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Technical

Windows File Synchronization

I have files on my laptop that are important. I’d like to keep a copy of them on another computer. The handiest is the desktop machine I’ve assembled by buying a hard drive at Fry’s, and installing in a machine I’m borrowing from Brian. Today I set up a Windows network between the two, to see how well that works. Large file copies from the laptop, on Brian’s wireless network, to the desktop, tended to bomb out any time a packet dropped in the WIRELESS ETHER. So, I kibbitzed with Lemson on IRC, who sent me to the Knowledge Base article that explains how to turn on “file synchronization” and now when I copy to the server, the file synchronization service handles it.

Windows’ “file synchronization” is designed to locally cache files that are stored on a network server. This allows you to trundle away with your laptop, and work with the files, and settle up the difference when you get back near the server again. This means that it acts as an elaborate FILE CACHE.

What I really want, is to have two copies of the same set of files: one on the laptop, and one on the server, and something to occasionally reconcile the differences between the two. On Unix I would use rsync, which I can also use on Windows, thanks to Cygwin, but since I’m operating on Windows, with a “server” that does not have an Internet-style hostname, it seems more interesting to me to see what Microsoft wants me to do, by fiddling with icons, instead setting up a more Unixy environment and typing crazy commands.

This way I’ll be more in touch with what “normal” people do, which can come in handy when you need to help them out.

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