happen, there are advisories about doing this, but plenty of people do it without any problems whatsoever and have been doing it for years without any problems. If you’re careful to make sure that you close the project and allow the sync to complete before you close/sleep/shut down your computer and, on the other end, that the Dropbox updates completely before you open the project on the other computer, you’ll probably not run into any trouble.

Of course you said specifically that you didn’t want to have to take too much care, so I don’t know if that will completely help. :wink: However, with 2.0’s automatic backups, you can put a little more protection around this by making backups regularly when you open and/or close the project, so if something does go awry with the sync you should be able to restore from the backup without too great a loss.

Thanks! hmmmm… does that work on iDisk, too? For most of my work, I’d prefer having the remote, if any, be in a place that pay to have thereby making the space legally privileged (and actionable if disclosed by the third party). DropBox doesn’t fit the bill there.

The other problem is that (until AT&T caves on the iPad hotspot being a freebie for the iPad or iPhone data plan) I know I won’t always be able to “get the latest” project from the “croud”. errr… cloud. :laughing:

But, what you’ve outlined Is closer to what I was thinking at. I’m half tempted to write an applescript script that forces replication between the machines. I’m really that odd about this stuff (having used old document versions before out of sheer accident). I’m not smart enough to know if rsync would be able to sync the packages at the file level within, or if I should force the entire package to replicate on last date. For large project with lots of research or large ancillary fluff in the package, it seems a bit of a waste to overwrite the wntire package constantly, though.

To some degree, if I don’t make it smart enough to sense package internals, I fear having changed one part on the iMac and another part on the macbook, and then losing some edits on sync. but alas, your response makes me realize others have approached this problem before and not solved it, so I’d be a fool to think my solution would be anything superior.

I think I’m going to take your idea but sneakernet it.

I wasn’t thinking when I asked the question about the fact the two macs have SD card slots. I ordered a 16 GB card on amazon today for next to nothing and that should be enough to handle a projects and the devonthink database.

The SD card is better for me because it’s the single copy, and I can see the card physically and know from that where the latest version is.

Of course, I realize I’m setting myself up for the inevitable: out somewhere and want to work, but the card is at home in the other mac… :blush:

but now I’m thinking about sdxc for backups, too… I would have never thought of that without thinking about my conundrum here. too bad sdxc is about twice as expensive as a good drive/GB, but the size… holy cow, how can you beat being about to stash a remote backup nearly anywhere!

The SD Card idea certainly is simple and easy and that is often the best way.

Just a small word of warning about using SD cards for backups though… first off DO use them for backups, Backup backup backup. BUT make sure you also somewhere, somehow, keep an offsite backup.

You mentioned Dropbox in your first post, I haven’t used it, but if that keeps a backup of your latest work on a server some where out in the great wide internet then you are already set. But if it doesn’t (and if you are saving your work to SD and your Dropbox folder is somewhere else, then it might not) then you really must consider some other method. At the very least you could email your scriv folder to a gmail/hotmail account you have set up for that purpose so there is a copy stored offsite.

Other options are IDrive, Carbonite etc. There is a post in this ‘Tips & Tricks & FAQ’ section of the forum that talks about it some more. Or even simpler use a second SD Card and store it at a family members house (can become a pain to remember to back up to it regularly though).

Best of luck.

James.