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Using RM on Multiple Machines


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#1 AdamF

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:42 PM

Hello all. I wanted to get some feedback from the group to make sure that I was using RM properly in this instance.

I have my home PC and a laptop. I like doing my genealogy work on my laptop because I can do work on the train, bring it to relatives' homes, etc. However, I want to keep my work in sync with my home PC as I want that to be the permanent system as this is just a work laptop.

Therefore what I've done is the following. Can anyone see any steps that I may be missing where I'd be losing data?

1. Install the registered version on both home PC and laptop.
2. Set all options exactly the same.
3. Create the exact same folder structure on both machines for GEDCOM, RM Files, Multimedia, Backup, etc.
4. I do work on one machine, let's say laptop.
5. Using RM backup utility I create a backup ZIP file.
6. I move all of my multimedia (images, video, etc) from the laptop to the home PC.
7. I then move the backup ZIP file from the laptop to the backup folder on the home PC.
8. On the home PC I use RM to do a backup restore OVERWRITING the old one when prompted.

It seems to be working thus far. Is there anything that anyone can think of why this process wouldn't work for me going back and forth? Are there other files that I should be moving over?

Thanks so much, I'm still learning.
-Adam

#2 Alfred

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 05:06 PM

It sounds good to me, but, always remember and don't ever forget that if you have added anything to the database on the desktop files, before restoring from the laptop, you will overwrite those additions made to the desktop.

If you have worked on both machines, about all you can do is export a GEDCOM or selected people, selected by date last edited, then import that GEDCOM file to the other machine and do a share merge. (OR import the GEDCOM to a new database and copy or drag and drop your editings to the main database.)

#6 -- You only need to copy the multimedia files with the latest modification dates, it saves time.
Alfred

#3 Laura

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 06:39 PM

The way I have my multimedia files grouped in folders, it would be take more time than I want to spend for me to find photos by the modification date.

I have an extra multimedia folder on my laptop and desktop, and USB flash drive.

On the Laptop the folder is Transfer to Desktop. On the Desktop it is Transfer to Laptop. Both folders are on the flash drive.

I save any multimedia twice on the hard drive, once to where it actually belongs and once to the Transfer Photos folder.

When I get ready to transfer the photos, I copy the photos in the Transfer Photos folder to the flash drive and then copy them to the correct folder on the other computer.

Once I transfer the photos, I delete them in the Transfer Photos folder on the flash drive and laptop or desktop.

Laura

#4 AdamF

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:04 AM

QUOTE(Alfred @ May 3 2007, 07:06 PM) View Post

It sounds good to me, but, always remember and don't ever forget that if you have added anything to the database on the desktop files, before restoring from the laptop, you will overwrite those additions made to the desktop.

If you have worked on both machines, about all you can do is export a GEDCOM or selected people, selected by date last edited, then import that GEDCOM file to the other machine and do a share merge. (OR import the GEDCOM to a new database and copy or drag and drop your editings to the main database.)



Thanks Alfred. I'm very careful not to work on both at the same time. I do work on one and before beginning work on the other machine I move everything over.

QUOTE

#6 -- You only need to copy the multimedia files with the latest modification dates, it saves time.


Yes, you are correct. Right now I'm just starting so I don't have many but in the future I will just move those which are new since my last backup/restore.

Thanks for the info.

QUOTE(Laura @ May 3 2007, 08:39 PM) View Post

The way I have my multimedia files grouped in folders, it would be take more time than I want to spend for me to find photos by the modification date.

I have an extra multimedia folder on my laptop and desktop, and USB flash drive.

On the Laptop the folder is Transfer to Desktop. On the Desktop it is Transfer to Laptop. Both folders are on the flash drive.

I save any multimedia twice on the hard drive, once to where it actually belongs and once to the Transfer Photos folder.

When I get ready to transfer the photos, I copy the photos in the Transfer Photos folder to the flash drive and then copy them to the correct folder on the other computer.

Once I transfer the photos, I delete them in the Transfer Photos folder on the flash drive and laptop or desktop.

Laura


Thanks Laura. This makes good sense. Maybe I'll give this a try. It's good to know that you've been doing this (laptop and PC) and that it has been working.

Many thanks.
-Adam

#5 Frogg

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:22 PM

I'm another user who works mainly on desktop, but likes to transfer to laptop when I'm traveling. My method is a bit different from everyone else, so far.

I have Rootsmagic program stored on both machines, each one having the latest program updates. My data and photos, however, are stored on an external drive.

When it is time to travel, I do a backup on desktop. This allows the data to be current on external drive, including latest backup. Then I move the external drive to the laptop, restore backup and I'm good to go.

After traveling, I reverse the process.

It helps that the external drive letter is the same on both machines. biggrin.gif At one time, that wasn't the case, but I used global search/replace to change drive letter to match external drive.

If anyone sees a problem with this method, I would be glad to hear it. So far, everything has worked fine.

#6 Jim Belanger

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:26 AM

Sounds like we all have very similar methods for synchronizing laptop and desktop. I have used this been doing this for a very long time. However, there is always the time when you wonder which computer you entered the last info on. It would be nice to have an "easy" way to tell, when you start RM, when the last modification of any kind was made. But, anyway, that's not the subject. I have learned to force myself to make a backup of the database, even if the last backup was made 5 minutes ago, if I have changed or added any data. This gives me a date and time of the backup. I can then compare the backup on both computers to see which is the latest. Since I have both networked over an in home wireless network, I can check one from the other. I NEVER copy a backup zip file to either computer if I don't immediatele RESTORE the database. With these two facts (always backup, always restore) I have come to trust which data is the latest. The other thing I do is copy the latest backup (when I stop working on the computer) to a jump drive (memory stick, whatever) and keep that in my pocket. AND, if that isn't enough, I have an external hard drive with a subdirectory "RMBACKUPS" with subdirectories for each month and I keep a copy of ALL my backups there. I would hate to have to resort to a 3 month old backup but, it would be better than losing it all. Besides, an old backup might just have a source file that is valid today.

Another alternative (which I have mentioned before) is the XP Toys on Microsoft's site called SycToy where you set up a pair of subdirectories (one on laptop and one on desktop) and the program compares the files in the subdirectories and "syncs" them, overwriting the old with the new, renaming any file you renamed, etc. etc.
JIM.B.NH

#7 AdamF

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE(Jim Belanger @ May 5 2007, 10:26 AM) View Post

However, there is always the time when you wonder which computer you entered the last info on. It would be nice to have an "easy" way to tell, when you start RM, when the last modification of any kind was made.


Could you simply check the modified time of the .RMG file? I know this isn't a programmatic way to do it but it would tell you when you made your last modification. I'm new to RM so Icould be wrong about this but it seems to me that this file gets updated any time a change is made.

-Adam

#8 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE(Frogg @ May 4 2007, 10:22 PM) View Post

I'm another user who works mainly on desktop, but likes to transfer to laptop when I'm traveling. My method is a bit different from everyone else, so far.

I have Rootsmagic program stored on both machines, each one having the latest program updates. My data and photos, however, are stored on an external drive.

When it is time to travel, I do a backup on desktop. This allows the data to be current on external drive, including latest backup. Then I move the external drive to the laptop, restore backup and I'm good to go.

After traveling, I reverse the process.

It helps that the external drive letter is the same on both machines. biggrin.gif At one time, that wasn't the case, but I used global search/replace to change drive letter to match external drive.

If anyone sees a problem with this method, I would be glad to hear it. So far, everything has worked fine.


Disclaimer: I do not have a laptop.

However, I am a little puzzled by some of your steps. If you store your data and photos on the external drive, I think you are adding an extra step. If the data is already on the external drive on the desktop, why are you doing the backup-restore operation as you move to the laptop? The same goes for the reverse step when you get home. If this is what you do, I would just do a backup from your working database on the external drive back to the C: drive each and every time you exit RootsMagic if you have changed data.

However, if you are archiving data on the external drive as a later note by Jim indicates, your steps make sense. I guess the qestion is, "Are the RootsMagic 33 database files actually on the C: drive of the desktop and the laptop?" Just as Jim suggests, keep all of your backups on different drives. Also make periodic copies on CDROM/DVD to keep in the bank box or with an out-of-town close relative.


#9 marlin

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE(Alfred @ May 3 2007, 04:06 PM) View Post

It sounds good to me, but, always remember and don't ever forget that if you have added anything to the database on the desktop files, before restoring from the laptop, you will overwrite those additions made to the desktop.

If you have worked on both machines, about all you can do is export a GEDCOM or selected people, selected by date last edited, then import that GEDCOM file to the other machine and do a share merge. (OR import the GEDCOM to a new database and copy or drag and drop your editings to the main database.)

#6 -- You only need to copy the multimedia files with the latest modification dates, it saves time.


The ShareMerge feature of RM is a great thing in principle; one problem though, every time I merge I get a few duplicate facts, especially births and deaths, relating to long established individuals for no apparent reason. Typically, say 50 duplicates out of >90,000 individuals in the database, just enough to be and aggravation. sad.gif They are not always the same individuals. I am using RM 3.2.4
Marlin

#10 AdamF

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:11 PM

QUOTE(marlin @ May 8 2007, 12:44 PM) View Post

The ShareMerge feature of RM is a great thing in principle; one problem though, every time I merge I get a few duplicate facts, especially births and deaths, relating to long established individuals for no apparent reason. Typically, say 50 duplicates out of >90,000 individuals in the database, just enough to be and aggravation. sad.gif They are not always the same individuals. I am using RM 3.2.4
Marlin


Interesting. I haven't noticed that yet but I'll certainly keep and eye on it. 90,000 individuals! I'm only at about 100 which is why I probably haven't noticed any problems yet. How long do you work on a family tree to get to 90,000 people??

#11 apw6270

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:52 PM

I use a Shared Folder and Synchronization (both built into Windows) to automatically synchronize Roots data (and other data such as emails, OE Address Book, IE Favourites, and certain documents etc) between a Laptop and Desktop.

No need for an external hard drive, a flash drive, zip file creation, manual file moving, or double saving. I just click on 'yes, synchronize' when prompted.

If anyone is interested, I'll explain how to do this. Be aware that it requires both computers to be networked (wired or wireless) and is semi-technical.

#12 Alfred

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

QUOTE(apw6270 @ May 8 2007, 06:52 PM) View Post

I use a Shared Folder and Synchronization (both built into Windows) to automatically synchronize Roots data (and other data such as emails, OE Address Book, IE Favourites, and certain documents etc) between a Laptop and Desktop.

No need for an external hard drive, a flash drive, zip file creation, manual file moving, or double saving. I just click on 'yes, synchronize' when prompted.

If anyone is interested, I'll explain how to do this. Be aware that it requires both computers to be networked (wired or wireless) and is semi-technical.


I find it hard to believe that this will work if you have worked on both computers before you do the synchronization.

Add some people to the laptop on Monday and then add some to the Desk top on Tuesday, then syncronize them. I suspect that the additions to the laptop will dissapear.

I could be wrong, but it wouldn't be the first time.

Alfred

#13 marlin

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE(AdamF @ May 8 2007, 11:11 AM) View Post

Interesting. I haven't noticed that yet but I'll certainly keep and eye on it. 90,000 individuals! I'm only at about 100 which is why I probably haven't noticed any problems yet. How long do you work on a family tree to get to 90,000 people??


The >90,000 individuals is a group effort that has gone on for 12+ years. Everyone in the database is related in some way, the common denominator being the colonists who arrived in northern New México on August 18, 1598 with the Juan de Oñate expedition. You may view our work at www.hgrc-nm.org.