Automatic PBB Sync Via Dropbox

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Aug 19 2011 9:38 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. On Mac, Navigate to the "Shared" folder under "Users." Note: "Users | Shared" should be on both Mac's by default. (Windows users will need to find an appropriate alternative path which will be identical on both machines.

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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Rob Kuefner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 10:24 AM

It would seem that you could pull of the same thing with Windows Live Mesh, which runs on Windows and Mac computers as well.  You can choose which folders to sync between devices, so if you creat the PBB file in the same folder which is synced between various devices. I haven't really played around with PBB yet, but I may have to do so and try the Windows Live Mesh option to see if it'd work, and be able to post some lovely screen shots like you have!

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 11:00 AM

Thanks Robert! Is Mesh free as well?

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Rob Kuefner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 19 2011 11:17 AM

Yes it's free. I use it to sync all of my stuff between home and office computer...  here's a link to Live Mesh   

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-mesh?os=other 

interestingly enough I saw a post on twitter right after I had posted re: Live Mesh that gave it's limitations which is...

List of Windows Live Mesh Limitations/Restrictions #DidNotKnow

·           Number of devices: 30

·           Number of sync folders: 200

·           Sync Objects: 220 (200 folders, 20 application settings)

·           Number of files in each sync folder: 100,000

·           Maximum file size:50 GB

·           P2P Sync File Size Limit: 50 GB

·           Cloud quota:5 GB

·           Devices per user: 30

·           Devices per folder: 300

·           Members per folder: 10 (including the owner)


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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 1:35 AM

Alabama opened this thread as well in the Logos 4 Windows forum, and I asked there about the situation that those two machines to be synced were a PC and a Mac. (see http://community.logos.com/forums/t/37107.aspx )

Any ideas here? I just wrote over there:

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.

As I have no clue, whether there even are driveletters on a Mac (and spend my money on resources [and a nice 24'' monitor lately] rather than buying a mac just for finding out), I'll put this up here - is there a way to have a pathname look alike in Windows and Mac?

curious, Mick

 

 

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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Michael Hatcher | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 2:56 AM

I have used Windows Live Mesh for several years and it works behind the scene and does a very good job. I have used it just as a sync service (one folder is over 32 gigs) and keeping my laptop and desktop files synced. It is a free program and highly recommended.

Michael Hatcher

visit: www.bellviewcoc.com

iMac 2.8 GHz i7 quad core, 8 GB Ram, 1 TB HD

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JT (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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Rob Kuefner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 20 2011 9:57 PM

Something else to consider is the reliability of the service, and Ed Bott, has a pretty good article about some reasons he chose live mesh over dropbox.. including a problem dropbox had with accounts... the more we rely on the cloud, the more its something to consider... here's a link to the article if you want to read it...

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/why-i-switched-from-dropbox-to-windows-live-mesh/3512

and he also has an article on terms with 7 different clouds services here...

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/7-cloud-services-compared-how-much-control-do-you-give-up/3518?tag=content;siu-container

at least some things to consider.

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Dean J | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 2:31 PM

I downloaded Dropbox, but I'm not sure I want to transfer all my primary files into the dropbox folder - what if I decide in the future on another product, and I've been editing all my docs in the dropbox - could I retrieve everything as normal documents unattached to Dropbox again?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 2:40 PM

Dean - Dropbox is just one solution, albeit a good one (in my opinion). The best way I can explain dropbox is to say that it is kind of like a thumb drive that you always have with you (when you are connected to the internet). If you set up the installation the way I recommended, you will have a dropbox folder on every computer you use Logos with. Additionally, there will be a backup copy "in the cloud." If you decide to use a different product in the future, it is no different than moving the files to a new folder.

By the way, you don't "edit the docs in the dropbox" - you just save them there. And as I said, these files are stored locally on every computer you are running Logos on. 

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Dean J | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 3:21 PM

I wish I was better informed about all this - but I copied a folder to Dropbox, and tried editing documents in both the original location, and the dropbox location, and changes in one wouldn't show up on the other. Perhaps I did something wrong, but if you don't edit documents in the dropbox document, how do you edit a document so that changes are made in dropbox and other computers?

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 3:49 PM

Dean, edit the document in Dropbox only.  Changes there will show up on your other computer, for the file *in Dropbox*.  Dropbox won't change the original file you  left on your hard drive.

(Hoping I understood your question.)

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Dean J | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 3:54 PM

You understood - thanks. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 3:55 PM

If I understand you correctly, you copied files to the dropbox folder, leaving originals in another location (i.e. "my documents" folder). You then changed the originals in the original location ("my documents" folder) and are wondering why the documents haven't changed in the dropbox folder. Am I understanding your problem correctly? If so, you have not grasped dropbox.

Dropbox is a way to share files among computers and online. When set up correctly, If you create a document on your iMAC and save it in the iMAC's dropbox folder, it will nearly instantaneously appear in your MacBook's dropbox folder; your work Windows dropbox folder, your iPHONE's dropbox folder, and your iPad's dropbox folder. Any changes made to the document will be reflected in the dropbox folder on all the other devices. You can also view these documents on the dropbox website. NOTE: The documents you are working with MUST BE STORED IN THE DROPBOX FOLDER

The benefit of using the dropbox system for Personal Books (PBB) on Logos 4 is that every computer must have an updated version of the .docx file to compile the book.* This system allows you to work on the .docx file on any computer and have the changes reflected everywhere else as well. If you are creating a new PB from scratch, just save it to the dropbox folder. If you are working with an existing file, save a copy to the dropbox folder. (Note: once you begin working on a personal book, you really should have a dedicated .docx file for that book. A .docx file meant to be compiled in Logos is not meant to be printed out on paper because the tagging would interrupt the flow of the reader. In a personal book, these tagging marks become invisible to the reader in L4.)

 

* There are some other "techie" ways to move Personal Books between computers, but I don't think these ways are accessible to the average user. In addition, they would still require moving files between computers.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 23 2011 4:45 PM

alabama24:
* There are some other "techie" ways to move Personal Books between computers, but I don't think these ways are accessible to the average user. In addition, they would still require moving files between computers.

Can copy compiled lbspbb file from one Logos 4 installation, sync Personal Book metadata, then scan file for use in a different Logos 4 installation (including cross platform between Mac and PC where building book on different platforms also involves changing path to docx file due to file path differences).

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2011 3:46 PM

Bama,

Where do I find the file to get the icon? (I'm in Windows '07).

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2011 4:06 PM

Doc B - I do not know much about windows. I wouldn't know where to begin to tell you (I just used the one that comes with Logos). Another user, however, posted an icon from some windows program. Perhaps that would work for you: http://community.logos.com/forums/t/40324.aspx

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2011 6:26 PM

OK, I'm struggling a bit here.  I was already a dropbox user, so I can't set it up in a specific location, as it is already set up and way too much trouble (i.e., full of important stuff) to move.

Can I make this work with DB already installed, or do I need to move to one of the alternative services to make this work?

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2011 8:58 PM

Doc B - I do not know enough about windows to be of much help. The most important thing is to have dropbox installed on both computers. This way, you will always have access to the most up to date files. The second thing of importance is to create the same directory path (if possible). This is not critical, but when Logos goes to look for the file, if it is in the same place on both computers, it will always know where to look. If you don't (or can't) have the dropbox folder in the same path on both computers, it will just mean that you will need to navigate to the dropbox folder on each computer whenever you go to compile the personal book.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2011 10:22 PM

alabama24:
If you don't (or can't) have the dropbox folder in the same path on both computers, it will just mean that you will need to navigate to the dropbox folder on each computer whenever you go to compile the personal book.

Observation: Mac cannot use a file path with drive letter (e.g. C:\ ), typically Windows applications cannot use a file path beginning with root ( / ) so using dropbox cross platform for docx building requires changing file path location or having two Personal Books (one with Mac file path, other with PC file path) for building.

For cross platform Personal Books, couple options have similar steps:

One option is build once, then copy and scan:

  1. Build on one Logos 4 installation
  2. Sync to Logos servers (includes Personal Book metadata)
  3. Copy compiled resource (lbspbb file) to dropbox folder (or USB drive, ...)
  4. Switch to other platform
  5. Sync Logos (includes Personal Book metadata)
  6. Scan dropbox folder (or USB drive, ...)
  7. Quit Logos 4
  8. Launch Logos 4 (scan discovers lbspbb file, copies to Logos4 folder, then indexes)

 

Other option is build in both Logos 4 installations (using one Personal Book, changing docx file location before building):

  1. Build on one Logos 4 installation
  2. Sync to Logos servers (includes Personal Book metadata)
  3. Copy docx to dropbox folder (or USB drive, ...)
  4. Switch to other platform
  5. Sync Logos (includes Personal Book metadata)
  6. Open Personal Book Tool (PB Tool)
  7. PB Tool: delete file
  8. PB Tool: add file to dropbox folder (or USB drive, ...)
  9. PB Tool: build (creates lpspbb file plus indexing)

 

Note: compiling on every platform may find a feature parity gap between platforms (i.e. compile OK on one platform receives an error on another).  Microsoft Word has some variant differences on Mac and PC.  For example, Word on PC can handle Hebrew while Word on Mac is right to left challenged.

Microsoft TechNet describes POSIX subsystem interaction, which can use root ( / ) on Windows => http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb496993.aspx

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