Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Syncing Files to the Jumpdrives

It seems that technology and I have come to an impasse. My work laptop is on its last byte and it needs to hold off just a little longer until a replacement comes. My home system apparently thinks that it needs an overhaul piece by piece. In the last three weeks I have replaced the power supply, the video card and now the hard drive is working so slow, I think it is a commodore 64. So to say the least I have been very cranky with the anxiety of backing up my files and securing that everything I need is off the systems before they finally tell me good-bye for the last time.

In the past Windows had the briefcase system which I think was the most valuable under utilized free useful program that Microsoft offered. The Briefcase is like a folder only better because it synchronizes the files. For anyone that is jumping from computer system to computer system this is extremely helpful especially when updating communication boards, reports or note files. The Briefcase synchronizes and updates the files on your original computer to the modified versions when you reconnect your portable drive to the desktop computer. I like this system because the Briefcase stores and displays the update status of files. It keeps track of whether a file is linked to the original file on your main computer, or whether it is a stray file (a file that is not connected to another file on your original computer). Since I am losing the battle of the computer systems, it is extremely helpful to keep track to keep my files organized and to keep track of the most recent versions of your files. I use this with all file formats not just MS Products.

Most do not know that the Briefcase is still on their computer systems. In Microsoft wisdom they hid it. Here are the steps to locating it:

How to Create a New Briefcase

  1. Right click on your desktop. A menu will appear.
  2. Click on New.
  3. Click on Briefcase.
  4. Right click on the briefcase. A menu will appear
  5. Click on rename – name the briefcase.
  6. Locate the files you want to move – drag the files to the briefcase.
  7. When you double click on the briefcase you will receive a message – click ok your files are now in the briefcase.

Now you know Microsoft is always looking to improve. They have made a new improved, faster way to move data. The new application is called SyncToy. It is a little more advance then the Briefcase because of the way it synchronizes files and tracks files. SyncToy is a free download from Microsoft .

The first thing you have to do is create a folder pair. A folder pair is a collection of data items that tells SyncToy how to synchronize two folders. What is cool is you can have subfolders. For example, one folder pair might be defined to synchronize a copy of a folder named "My Pictures" on your desktop computer and a folder named "My Photos" on your laptop computer. SyncToy saves how you want your folder pairs synced so you can sync again and again with a single click of a button.

Remember this is a BETA tool so things don’t always work seamlessly. I have been only running it a week. So far so good but the forums talk about some of the issues. I am optimistic that SyncToy is going to be a wonderful tool when it comes out of BETA.

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