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

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xiamenese
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Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:46 pm Post

steastu wrote:But what if I save my project to directly to a thumb drive, can I then just work from the td?

I think the general view is that while this is possible, it is dangerous because of the ease of corruption etc. of thumb drives and the nature of a scrivener project with its hundreds of embedded files.

Mark
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Hu
Hugh
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Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:04 pm Post

What Mark says.

You may find this thread helpful: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4832&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=memory+stick

Personally I'd only use a thumb-drive for something that's valuable if I was also using second and third-line backups as well. And even then I'd hesitate.

Computers - and human beings - are too fallible.
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AmberV
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Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:41 pm Post

I wouldn't recommend it based strictly upon technological reliability. Flash-based storage technology is not as reliable as hard drive technology. I consider those things to be roughly equal to floppy drives of days past in both usage and trust.
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Wock
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Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:48 pm Post

AmberV wrote:I wouldn't recommend it based strictly upon technological reliability. Flash-based storage technology is not as reliable as hard drive technology. I consider those things to be roughly equal to floppy drives of days past in both usage and trust.


Flash drives = Sneaker Net 2.0
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xiamenese
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Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:43 am Post

Example to the point ...

I downloaded the Scrivener 1.5 installer on my MBP 'cos it's quick. Rather than re-download it on the MBA, I copied the .dmg onto a thumb-drive, moved that over to the MBA ... .dmg wouldn't open; it had been corrupted somewhere along the line. I could have tried again, could have tried using my portable HD, but I just thought "Dammit!" and re-downloaded.

Too many potential problems with thumb drives.

Mark
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ll
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Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:12 am Post

I think since Syncing our stuff is so important, Scrivener should just fix it for us. :D Why not do a quick update we can download that'll make this syncing easy.

For now, isn't just using a good Flash drive the fastest way to do syncing? I don't know. I'm the most untechnical person in this thread.
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Jaysen
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Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:32 pm Post

Umm.. It already does. It is called Backup to...
Jaysen

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Sa
Sam
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:21 am Post

This issue seems to have become quite the can of worms.

But what about this as a simple solution (at least for DropBox users)?

Let us say that in your DropBox there is already a Scrivener project which may or may not have been edited on another computer.

Follow this five step process:

1. Upon first starting your computer / logging in, allow DropBox to sync all necessary files.
2. Quit DropBox.
3. Edit your Scrivener project.
4. Launch DropBox again, allowing it to sync your Scrivener project.
5. Enjoy a lovely beverage safe in the knowledge that none of your data has been corrupted.

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Jaysen
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:43 pm Post

Why must you bring an easy, sensible solution to this?

Wait. Mad hatter. Assume insanity. Think for a minute.

Ok here is a potential issue.

1. Follow Sam's steps. Go to second computer but forget to turn on dropbox.
2. Launch scriv and edit.
3. Quit scriv.
4. Sam's step 4.
5. Sam's step 5.
6. Go back to first computer.
7. Sam's step 1.
8. Discover that you lost work?

8 is the question point. I think this is the problem that dropbox has with scriv in a nutshell. I am not sure there is a good solution.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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bh
bhpascal
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:24 pm Post

I'm an avid user of both Dropbox AND Scrivener, and I've found the symlink method to be a pretty good way to get the two to play well together. As above posters have noted, the problem is with using Dropbox for live document updates. But here, the "live" document is in a local folder, and even if the Dropbox file is corrupted momentarily, eventually (say, after closing Scrivener) there will be a clean file uploaded. So it's not really the same issue. Rather than finding a purely technological solution, it's taking advantage of the fact that you're probably not jumping back and forth between computers faster than Dropbox can update.

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Wock
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Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:21 pm Post

(1) USe SCR
(2) Backup to FLash Drive.
(3) Use Sneaker Net to carry the file with you wherever you go even in those places wherever you have no internet connection and sync services don't work.
(4) Realizing sometimes "old skewl" may actually offer the easiest convenience and the safest data accuracy.


Sneaker Net. Reliably transferring and making backups since the invention of the floppy drive.
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

ma
mary
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Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:57 pm Post

Wock, I follow Sam's procedure exactly, and I have never had the slightest problem. I really don't think people should get so frantic about this! Obviously, if you are editing on two machines, you have to make sure you have an active connection and let dropbox do its thing before closing Scrivener. But I do not edit on anything but my home eMac. If I do use my (non-internet enabled) notebook to write anything, I sync to my home computer and then save the addition in Scrivener before going online.

All I have done on our windows box and macbook at work (where we also have dropbox installed) is to transfer a couple of photos and download a chapter or two for friends to read. As I said, I've never had the slightest problem. And it's not cumbersome or difficult at all. The only thing I don't like about dropbox is the way it numbers my text files, rather than keeping my chapter headings. :)

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Wock
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Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:40 pm Post

In the end use whatever works for ya I say! :-)


Just never fry chicken naked unless you are really into pain......

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xiamenese
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:15 am Post

mary wrote:Wock, I follow Sam's procedure exactly, and I have never had the slightest problem. I really don't think people should get so frantic about this! Obviously, if you are editing on two machines, you have to make sure you have an active connection and let dropbox do its thing before closing Scrivener. But I do not edit on anything but my home eMac. If I do use my (non-internet enabled) notebook to write anything, I sync to my home computer and then save the addition in Scrivener before going online.

All I have done on our windows box and macbook at work (where we also have dropbox installed) is to transfer a couple of photos and download a chapter or two for friends to read. As I said, I've never had the slightest problem. And it's not cumbersome or difficult at all. The only thing I don't like about dropbox is the way it numbers my text files, rather than keeping my chapter headings. :)

Mary, while I agree with you that this is not something to panic about, I speak as someone who has got his fingers slightly burned. These technologies are brilliant, but new users — of both DropBox and of Scrivener — especially need to be aware of the possible pitfalls.

Flash drives are great, but I wouldn't use them for anything other than transferring a simple file from one computer to another ... I've had too many problems with reliability. My 4G Kingston DataTraveler is currently causing my MBP to hang if I try to do anything much with it. I know it's pilot error at some point, but the problem is there, so I personally can't trust them with anything important — or it might be fairer to say, "I can't trust myself using them".

The same goes for DropBox and .me ... I've lost files or parts of files through DropBox ... again my fault ... because of using it with the active Scrivener project working on two computers; and because my wife had access to it she managed to delete everything in DropBox, and that emptied the folder on both my MBP and my MBA ... fortunately I'm enough of a belt-and-braces man to have a full, bootable back-up of my MBP hard disk every night, so the only thing I actually lost was a bit of time and at the same time I gained a few more grey hairs ...

We've had a fair number of posts recently of the "Scrivener ate all my work" type ... people need to be made aware that these issues do exist, and that if things go wrong, if they're using these technologies the possibility is that they may inadvertently have caused the problem through their syncing.

You're careful, you're only using Scrivener on one of your computers ... DropBox, or whatever can serve you well. I'm using it and I'm a fan ... but I still think it's important to recognise both its limitations and, even more importantly, my own limitations.

Mark
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AmberV
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Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:01 pm Post

Right. The issue has little to do with whether or not some people can use these technologies effectively (or have a high risk tolerance and/or good backups), but rather that some have lost months or even a year of work due to a process. I would never have made the original post if this latter situation were not sadly true. It matters little to me if a number of people get it working well. That's great. But the fact that you have a checklist that you have to run through just to safely use it, means that there will be people having problems with it who have not been made aware of the issue.
.:.
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