Using Dropbox with two computers

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Using Dropbox with two computers

Postby Pakfam » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:09 am

Could someone please walk us through how to utilize Dropbox so that my husband and I can both use DM from our separate computers?

Do we need two separate Dropbox accounts so we can share the donor6 folder, or can we just have the one Dropbox account and only one of us access it at a time?

We have DM set up to back up to a donor6 folder on Dropbox, but we don't understand how the second computer syncs with Dropbox so as to have the current data.

Thanks for any help you can give!
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Re: Using Dropbox with two computers

Postby jmuehleisen » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:03 am

There are a couple of ways to do this ... each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

One way is to simply move your entire Donor Manager installation from c:\donor6 to the DropBox folder.

You'll need to adjust your "shortcuts" to point to this new location.

And the first time you do a live update, the updater will try to reinstall the program into c:\donor6 (it remembers where it was last installed), so you'll need to point the updater to this new location in your Dropbox folder. (It will remember this new location next time)

Now, the problem with this approach is that the two of you can't be in DM at the same time. DM is a single user program and if you both are in the program at the same time and do some edits, whoever exits the program last "wins."

So, let's say you are in the program and you make 10 edits.

And then someone starts up the program on the other computer and makes one minor edit.

But, if you leave the program before the other person, all of your edits will be lost in favor of their edits.

So, the last one out wins.

Not good, unless you are never both in there at the same time. Otherwise, there is risk. But, if you can live with that, then it's a great solution.

Note: I am working on a sync routine to reconciled these changes, but that is no where done and will be a ways off. Sorry.

Now, the other approach is "safer" but less convenient.

Keep a separate DM install on both computers, but set your "Backup on Exit" folder to be your dropbox folder (or better yet, a folder in your dropbox folder titled "DM Backups.")

In this case, one computer is the "master" and the other works with a copy of the data from the master.

This is the approach that my wife and I use. And we simply keep track of "who has the ball."

Most of the time my wife does the edits. And I can fetch the latest backup from the DropBox folder any time I need it.

And, if I'm going to work on things, I just make sure that she is out of the program and knows that I'm making changes, and then she updates from the backup that I have made.

This is a bit more of a hassle, but it is "safer."

Now, as I said, I'm trying to work out how to reconcile changes between 2 data sets to "synchronize" the data, but it is a long way from me getting to it at present.
John Muehleisen
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