Is it possible to have an iMac and a MBA syn automatically?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rpg51, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. rpg51 macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #1
    My wife has a MBA and a windows desktop. The windows machine is old and needs to be replaced. I plan to replace it with an iMac. Is it possible for her to have her desktop and her MBA sync up automatically? How?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  3. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #4
    First off: have you looked at the Migration Assistant? http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2518

    What exactly is it that you want to sync, and how much is there of it? Also, do you just want a one time sync or a continuous one?

    Because whilst what GGJStudios says is true, there is a limitation of 2 GB for the free version. So if you have more than that, or if you just want to transfer the files once, it's a poor solution.

    If I interpret your post correctly, you're just looking to sync calendars and contacts plus moving over files, correct? Then why not use iCloud, Gmail or whichever solution you feel fit your needs to sync calendars and contacts, and move over the files within your home network, or using an external hard drive.

    Another solution for information (and not heavy files) is to simply export say the contacts, then import them on the MBA.
     
  4. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #5
    The goal I have in mind

    is to set my wife up with her two computers so that when she picks one up or sits down at the desktop they both have ALL the exact same information and programs and work exactly the same. Data all the same, programs all the same. Automatically, without any conscious human effort required except the original set up. So this will involve all sorts of data including but not limited to photos, videos, movies, word documents, e mail AND various programs or apps and the preference settings for those apps such as Firefox, Safari, Office for mac, iphoto, mail, calender, etc. etc. Basically the two machines are clones of each other.

    My guess is that I am trying to do something that is on the leading edge and that the iCloud solution is not yet practical given the scope of what I am trying to accomplish. If so, I may back off and persuade her to use her MBA in clamshell with a Thunderbolt display. That way there is no syncing to worry about. This is the way I decided to go for myself just for this reason and I am very happy. But she uses her computer at her desk much more than I do and she may not be happy having to plug in and out all the time. To me it is no big deal at all - especially the way this TBD works. But she may find it cumbersome.
     
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    What you're describing is a Server-type situation...like at a school or office. When a user (student/worker) signs in with any client machine, that user's desktop, files, preferences etc are consistent.

    Definitely not "leading edge"! Overkill for a home setup, though.
     
  6. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #7
    Not exactly

    I'm contemplating a situation in which the Air would be be fully syncd with the iMac so that if you could not connect to the iMac like you would a server you can still work and then sync back up when you return. More like a clone.
     
  7. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #8
    I don't think that's possible without manually cloning drive A to drive B and vice versa. Could she not just use iCloud to sync documents and pictures?

    She could set up one machine the way she wants it (as far as apps and preferences are concerned), then clone that over to the other machine. Then with iCloud, she'll have all her data accessible from both machines.
     
  8. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #9
    Yes iCloud might do it

    but she would need a lot of space. I think I will try to steer her toward the system I use. Instead of two computers with all these sync issues, I use one macbook air and a thunderbolt display (or you could use a thunderbolt docking station I suppose). You just have to get used to plugging your MBA in and out of the TBD when you sit down or leave your desk. For me it works great. For her I'm not sure. We'll see.

    How much does it cost to have about 30 gigs of data on iCloud?
     
  9. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #10
    iCloud doesn't do what you want to achieve, so don't even bother looking into it.

    To be honest, I'm not sure you can achieve what you're looking for without having the server solution mentioned earlier.

    Either go for a solution where you use Dropbox, Skydrive or another similar file sync-service for all that is files, and iCloud or Gmail for syncing contacts and calendars.

    When it comes to settings, preferences, programs and such - it's just not doable without the server solution as far as I'm aware. If you're really serious about that being an issue, my advice is you just tell your wife that plugging the computer into the display if she wants a larger screen is what she will have to do.

    Maybe buy one of these to make docking is as simple as it's humanly possible? http://hengedocks.com/order_mba.php
     
  10. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #11
    Good advice all -

    thanks for helping me think this through. Even though I am NOT a tech professional I find as a practical matter I am the one providing ALL the tech support in my house and I am trying to find the right balance so that my support task is manageable for me!
     
  11. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #12
    In that case, a dock-solution should be perfect. And don't forget buying a backup! Maybe a Time Capsule, since you're in an Apple dominated house? It will simplify your life tremendously, should you have a computer crashing :)
     
  12. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #13
    Already set up

    with Time Capsule and I love it. The simplicity of this set up is marred by one thing - my wife's old windows machine - which is not long for this world.
     

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