Jump to content


Photo

Question Re: working in RM with 2 computers


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Rory

Rory

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:27 PM

I've always worked in RM on my main computer, a desktop in my home office. But I'm currently in a long-term medical recovery situation with my back, which keeps me confined to a bed or recliner for at least half of each day. Obviously, I wanted to keep busy with my family history research even though I can't be at my desktop that much for awhile, so I bought a laptop and installed RM into it, and now I can at least continue some of my work on that. Both computers have the same version of RM, which is 3.2.6.

Now you can probably figure out what my question is, lol.

When I first set up the laptop to continue working on my RM database from the desktop, I just did a backup on the desktop RM, then copied that backup into the new RM install on the laptop, and did a restore backup on the laptop using the copied desktop backup. This got my full database working on the laptop. Now, the work I do in RM on my laptop needs to be transferred to my desktop regularly, too, and when I do work on the desktop, I need to update the laptop, also, so that both computers keep updated. I had assumed the best way to do this is to just create a gedcom when I need to transfer new info between the laptop and the desktop, and then to import the gedcom into the computer that needs updating.

My question: Does that sound like the best method to keep the two computers sychronized with my RM work? If so, at some point when importing the gedcom into the computer needing updating, will I be presented with an option to merge and/or edit individuals' information? Example: on the laptop I may have updated just a date of birth or death, or corrected a spelling of someone's name or location, or added only Burial information. Will the importing or presumed merging of the gedcom overwrite an individual record entirely, in favor of the imported gedcom data, or how does it handle info on the same individual that has something such as I mentioned changed? I don't want to end up with lots of new individuals/records added, I just want whatever I update in the laptop to update on the desktop.

I've probably muddled that question a bit, and I apologize, but hopefully you understand what I'm asking. Any suggestion or opinion is appreciated, as I would really like to be able to work on the laptop when confined to bed or a recliner, but need to keep the desktop as my main computer still, including the RM database. Thanks in advance for your help smile.gif

#2 Alfred

Alfred

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5734 posts

Posted 16 February 2009 - 12:05 AM

NO. That is a bit too simple of an answer, so I will expand on it a bit.

If you export a GEDCOM file from one computer with changed birthdate or changed spelling of a name, you CAN do a share merge and the people will merge, but you will end up with both the original birthdate and the updated one and one of the names will probably be lost, although it should go into the ALT name field.

The best is still the Backup - Restore backup every time you switch computers, but if you forget one time, you will overwrite the editing you forgot to backup lst time.

If you are using a flash drive for the transfer, you do not need to copy the backup to the other computer, just restore from the ZIP file on the flash drive. (I would recommend a backup to another medium once in a while, JUST IN CASE! )
Alfred

#3 Laura

Laura

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4276 posts

Posted 16 February 2009 - 01:30 AM

I use a set naming convention for my backups which I transfer on a flash drive.

This is year-month-day, 24 hour time 9:42 am, backup made on which laptop, database name, Did = imported on other computer

V = Vista laptop XP = XP laptop

This sorts:
2009-02-12 0942 V AllFamilies Did
2009-02-14 2145 X AllFamilies Did
2009-02-15 2201 V AllFamilies

I need to backup the last listed backup on 02/15 which I made on the Vista laptop to the XP laptop.

When I do the backup on the other computer, it just takes a second or two to change the backup name and add Did to the end of the file name on the flash drive. I don't allow myself to decide to do this step later as that is the way I keep up with where I'm at doing restores between the laptops.

What you might do is designate your database on the laptop as the primary database while you are recovering, and make changes to the database only on the laptop. The less you are making backups and restores between computers, the less chance there is of making a mistake.

Laura

#4 Doug Couch

Doug Couch

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 44 posts

Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:27 AM

Although I usually prefer using copy-paste of the set of working files RootsMagic uses, instead of transferring backup files or GEDCOM files (to avoid the multiple-conversion issues), there are other ways. Since you cited your situation as continuing to do research from your recliner or whatever, that seems to mean you have Internet available to you. Yes? If so, read on...

SYNCPLICITY.COM has a free account available, which allows you to keep 2GB of files on their server. The way it works is this.

Create account and setup syncplicity on your computer.

Designate which folders you want to keep synchronized between computers (can be any number). You don't want it to update all your My Documents, etc., or you might run into a greater than 2GB free account limit. Typically, your RootsMagic working files and backup files folders will not be anywhere near 2GB.

Once you designate that folder set on computer one, you can have the same set on computer two. With both computers setup with the same files sets designated, and both computers accessing the Internet, either will automatically update to match the files on the other. Syncplicity also has a server-based Recycle Bin, which does not empty when you empty the one on your hard drive, giving you additional protection by making files from designated folders available there. Forgot a file? If it's in the designated folders on both computers, it will be there immediately.

For instance: Both computers are setup. Laptop is off. Desktop is on. You do work on the desktop. Syncplicity automatically updates the files on their server when you update files in the designated folders on your desktop. If your laptop was on the Internet at the same time, it would also automatically update. So, you shut down the desktop, go to the laptop and turn it on (with Internet). As soon as it goes online, syncplicity will see that the files on your laptop need to be updated because the last changes were made from your desktop, and will update them automatically. So when you see the checkmark saying the updates are done for those files, you open RootsMagic and your file. Check and see that your file contains the latest changes made on your desktop.

I have used syncplicity with no problems, but have not used it for RootsMagic yet, as I am waiting until I get my new laptop that I will be taking with me for genealogy research trips, etc.

If you decide to give it a try, I would do a separate non-sync'd backup until you try it and see it is doing what it should. Shouldn't be a problem though.

Doug

#5 RMUKfan

RMUKfan

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:48 AM

Perhaps a bit of lateral thinking...

Assuming that you have a broadband connection in your home then the ADSL modem may enable you to create a wi-fi network in your home. This certainly works in the UK as long as you have a modem that allows file sharing and should probably work elsewhere as well.

Ensure that each PC has a unique name and that they share the same workgroup name - this is done through Control Panel and System Manager. On the main PC, go to the folder where you store your RM files and create a share - click the right button of the mouse in Windows Explorer to find this.

All you then have to do is go into Windows Explorer on the laptop and map a network drive using that share which is in the format \\PCname\sharename from your laptop to the main PC. This share will be mapped to a new drive letter on the laptop.

Open up RM on the laptop and then open the .rmg at DriveLetter: and you can then use the main source files. The one warning is to EITHER use it on the laptop OR the PC and to shut down the laptop version before using the one on the PC. I would also not recommend using sleep mode or any other facility that may disrupt the connection whilst attached to the remote database.

This setup would work equally as well with ethernet cable and a hub if you do not have wi-fi.

Jim

#6 whomper

whomper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 242 posts

Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:39 AM

Being very simple-minded myself, and thinking about technological issues which might not be comparable between users or computers, I ask myself this question:

Can I keep my RM database on a flash drive and keep the program on different hard drives* (that I own and that don't otherwise violate the licensing agreement)? Thus, I can plug in the flash drive and work on a laptop, then move it to the desktop, taking the flash with me.

This could solve the temporary situation, keeping in mind that a flash drive isn't forever, and hopefully your medical condition won't be, either.

b

*... and if not, why not? Can't it be built this way?

#7 RMUKfan

RMUKfan

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:07 AM

Whomper, it is worth looking at the article 'RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped - RootsMagic To Go' at http://blog.rootsmagic.com/?p=326 which describes the ability of RM4 to work in a way just as you describe. It looks really interesting and will solve all these sorts of issues I think. Looking forward to seeing it all soon.

#8 whomper

whomper

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 242 posts

Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE(RMUKfan @ Mar 10 2009, 12:07 PM) View Post

'RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped - RootsMagic To Go' at http://blog.rootsmagic.com/?p=326

That pretty well sums it up! And confirms what I've been saying for years, about computers and software and programmers: If Man the User can imagine it, then Man the Programmer can DO IT!

There's been so much written and spread over this site, that it's hard to go and find appropriate stuff without starting a new thread or comment. Sometimes I feel silly doing it; but other times (in addition to KNOWING that I'm silly), I realize that it's the only way to find stuff quickly! blink.gif

Now to find out easy answers to one of my other vexing questions: wink.gif
Is there any method for the more experienced users to post their Customized Reports so that those of us who aren't comfortable with experimenting (and failing, etc.) to produce our own forms, can be afforded the advantage of that experience? There's nothing that I want to do that others haven't already done, I think...

Much obliged to all for the constructive comments!
biggrin.gif