Automatic PBB Sync Via Dropbox

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Aug 19 2011 9:49 AM

Earlier this week a forum user reminded me that Dropbox might be a useful way to automate the sync process between two computers running Logos. Currently, to view Personal Books on two computers, you must have the current .docx file on both computers to create a build. Additionally, Logos syncs the file path location, so if the .docx file isn’t where Logos thinks it should be, the build will fail.

I decided to investigate for myself and discovered that Dropbox is a great way to keep the files up to date on both machines. Once Dropbox is set up properly on both computers, the sync process is fully automatic. There is no need to manually move files or continually change file paths. If you work on the .docx file on one computer, the file will be updated on the other.

If you have never heard of Dropbox, it is a company which helps users to sync files between computers and even share files with others on the web. The latter is particularly helpful when a file is too large to email someone (only items in the “public” folder are available to others, via a weblink).

1. The first step is to sign up for an account (Dropbox has several accounts, including a FREE account available here.) Then you will download and install the small program.

2. Enter in the username and password you used when you created your account.

3. Unless you want a paid account, click on the first choice (2 GB Free). By the way, you can "earn" more space, up to 8 GB.

4. Click on "Advanced" to create the proper directory path. This is important so that you can have the .docx files in the same path on both computers.

5. Select "I want to choose where to put my Dropbox."

6. Windows users will need to find (or create) an appropriate path which will be identical on both machines. On Mac, Navigate to the "Shared" folder under "Users." Note: "Users | Shared" should be on both Mac's by default. 

7. Most likely you will want Dropbox to sync "all of the folders in my Dropbox."

8. Dropbox creates a folder in the path you selected. A "Best Practice" would be to create a new folder within the Dropbox folder. In this case, I created one called PBB Books. (For fun, I changed the folder icon to the Logos 4 Mac one.)

9. You will repeat the process on your second computer, using the same path. Once you have done this, the .docx files will sync automatically between both computers. If you work on a file on your laptop, the next time you jump on your desktop, open PBB and rebuild the book!

Let me know what you think!

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 10:17 AM

alabama24:

Let me know what you think!

(loud) I think that's a very cool thing (whisper - hope we'll need to use it only a couple of weeks as a workaround until Logos provides "native" syncing)

and a terriffic step-by-step guide, too!

One question came up to me:

alabama24:
6. Windows users will need to find (or create) an appropriate path which will be identical on both machines. On Mac, Navigate to the "Shared" folder under "Users." Note: "Users | Shared" should be on both Mac's by default. 

What if the two machines are a Windows PC and a Mac? Is there a solution for this - e.g. Are there virtual drive assignments under Mac, so the path could read like "L:\LogosPBs" on both machines, while it really was c:\users\LogosUserABC\documents\LogosPBs on the PC and users\shared\LogosPBs on the Mac? 

Mick

running Logos 5.2b SR1 (Classic MCs, Verbum Master+, Lutheran Silver) on Acer Extensa 5230E - now modified to 4GB RAM & 250GB SSD - Win7 Home Premium 32bit & Android apps on Kindle Fire

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Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 10:48 AM

A better solution (for me) than Dropbox is Windows Live Mesh http://explore.live.com/windows-live-mesh

It allows you to sync files and folders in place without having a special Dropbox folder. Since I have the same username on both computers I use Live Mesh duplicates the files structure so that I only have to hit compile on the second computer without having any extra steps.

Also, Live Mesh has a bigger free limit 5GB (unlimited if you leave the cloud out of it, but you'll need to be on the same network)

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 11:06 AM

NewbieMick:
hope we'll need to use it only a couple of weeks as a workaround until Logos provides "native" syncing

I agree Big Smile

NewbieMick:
What if the two machines are a Windows PC and a Mac?

I didn't think of that until after the fact... But of course I am a MAC only guy. What if someone gave me a PC? I would sell it. Smile

As some others have mentioned, there is apparently a MSFT product that I am not familiar with. I have not had good experiences with MSFT products on Mac (the possible exception is Word, but I would prefer to use Pages or InDesign).

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 1:18 AM

alabama24:
I am a MAC only guy.

See, and I never used one, That's why I was asking.

Under Windows (actually this feature goes back at least to DOS 2.11, if I recall correct, when folders were still called "directories") there is the SUBST command, whereby you can assign a free driveletter (such as L: or P:) to a folder on your machine. Logos keeps this relative path "L:\mybook.docx" as the location - I just tested this on my Win7-machine by reasssigning the subst-ed drive to another folder which contained a changed document under the same name. Like a charm!

So, by using a subst-ed path, one could rearrange the folders without disrupting the book source location for Logos, have the docx-Files on a network server, or on a memory stick.

If you Mac guys could do the same, then that's "bingo & voilà"

Mick 

running Logos 5.2b SR1 (Classic MCs, Verbum Master+, Lutheran Silver) on Acer Extensa 5230E - now modified to 4GB RAM & 250GB SSD - Win7 Home Premium 32bit & Android apps on Kindle Fire

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 5:33 AM

NewbieMick:

Under Windows (actually this feature goes back at least to DOS 2.11, if I recall correct, when folders were still called "directories") there is the SUBST command, whereby you can assign a free driveletter (such as L: or P:) to a folder on your machine. Logos keeps this relative path "L:\mybook.docx" as the location - I just tested this on my Win7-machine by reasssigning the subst-ed drive to another folder which contained a changed document under the same name. Like a charm!

So, by using a subst-ed path, one could rearrange the folders without disrupting the book source location for Logos, have the docx-Files on a network server, or on a memory stick.

If you Mac guys could do the same, then that's "bingo & voilà"

From a Mac perspective, what's a drive letter ?

Mac and Windows have different file system conventions.  Mac OS X uses unix file system that predates DOS and predecessor CP/M use of a drive letter.  Both Mac and Windows have cd command to change directory along with graphical user interface to manage folders.

Wiki Quick Installation onto Multiple Macs => Copy Logos 4 Resources to Mac OS X  has a table with Logos 4 resources folder location.

PC Beta thread => http://community.logos.com/forums/p/36772/276890.aspx#276890 includes suggestion for Personal Book docx folder inside Logos 4 folder (same relative folder location for all Logos 4 installations).

 

On a Mac, since any bootable partition can be mounted as root file system (/), can boot graphical Mac OS X from internal and external drives (including optical, USB, and ThunderBolt); also can clone bootable partition to another partition.

Keep Smiling Smile

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Chris Martin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 1:39 PM

Let me second the recommendation to use Windows Live Mesh. The title is somewhat confusing since it also has a Mac client. We use it at our church to keep 4 computers (2 pc laptops, 1 mac laptop and an iMac) all in sync with our worship files, database and presentations. It works beautifully.

As a side-note. The 5GB cap is only for files stored online. You can share as much data peer-to-peer as you want (something that dropbox doesn't allow). So if you have a computer that you leave on, you can pretty much sync an unlimited amount of data.

If you want to go with the dropbox route, they do support windows, mac and most flavors of linux (I have used all three together and they play nice).

Platform Details for Alpha/Beta Testing Reference:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium x64
  • Intel Core2 Duo P7450 @ 2.13GHz
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • Logos 4 Gold

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 6:14 PM

Chris Martin:
You can share as much data peer-to-peer as you want

Is it difficult to set up? How does it know what is "in the cloud" and what is "peer to peer?"

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Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 7:30 PM

alabama24:

Chris Martin:
You can share as much data peer-to-peer as you want

Is it difficult to set up? How does it know what is "in the cloud" and what is "peer to peer?"

1.  Its exceptionally easy to set up.  The instructions are almost sailor-proof.

2.  Its an either/or selection.  Its either a cloud based mesh, or you set up a peer mesh.

 

"I read dead people..."

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 9:38 PM

I am thinking about experimenting with Live Mesh, but I did discover an advantage to using Dropbox... It keeps "versions" of your document for 30 days. If you mess up (or delete) your .docx file, you can recover it.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 9:54 PM

NewbieMick:

Under Windows (actually this feature goes back at least to DOS 2.11, if I recall correct, when folders were still called "directories") there is the SUBST command, whereby you can assign a free driveletter (such as L: or P:) to a folder on your machine. Logos keeps this relative path "L:\mybook.docx" as the location - I just tested this on my Win7-machine by reasssigning the subst-ed drive to another folder which contained a changed document under the same name. Like a charm!

Ah yes, the good ole DOS days.  Believe it or not, I miss that.  I still call them directories (and I despise the outlandishly large Icons so I choose the "details" view and still prefer to use the keyboard to mousing around.

george
gfsomsel

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 21 2011 12:46 AM

George Somsel:
I despise the outlandishly large Icons so I choose the "details" view
that's for sure! All the information that's otherwise kept from our eyes - and the first thing I do on any Windows system where I have to do something in Explorer, is to re-establish the display of file extensions...

Mick

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Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 21 2011 5:22 PM

Hi I have placed 30 PBB on my system, where are they on my "MAC" Logos 4. Then where do we offer to others these PBB, or is it easier to place docx files and let them make there own PBB

Thank you for any help rendered.

Stephen Chaffer

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 21 2011 5:29 PM

Stephen Chaffer:
Hi I have placed 30 PBB on my system, where are they on my "MAC" Logos 4.
Their titles and metadata are synced to the Mac, but not the files themselves. Currently Logos does not support syncing these - you'll have to transfer the docx-files and rebuild them. Getting around this limitation with a workaround until PB sync works is the topic of this thread.

Stephen Chaffer:
where do we offer to others these PBB, or is it easier to place docx files and let them make there own PBB
Right now, sharing the docx files is the only possibility. Logos will provide a sharing facility for the compiled PBs, but we don't know how it will work and look like.

Hope this helps,

Mick

 

running Logos 5.2b SR1 (Classic MCs, Verbum Master+, Lutheran Silver) on Acer Extensa 5230E - now modified to 4GB RAM & 250GB SSD - Win7 Home Premium 32bit & Android apps on Kindle Fire

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 21 2011 5:30 PM

Stephen - 

Currently there is no way to share Personal Books, other than to share the .docx files. This is true even between computers that you personally own.

By the way, this thread explains how to set up multiple computers to sync your personal books so that you don't have to email them back & forth, or use thumb drives, etc.

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 21 2011 5:35 PM

Stephen Chaffer:
Hi I have placed 30 PBB on my system, where are they on my "MAC" Logos 4.

To further clarify - 

Are you saying that you have a windows computer and another which is a Mac? Are you wanting to get them from your PC to your Mac?

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 25 2011 4:31 AM

Stephen - 

Did you still have questions about this? Did I understand your question right?

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Joel Madasu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 25 2011 6:48 AM

 

With Dropbox, you can send invitations to your friends and every time someone adds dropbox (your friends from the link you sent) you ll have extra 500 MB space, and you can get up till 16GB (I think). Will that be possible with Windows Mesh?

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nicky crane | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 25 2011 7:14 AM

If people who have done PBBs put them in their public folder, could they then be accessed as complete PBB by the rest of us, to save us having to learn to fiddle with docx?

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 25 2011 7:19 AM

Yes... well, right now as .docx, but you could compile it on your system.

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