Tag Archives: Sync

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iWork Public Beta Goes Bye-Bye Today :: Last Call

I’m sure you’ve heard by now. But just in case you hadn’t logged into iWork.com in awhile or let the to-do lapse, it’s just worth a reminder that iWork Public Beta, the site that you could upload Pages, Numbers and Keynotes to, is being deprecated. The end comes on today.

In other words, if you have documents up on the site, you should download them immediately or you won’t be able to come August. Apple has even provided a document explaining how.

The service that was being provided by the iWork public beta is replaced by iCloud. Using iCloud, you can sync your documents between all of your devices. When you configure iCloud in System Preferences, you are prompted to sync contacts, calendars and bookmarks, but iCloud also gets configured for file synchronization as well at that time. While iCloud doesn’t allow you to edit documents online, you can access them through the iCloud web portal and download them from any computer you like. The new iCloud integration also allows for seeing all your documents in each supported app, when first opened:

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Google recently decided that it was time to force some other company to buy cloudy dispositioned upstarts, Dropbox and Box.net. Google also decided that Office365 represented Microsoft being a little too brazen in their attempts to counteract the inroads that Google has made into Microsoft territory. Therefor, Google thumped their chest and gave away 5GB of storage in Google Drive. Google then released a tool that synchronizes data stored on a Google Drive to Macs and Windows systems.

Installing Google Drive is pretty easy. Just browse to Google Docs and Google will tell you that there’s this weird new Google Drive thing you should check out.

Here, click on Download Google Drive for Mac (or Windows if you use Windows). Then agree to give your first born to Google (but don’t worry, they’d never collect on that debt ’cause they’re sworn to do no evil).

Once downloaded, run the installer. You can link directly to your documents now using https://drive.google.com.

The only real question the installer asks is whether you’d like to automatically sync your Google Drive to the computer. I said yes, but if you’ve got a smallish drive you might decide not to. Once the Google Drive application has been downloaded and installed, open it (by default it’s set to open at startup). You’ll then see a icon in the menu bar that looks a little like a recycling symbol. Here, click on Open Google Drive folder.

The folder with your Google Docs then shows up on your desktop. Copy an item in there and it syncs up to Google. It can then easily be shared through the Google Apps web portal and accessed from other systems.

While there are still a number of features that Box.net and Dropbox will give you due to the fact that they’re a bit more mature, I’d expect Google Drive to catch up fast. And given that I already have tons of documents in Google Docs, it is nice to have them saved down to my local system. I’m now faced with an interesting new challenge: where to draw the line in my workflow between Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.net. Not a bad problem to have, really! Given the frustrations of having things strewn all over the place I’ll want to minimize some of the haphazardness I’ve practiced with regards to why I put things in different places in the past. In some cases I need to be able to email to folders, have expiring links or to have extended attributes sync between services, so there are some aspects that are likely to be case-by-case… Overall though, I’m very happy with the version 1 release of Google Drive. I mean, who complains about free stuff!?!?!

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Keep iTunes in Sync

I’d still like to have a better way to have a centralized iTunes media server.  But in lieu of that I’m OK keeping multiple libraries in sync.  One way to do this is to use a tool such as rsync to actually synchronize the files.  But this isn’t going to keep the iTunes library updated on what files were added.  For that consider TuneRanger. TuneRanger will keep iTunes for Windows or Mac in sync. More importantly it will update your playlists to accommodate for the new location of your media.

TuneRanger also makes a nice addition to the switchers toolbelt.  You can use it to synchronize media from a Windows to computer to a Mac (or vise versa) without having to rebuild all of your playlists.  And it let’s you do so graphically without doing a find and replace in a file for paths, etc.  Overall, it’s working nicely so far.  I like the fact that I need to authorize all of the computers that will be playing purchased content.  Makes me feel legit (and the library is 100% legal btw).  Again I’d prefer a centralized repository that doesn’t force me to have all of the library sprawled across 3 different computers.  But in lieu of that, synchronization is the next best thing…