Working off of network drives (MobileMe, thumb drives...)

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KB
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:15 pm Post

No problem at all. In fact you prompted me to do something I've been meaning to do for a while, and update the Dropbox advice, so I've been writing another post with guidelines on using Scrivener with Dropbox. You can find it here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11725

That covers everything you should need to do to ensure that working on a project directly from Dropbox doesn't cause you any troubles. Of course, back up religiously just in case. :)

All the best,
Keith
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jgould
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:16 pm Post

I have a similar workflow for working from my MacBook (My primary writing machine) and my Mac Mini. I actually do very little writing on the Mini, but the files sync both ways regardless. I use SugarSync rather than Dropbox. I have my writing folder set to sync on both computers, and as I write, I can actually watch SugarSync sync the files as I write. I'm only using one machine at a time, and make sure that the sync in complete on the MacBook and that the sync is complete on the Mini before opening the file on the Mini.

I think the tricky part of this is going to be when I get my new Air at the end of this week...

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reacher
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:34 pm Post

Keith, the new guideline post is wonderful, thanks. I think this will help many users. As you know, cloud computing and sharing workflow between a handful of devices is the way most professionals work now, so this issue is often the first one to address when considering a new piece of software like Scrivener -- it certainly was for me.

BTW, you might want to update last couple questions of this FAQ with the new information: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/wiki/ ... nformation

ni
nic_b
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:31 pm Post

After spending the last two days reading these forums and watching the tutorials, I'm about to bite the bullet and buy Scrivener. One big question remains unanswered for me, though.

I currently use Word. I mostly work on a desktop computer, but like to occasionally work on my laptop (I think a lot of writers are this way!) To move files, I currently copy a folder with whatever Word files I've used during a given writing session onto a jump/thumb/flash drive, and then walk it to the other computer and upload. I like this method a lot better than Dropbox. Dropbox screams for me to make errors (given the length of this thread, I may not be the only one!) I am NOT techie at all, and I like "seeing" what I'm doing so I know files are where I want them and that the latest version of my document is on each computer.

So if I buy Scrivener, I assume I can download the program onto both the desktop computer and the laptop computer. But is it then possible, given the "bundling" of Scrivener files, to download to a thumb drive at the end of a session on one computer and walk it to the other computer to upload? Is there some special technique to do this that's different than the way one would copy a file in Word?

My desktop does back up automatically every day to both an external drive and to an offsite storage location, so it's not a question of having an effective backup in case something goes wrong. I have that covered. It's a question of being able to work between computers.

I've spent forever on the forums and can't figure out the answer to this. Before I download, I want to be sure I know what I'm doing so I get the program up and running properly on both computers and can transfer files between them. THANKS!

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AmberV
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:00 pm Post

Yes, Scrivener project files on the Mac look and act just like ordinary files. It will be no more difficult to copy a .scriv project than it will a .doc file. This is the most basic and easy way to work with Scrivener files. A lot of the stuff you see in this thread and others that talk about syncing a .scriv project is going to by nature be more technical than a simple copy, because once you put a .scriv project on a non-Mac server, it turns into folders and files (well, that's what it always was, but the Mac hides that) and you have to start worrying more about the components of the thing and making sure Dropbox is correctly operating on the hundreds or thousands of files inside a typical .scriv folder.

Now in your case, you can just drag the .scriv bundle and the whole thing moves in one shot. You might find this a little slow, especially once your project grows a bit, so you might want to try switching to using .zip files if it gets too slow. This is easy to do, from within the open project in Scrivener you can save a .zip backup of the project anywhere you like, including directly to the USB stick. Zip files compress everything, saving lots of space, and pack it all into one single file (a true single file). But just starting out, you can get by with just copying the .scriv file around like a .doc file, and if your demands on the program are never too intensive, you might never need to take the zip option.

So in summary, the reason why you haven't seen a lot of discussion on copying .scriv files is that honestly it's very straightforward. There isn't much you can do to get that wrong that isn't also within the realm of plain old common sense knowledge from any form of file copying.
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ni
nic_b
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:11 pm Post

Wow--thank you! That makes it all sound very easy. Now to test it out :)

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AmberV
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:28 pm Post

Yeah. :) One of the big design factors in the project format was ease of portability. Drag a single thing, and all your research and snapshots and manuscript are right as you left them on Machine A, all the way down to which document you were viewing last, all the way down to the selection of text in that document. Unfortunately ease of portability has clashed a little bit with the rise of automated computer synchronisation, so that has made things marginally more complicated than they were meant to be originally.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Pe
PedanticWee
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Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:34 pm Post

Just remember that the ula for dropbox state very clearly that they own EVERYTHING residing on their servers. That includes your intellectual data. Meaning that they have the right to take, copyright and use anything that is now or ever has been in the past, put on their servers.

So take care when using them.

The apple iCloud that is being implemented with Lion does not have that ULA, though they do have the right to go through the data and turn it over to authorities etc... which is reasonable.

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robertdguthrie
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Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:07 pm Post

Can you point to the current portion of the Terms of Service or other document that states this? I know there was a big brouhaha over their terms as regards the public folder, but I think they changed those terms to be more in line with common sense. I believe the former terms were a case of over-zealous lawyers trying to cover their asses with regards to files that users of their service chose to put on the public folders. The new ones just caution you that DropBox cannot be held responsible for copywrite infringement perpetrated by third parties who access your publicly available data.

Current Terms of Service:
https://www.dropbox.com/terms#terms
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AmberV
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Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:31 pm Post

Dropbox ToS wrote:By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.


(Emphasis mine)

Yes, they do specify some conditions and exceptions, but these are all acceptable in my mind for a business to use---certainly good enough for an individual.
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ho
hollowaymcc
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Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:31 pm Post

xiamanese wrote (back in 2009!)
Hi Rebecca,
I too have been working like you. In my experience it works well provided: 1) you make sure Dropbox is fully synchronised with the green tick-mark and wait a minute or so before doing anything like turning off your computer; 2) you don't work with two computers synchronising with Dropbox, and do some editing on one of them when you are unable to be online.
You might like to read the discussion on this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5234

Mark


Hi Mark and Rebecca,

I would like to use Dropbox to synchronise between a laptop and a desktop using the zip protocol outlined in "How should I keep my projects up to date between different computers?" (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/wiki/ ... _computers) but I have to work on the laptop at an Internet-free location occasionally (for a weekend to 10 days).

My question: Will the synchronise-sharing protocol still work if I backup to Dropbox once I get the laptop back to an Internet location and before I open any Dropbox zips from the home desktop?

(I know this carries the risk that the yet-to-be-backed-up work would get lost before I was able to sync to Dropbox, but I could do a native hard-disk backups or thumb drive backups during the offline interlude, correct?)

Also, is it possible to put the Dropbox auto-backup setting to sleep while using the laptop offline?

Thanks,
Holloway

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robertdguthrie
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Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:50 pm Post

You don't have to do anything special to make this work. Dropbox will periodically look for an internet connection, "sleeping" in between checks. When you get back from the internet-free location, connect your laptop to the network, and dropbox will automatically do it's thing. When it's done uploading all of the data, check your desktop, which should be in the process of downloading the last bits of what you just uploaded (if it's not done already by the time you check). Once it's done, then you're ready to go. There's no need to manually fiddle with the dropbox settings.
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hollowaymcc
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Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:11 pm Post

Thanks, Robert. Now I feel comfortable taking Scrivener on offline jaunts, plus I'm quite relieved to learn that Dropbox will manage its own "naps." Love it when nothing special is required!

Holloway

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:24 pm Post

Hello all,

A few years ago, I backed up some .scriv files to an external hard drive. I'm trying to open those files now with a trial version of Scrivener, but only some of them open: the others give me the error message "No valid Scrivener 1.x project could be found at the specified path." These are notes I took for my dissertation, which I'm currently finishing, and I'd really like to access them if possible.

As I mentioned, I currently only have a trial version of Scrivener, but I'd potentially be willing to buy it if I thought I could recover these files. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Thanks so much!

- Evan

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KB
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Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:33 pm Post

Hello Evan,

It would be best to write to us at mac.support AT literatureandlatte DOT com about this and include one of the problematic projects (zipped up) so that we can take a look.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."