How to keep synched my PowerBook and PowerMac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Crunchy, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Crunchy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    #1
    Tomorrow my G5 2.5 should arrive (hooray!), as my new work computer. I currently have a TiBook 500 that I've been using as my main work computer for almost 3 years. The TiBook is still working gloriously, and I intend to keep using it when I travel, when I work in locations besides my office, when I'm at home, etc. I will use my PowerMac when I'm at my desk, though. My question is: is there an easy way to keep my documents folder on the two synched? When I'm going to take the TiBook somewhere, I'd like to do the synch, then when I come back do it again. That way the files (in my documents folder) on each are the same.

    I have an iPod, but I'd rather not use it every day to copy back and forth. I could write an AppleScript to automate that, but I'm hoping that someone else has thought through this and can help. I'll be happy to clarify if this isn't clear enough.
     
  2. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    The easiest way, without having to write any scripts, is to start one of the Macs in Target Disk mode then drag and drop the entire Documents folder between the Macs. All you need is a 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable.

    Have you used Target disk mode before? If not here's what you do:

    Since all your docs are currently on the PB the first time you do this will be from the PB to the G5. Start with one Mac powerd off and one powered on; it doesn't matter which is which, but we'll assume the PB is off.

    Start the PB and immediately hold down 'T' key. Within a few seconds a Firewire logo will appear on the screen. Connect the two Macs using the cable (you can also connect them before starting the PB if you want to save a couple of seconds) and the PB will appear as an external Firewire HD on the G5's Desktop. Open the PB HD from its location on the G5 and navigate to the Home folder. Open another Finder window and navigate to the G5's Home folder. Drag the Documents folder from the PB and drop it into your Home folder on the G5. You'll be warned that a folder with this name already exists in this location, and you'll be asked if you want to overwrite the exisiting folder. Overwrite it and you're done. (You don't actually need to open two Finder windows if you've got the sidebar active, but I find it easier to remember which HD is which with two windows open.)

    To keep them in synch you just need to repeat the process, moving the up-to-date Docs folder and overwriting the old one.

    Quick edit to add that you can do this with any folder or file on your Macs - iTunes library, iPhoto library, Address Book contacts, Safari bookmarks, email archive etc.
     
  3. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #3
    You can do it by using YouSynchronize software which is about $39. It is by far the easist and safest way to sync. I personally feel the other way has too many steps and can prove to easily accidently write over the most current data. It was rated excellent by MacWorld and other mags. It uses Check Sum data to sync accurately which is far more accurate than the revision created date you see in the finder.

    I have not used it, but plan on buying it for my wifes school office. she has an iMac they use as a server and she wants all the data to be synched with her iBook for traveling with.

    If you get it let us know in this thread how you like it, all the reviews have been great!
     
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #4
    I guess I don't understand what happens when a new doc is created on the G5, how you know which docs to send where and overwrite (after the first time of course)? From what I have read the dates in the finder window are not always accurate.
     
  5. dehgenog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    #5
    Some underrated software is that DejaVu stuff that comes with Toast. Has good synchronization settings that I use every once in while.
     
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #6
    Sounds like a good candidate for .Mac

    Save all your docs to your iDisk and let OS X do the rest :D
     
  7. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    It just needs a bit of care - I use this method to synch between my eMac and PB and haven't lost anything yet. I don't update or create docs on both machines at the same time and I always know which Mac has the latest versions of my docs. It's not hard.
     
  8. Crunchy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    #8
    Nice recommendations

    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll look into the software options. I ran my TiBook in Target Disk Mode for the first time today, and I agree that that's not too bad a solution. I'll see how the others work too, though. I imagine that a fair number of people have this problem, especially if you include folks in the PC world who have desktops at work but bring laptops home and on travel to continue that work. I'll look into what they do; there may be an easy way to adopt their ideas...though I suspect they don't have anything better than we do. I agree that this would be a great thing for .mac to incorporate...I might actually spring for it then...
     
  9. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Will this work from Mac to PC? I have this program called IntelliMover for my PCs (and I think it works with Macs) that connects via firewire or USB 2.0 that uses its File Transfer Utility to transfer documents, but it is usually unreliable for large transfers (i.e. several gigabytes). I also do not want to install the IntelliMover software on my Mac, if and when I get it. (after dealing with a PC for all of my life, I have become afraid to install stuff)
     
  10. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Yep, I'd like to see .mac and iSync cope with more types of files.

    If you get a .mac account you'll get Backup and you might be able to do something with that. Maybe backup from one Mac to your iDisk, then restore from the iDisk to the other Mac. That way you won't necessarily have to have both Macs in the same location at the same time; you can backup your docs while away from home then synch them all at once when you get back. I haven't tried this BTW but it should work... ;)


    I don't think so - AFAIK Target Disk/Firewire Disk mode is Mac only.
     
  11. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #11
    Couldn't you just make a small network between the two (airport, or a cabled lan), and keep all your docs on your powerbook and open them from your G5? In this way, you only have 1 version of everything and always the correct version! Your G5 has the processing power and when you open something from there it will go into its Ram, only thing is saving it, this could take a second longer then normal!
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Been thinking about this as I get closer to my own desktop Mac.

    I am thinking the easiest thing for me is to go with one of the portable HDD's. The advantage that I see is that I will be sure of the files being up to date in one place. I will then take and backup that HDD to the extra space on the desktop Mac.
     
  13. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #13
    Once Tiger's released, this whole synchronize two Macs issue will be so much easier, since Tiger has a Sync Manager (replacing iSync) that automates much of the drudgery you'd otherwise have to go through with Panther or earlier. I only have one Mac, so I don't need to worry about synchronization (...for now, at least - that will change in 2007, when I get a new PowerMac, and the iMac will live on as a Folding@Home drone).
     

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