Resolved Few Questions About My Setup

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by EliteDeforce, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. EliteDeforce, Aug 19, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

    EliteDeforce macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a university student (and new to Mac) with a more-than-aged setup and I will be replacing my Windows desktop with an older 21-inch iMac and my laptop with a new rMBP 15 in a couple of weeks. I'm just having some difficulty figuring out how my setup is going to work harmoniously, and I was wondering what some of you guys would do in my shoes. My knowledge of OSX is limited, so I'm not sure what is/isn't possible. Here are my issues:

    1: Files
    I will be transferring all of my old files on my desktop to my new computers, obviously. However, I don't know how I will be able to manage files harmoniously between the iMac and the rMBP. I ultimately would like to be able to have all my old and new documents and pictures on both machines and when I update a file on one machine, I don't have to go manually copy the updated files on the other. I know this setup is far-fetched on a PC setup, but I was wondering if OSX has any provisions for this sort of thing.

    I'm not directly closed to other options, mind you. For example, I would be 100% okay with having all files on the rMPB and just working with them over LAN when I'm at home when I want to use the iMac instead.

    TL;DR = Want to have all my documents on iMac when at home and rMBP when not at my desk or not home. Also want to sync these documents automatically somehow. Other options are welcome.

    1.5: Remote-access
    If I decide that I'm going to have files on both machines and if I need to access my iMac from abroad, what is the simplest way to do this? I know about Team Viewer, but not sure if it is possible to do this automatically without someone else on the other side?

    2: Externals/Backups
    I have a semi-complicated external HDD situation at the moment. Originally, I was NOT planning on having the iMac (it was given to me by a friend). But, it makes more sense to me to have a desktop/laptop arrangement vs. only laptop.

    What I have and my original intentions:
    -1TB portable WD USB 3.0 HDD with nothing on it which I was going to format to Apple file system and just use that as supplement storage for when the on-board storage on the machines runs dry (I'm only getting the 256 SSD on the rMBP). This seems straight forward to me.
    -500GB WD Firewire/USB2.0 HDD with all of my music, Windows backups, movie library, other important stuff, etc. on it already. This is formatted for NTFS, unfortunately. HOWEVER, my plan for this was just to leave it as an archive/music library drive and use Parallels to write on it if need be. Tell me if this works or doesn't make sense.
    -2TB WD Network HDD. This is where it gets a bit complicated. This HDD is already configured with someone else's iMac in my house using Time Machine. My question for this is if I can setup three Apple machines with Time Machine with this one drive.

    Let me know if anyone would do this setup differently.

    TL;DR = 1TB portable, formatting to Apple FS and using for daily use. 500GB self-powered drive, keeping on NTFS as an archive/music&movie library, will use Parallels with Windows to write on it. 2TB Network drive, need to figure out backing up three different machines on the same drive.

    3: Note-taking
    I currently use Evernote for notes, but I'm used to using OneNote for this sort of thing and I prefer it over Evernote tremendously. Is there anyone here who takes notes and uses 2+ machines who has advice on this front?

    Thank you for reading my wall of text and thanks in advance for any help! I'll post more questions when I think of them. Feel free to answer any or all questions.

    PS: For those of you wondering, I would be willing to not use the iMac entirely and just keep everything local on the rMBP, but I will always be afraid of what might happen if I lose my rMBP or if it gets stolen, etc.
  2. anonnymouse macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    1. or

    1.5 LogMeIn (Free version)

    2. Don't have anything of value to you that is SOLELY stored on your various externals. Whatever you do, plan on having a second complete copy elsewhere using Carbon Copy Cloner or any number of other solutions. Or, remove the default exclusion from Time Machine that prevents external drives from being backed up to your Time Machine volume. With regards to your small portable hard drives, there are only two types of hard drives: one that has failed, and one that has yet to fail. You WILL lose something important if you don't back it up.

    Time Machine - use it religiously (that is, turn it on and let it do its thing). Have enough drive space on your Time Machine volume that is at least twice the size of the sum of all the drives you are backing up. Yes, you can use one drive as a TM volume for more than one Mac - Time Machine will sort it all out and remember what goes where.

    3. Evernote. Period. Download and install the Windows, Mac and iOS versions (and use the web version as needed) and have all your notes everywhere automatically. Upgrade to Evernote Premium (cheap) and gain a larger monthly upload allowance, plus the ability to search within more file types. I have never tried OneNote so I'm simply stating my preference for Evernote.

    Best of luck and welcome to the Mac platform. You'll like OS X 10.9 Mavericks when it comes out - you can 'tag' files anywhere in the OS, and save various system-wide smart searches to find related files by tag. No more worrying about which folder in which something is stored - files and other assets can have multiple tags so you don't have to decide where to store them. Evernote works on that same principle too, more or less.

    These things work for me, YMMV.
  3. EliteDeforce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2013
  4. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Hmmm, not sure previous responder is on latest OS X.

    for PowerPoints, Excel, Word and Notepad/notes you use your free iCloud storage, and it's stored auto-magically in the cloud.

    No need to worry about those, you can access them on mac and iOS and through a browser.

    "Back to my Mac" should still be working fine (though I can't it to work, due to my router) it's a VPN connection for those times you want to log in to the other computer from either LAN or over internet.

    It sounds like you should just get started, and you will find the solution fitting for you.

    Remember you will have Photostream for images and the rest can be handled by Dropbox :)
  5. EliteDeforce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2013
    Can you provide pros and cons of Back to my Mac vs. LogMeIn?
  6. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Back to my mac is build around your iCloud membership, free and works on all macs.
    LogMeIn I heard about it many times, never tried it, mostly due to that it costs money. I've used Parallels for iOS, where I can sit with my iPad and log in to my Mac (or windows VMs) that seemed more worth it.
  7. EliteDeforce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2013
    I've decided to save myself a lot of hassle and just use the iMac as my master-everything computer, and just placing important files on my rMBP to work with day to day and just use Back to my Mac when needed. Sound good?


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