Software recommendation for file syncing?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by schroder3000, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. schroder3000 macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    I have a bit of a scenario, so please bear with me.

    My boss has a photo server in his office that is at least 111GB in size. He wants all of these images to be in the iPhoto library on seven different computers. Previously, when new images were received from him or his family, they'd be put into the server then manually added to every computer.

    What I'm trying to see is possible is to have each computer pull new files from the server automatically whenever new files are added. The reason being, he likes to see all of the server photos as a slideshow for his screen savers. Asinine, I know but that's what he wants.

    The previous method has proved a nightmare because there are varying images across all computers and no two libraries are the same. iPhoto isn't great at handling the massive amount of data and I'm always having to Force Quit just to get it to work but I'm being forced into a corner. I have access to five of the seven Macs on a regular basis but if I can just have something do the grunt work for me, I'd be in a much better place. And isn't that what computers are for? :)

    Any guidance is greatly appreciated!
  2. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    I dont know if you can use a networked folder as a screen saver image, but it seems absolutely ridiculous to have 1 copy of every image for every computer. So you have 5 computers you have 5 copies of the same image??

    Network the computers so every computer could access the one central computer's picture folder. Then you should be able to connect to that particular folder for the image screen saver.
  3. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Can you not use iPhoto sharing across these computers?

    Put all the photos on one computer. Share that photo library to all others.
  4. schroder3000, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2010

    schroder3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    Maybe I should clarify. I'm not trying to have the server files set as the screensaver over the network, he wants EVERY image on the server to be on every computer's HD and on iPhoto, which does allow you to pull images for the screensaver.

    And yes, he does want every image of a 111GB image server on every computer. I don't think he grasps the concept of the absurdity of this idea.

    If I can have them all connect to that server, I could in turn tell System Prefs. to use the folders within it to be used as the screensaver and anything added to the server would live update each computer's screensaver?

    How would I go about doing this? Most of Apple's support articles are crap at best.
  5. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    If he's that much of a moron then he's enough of a moron where you can server the files from one computer and he won't know the difference.

    Let me also tell you that your two back to back comments don't make much sense to me. First you say that serving the files is not an option and then go ahead to ask how to do it and that it might work..

    Can you serve the files over a network and get away with it or is there another reason he wants a million copies of every photo? What else does he want done with these photos aside from just screensavers??

    In order to serve the files:

    You just need to network all of the computers to be able to access the one computer that is serving the files. Then you turn file sharing on for the folder in question (containing the photos). If you have wifi in the office or even just a basic wireless router and no internet access this is easy. The computer that is sharing will pop up in the other computer's finder window and you access it.

    Then you can create a shortcut to his pictures on that one computer in the finder. He will think its a link to the folder on the computer but in fact is is a link to the other computer's folders
  6. schroder3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    I'm trying to explain the best I can but the situation is really so ridiculous that I'm probably over-explaining it.

    He expects his screensavers to have ALL the photos on his server, even if he will never see them all. The fact that they are there is justification enough in his mind, but that's not really the point.

    By setting up each computer to access the server files, could they pull newly added files automatically? His main concern is not filling each computer with millions of files, he just wants whatever is new to be on each machine, right away.

    My idea is to use Remote Desktop, add every computer I need access to and whenever new content is added, I will pipe it through RD into each iPhoto library then add to the main server for backup purposes after. The previous assistant was adding new content to the server first then adding it to each computer via external HD whenever possible. It wasn't consistent but if I can't find an automated solution, I figured RD would at least remove the need to physically be in front of each computer and add files to each library.
  7. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    Ok in order for this to make sense to you, you need to understand what file SHARING is and what networking does.

    There is only ONE folder that contains all of the file on ONE computer. Imagine a tube that goes from your computer to the main central computer and when you peek through that tube you can see into the folder and see all of the images on that computer's server.

    As you would assume, you can see these files on the other computer but you don't own these files. It;s like a window into the other computer.

    Since you are peering into another computer's file system, every time a new picture is added you will see it because you are looking directly at that computer's folder.

    You will also see any changes made to the pictures, so if someone does some editing to them and resaves them you will see the changes.

    Since there are no copies of those images, you are all working with exactly the same folder and exactly the same files. One copy of the photo being seen by multiple computer..

    I guess its kind of like when you look at a web page. You view the web page and it's pictures.. If the website owner changes the pictures on the website you see it, but you are only looking through a window, you do not own those files unless you copy them to your computer

    You still didn't explain exactly why he wants all computers to see all photos except for the screen saver.. If there is another reason (like he wants everyone to be able to pull them up and show them when needed) you need to tell me.
  8. schroder3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    Thanks for breaking this down but I still feel like we're not on the same page.

    The images on the photo server need to be on each computer. Those images will be added to that computer's iPhoto library so their screensavers will pull the images from iPhoto. This is what is wanted. The rhyme or reason behind his desire for all images on all computers is irrelevant. He just wants what he wants without considering any of the logistics. This is why I am the third person who's had this job this year :eek:

    What I'd like to have done as the admin, is a way for each computer to search for new items added to the server and gather them automatically and import them into iPhoto without me having to go sit in front of each computer and add images via external HD.

    I've been looking into using Apple Remote Desktop because it seems like all I need to do is add the IP addresses and add items manually but I don't have to be right at each machine to do so.

    Your move.
  9. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    I am telling you do NOT put the images on every computer. I am telling you that if the guy is stupid enough to think that is the proper way to do it, then he is stupid enough to believe that they ARE on the computer when you set it up that way.

    I really don't understand what people can not educate people around them. You know that is the wrong way to do it, you have been told how easy and safe it is to do it the other way, so why wouldn't you work on truly explaining it to him?

    I find that people are only adamant about stupid things because they really dont know any better. They only can change their mind if someone takes the time to really explain why they are wrong.

    Apple remote desktop does nothing for what you want to do. Apple remote desktop essentially does the same thing as networking but instead of a window to the file system you have a window to the entire computer, seeing everything that the central computer sees.

    All you have to do is say "i am the IT professional (or whatever you are) and you hired me because you know that I have experience beyond the average user on how best to deal with these types of problems. If you do not trust my judgement as a professional in my field then you should not have hired me"
  10. schroder3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
    Although I appreciate your passionate rant on stupid people, that does little to help my situation. I clearly do know a better way to do this hence why I'm here asking for help. If you can't offer that, I suggest moving along. Thanks.
  11. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Sep 15, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
    possible solutions include:



  12. schroder3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2010
  13. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    one advantage of having all the images on all the computers is that it provides a pretty good backup should one computer die.

    I'd use rsync

    i.e. something like

    rsync -avzE --delete /Users/name/Pictures/ \

    only changed or new files will be copied.
    see man rsync

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