Using iFamily in Dropbox

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Robin Helmond
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am

Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Robin Helmond » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:46 am

I have successfully arranged iFamily to work using Dropbox as a common file location. I wanted to be able to work on my data files on either of my two networked computers. Firstly I transferred each computer's iFamilyData files into separate folders in Dropbox using File>Move Data Directory. I then copied one of the .FtkSql database file into a appropriately names file also in Dropbox. This is the file I access from either computer. This arrangement works well, the golden rule is to wait until Dropbox has finished updating before logging off.

I initially had a bit of bother getting iFamily to register the same photos on either computer. All of my genealogical documents and photos are also stored in Dropbox. So if I linked a photo to a particular person on one computer, I just copied the same file in its Pictures folder into the Pictures folder in the other computer's iFamilyData file. As both iFamilyData folders are in Dropbox this was a simple case of copy and paste. To save Dropbox space I use the option for photos to be accessed via an alias rather than copying each photo twice.

So with a little bit of discipline I have the same flexibility I enjoyed when using Reunion in Dropbox.

I would appreciate any comments on whether I could achieve the same results in a simpler way, or if I am risking messing everything up.

Robin.

Tom
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:35 pm

RE: Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Tom » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:55 am

Just curious why you copied files from both computers when you are using Dropbox as your repository for iFamily? I've used Dropbox in the past but decided it was safer for me to have a bit more control and retain local copies. I encountered a few anomalies even though I observed the rule you stated about waiting for Dropbox to finish updating.
Tom

Robin Helmond
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am

Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Robin Helmond » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:47 pm

Thanks for your reply Tom.
It seemed to me that the iFamily application in each computer required its own iFamilyData file. I tried to put them both in the one Dropbox folder but the transfer was not allowed. I did not try again for fear of causing problems.

I have only just got this process going so I may well encounter problems as you mention. Let's see.

I like to use the Dropbox method because my wife and I share both my 13" laptop and our iMac. I can jump on either computer and work away knowing that my work will be available on the other when needed. That's the plan anyway. I had it working quite well with Reunion, time will tell how it pans out with iFamily. I hope it does because I favour iFamily over Reunion.

Robin.

Tom
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:35 pm

RE Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Tom » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:43 am

You really only need one ftkSql file in Dropbox and the iFamily program file on each computer. Your photos can be treated the same way. If you and your wife have created separate trees then two separate database files seems appropriate.
Tom

Robin Helmond
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am

Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Robin Helmond » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:07 am

I have only one FtkSql file per family tree in Dropbox. Each computer can access the same file OK. I have put each computer's iFamilyData folder in Dropbox to make it easy to copy each picture file from one iFamily>Pictures folder to the other. They could easily still reside in their respective computers, but having them side by side in Dropbox is easy for access to each of them from either computer.

Thanks for the comments, I appreciate your consideration of my experiment.

Robin

mclewis
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:01 pm

RE Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by mclewis » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:04 am

This sounds like an interesting way of sharing iFamily across computers, but my only concern would be are you backing the files up somewhere?

Rather depends on how you are using Dropbox? - not a worry if you have set up a Dropbox folder on each of your computers which is automatically kept in sync but I'd be pretty worried if your only up-to-date copies were in the cloud on Dropbox.

Matthew

Robin Helmond
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am

Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Robin Helmond » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:01 am

I use Time Machine to back up to an external disc, and a weekly SuperDuper clone back up to a disc stored off site. This routine has saved my bacon a few times.

The success of Dropbox setup is make sure only one computer accesses the common data file at a time, and to make sure all uploads are completed before logging off/shutting down. I've been caught out once or twice, but I think I have learnt my lesson.
Robin.

Tom
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:35 pm

Re: Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Tom » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:54 pm

Robin, I only use one tree to hold all data which is why I was curious about your having multiple database files. With the increased capabilities of computers and hard drives I decided that using one tree only was less confusing. iFamily can handle all of the data without any problem so it seems less effort to use only one tree for my purposes. I also rather like iFamily's handling of photos by storing them in the database which is much less cumbersome than Reunion's separate photo folder with the links to the photos stored in the database file. I also use SuperDuper!; it's a great program.
Tom

Robin Helmond
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am

Using iFamily in Dropbox

Post by Robin Helmond » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:02 pm

Tom,

Thanks for persevering with your queries. I now understand what you are saying. I assumed, from some dodgy reasoning, that each computer's iFamily application had to have its own iFamilyData folder. That's why I put each of them in Dropbox, but only used one FtkSql file in a separate folder in Dropbox

But now I see that only one of the two computers' iFamilyData folder needs to be moved to Dropbox. When opening the other computer's iFamily application, just ask it to open the FtkSql file in the single iFamilyData folder and away it goes. All photos assigned to a person are available to each computer without the copying process I described earlier.

Thank you so much. So simple and easy. I hope any future viewers of this thread go right to the bottom, and don't get misled by my first post.

As to whether to use one family tree for both sides of a family, or two, or more. When I first started with genealogy software I wondered if I should keep my wife's family separate from mine. Some people recommended putting both sides of the family in to one tree, others said I should use two trees. No doubt the software can handle both, but I thought my old brain would handle two trees more easily. In hindsight, one tree works better for the generations after our own. With two trees one would have to duplicate the same data, or just use on of the trees to map the latter generations. Anyway, I have started with two trees and I think I am stuck that way now. I don't fancy doing a merge, that could end in disaster.

Robin.

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