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Old 03-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #1
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Question about using Dropbox

I have copied my whole Calibre folder into Dropbox (thanks for the tip about that!) and am wondering how to handle new books. I am concerned about being able to re-create my entire library instantly if anything ever happens to my computer---I want the books, the metadata and tags, the cover art and everything. Is it all stored with the individual book? For example, if I add a new title, can I just copy the folder Calibre creates into the Dropbox directory? Or do I need to re-copy the whole directory over? For example:

I add a new book by John Smith and he is a new author to me. Calibre creates a John Smith folder in my 'ebook library' folder and puts the file there. Can I just copy the 'John Smith' folder to the ebook library folder I have copied to Dropbox and that will be enough?

Or let's say I add a new book called 'The New Book' by John Smith who is already IN my Calibre database. Calibre will create a 'The New Book' folder in my existing John Smith folder in the ebook library directory. Can I just copy that folder, go into my dropbox folder, put it into the 'John Smith' directory and be set?

If I have to just copy over the whole folder once a week I can, but it would be easier if I could just copy over new books as I add them. However, I do not want to lose ANY information. If I want to install Calibre on a new computer, I want to be able to copy over the backup that is in dropbox and have every single thing exactly as it was.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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If you open calibre and go into the configuration and give it a new path for your library... within your dropbox folder it will move the database containing the metadata and all the folders containing the ebooks files as well.

Any books you add are automatically synced up to dropbox's servers and also to any other PCs you have connected to your dropbox account. That includes new files if you convert, new folders/books if you add to them.... and changes to the metadata.db file if you modify and metadata.

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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Perhaps I should do a video about this... hmmm...

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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So, you are saying I should change the path to the copy that is in dropbox and then I can delete the other one and only have the dropbox folder? If so, that would really simplify things...
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:39 PM   #5
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So, you are saying I should change the path to the copy that is in dropbox and then I can delete the other one and only have the dropbox folder? If so, that would really simplify things...
Yes... that is the way to go. No need to have two copies on your hard drive. And more manual work to keep them in sync is not needed.

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Old 03-28-2010, 11:07 PM   #6
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Just as an FYI, you should make sure you don't have Calibre open and using the same dropbox files at the same time, they can step on each others toes.

Make sure you only use Calibre on one machine at a time. Calibre only reads the database file at open then saves it again on close so changes made on one machine would be lost if you then closed Calibre on another machine.

This actually applies to anyone who shares their Calibre library among multiple machines.

Just a friendly heads up so people don't lose data
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:10 PM   #7
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Thank you again, Bob. This is just what I needed. I even backed up some of my work files. I can log into them from my work computers and work on them if I need to and the when I come home they will sync up! I am tempted to pay for the upgrade and put my iTunes library on there too but I suppose I have time machine for that and I am not such a huge music person anyway...
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:35 PM   #8
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Thank you again, Bob. This is just what I needed. I even backed up some of my work files. I can log into them from my work computers and work on them if I need to and the when I come home they will sync up!
I basically use Dropbox as a replacement for my documents folder. I have it installed on my iMac, my work PC and my laptop. It is really a slick system.

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Old 03-29-2010, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
Thank you again, Bob. This is just what I needed. I even backed up some of my work files. I can log into them from my work computers and work on them if I need to and the when I come home they will sync up! I am tempted to pay for the upgrade and put my iTunes library on there too but I suppose I have time machine for that and I am not such a huge music person anyway...
I place portable apps in my Dropbox too. That way I have a consistent set of applications available at any computer I'm on. I like the fact that my Firefox browser at any of the 4 machines will have the same history, bookmarks and open tabs as the last time I used it.

Additionally my wife and I use the same account on the home computer. By using portable Firefox neither my wife or daughter clutter up my bookmarks or history with their unique tastes. When I turnover the computer I just exit my browser. They open up the local version of Firefox and we are all happy.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:41 AM   #10
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Wow, using dropbox is such an awesome idea! I just made the switch and it's nice to be able to have access to my library wherever I am!
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:29 AM   #11
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I have a old laptop that was, well.... just not much use anymore.. I have placed Fedora on that then put Calibre, Dropbox and Calibre2opds onto it. I don't have any books on that system. Instead I have set calibre to download a number of newspapers and magazines at 3 am in the morning that goes straight into dropbox and then at 4am Calibre2opds then run automatically to build a opds and html catalogue. So I can assess my newspapers and magazines (and of course dilbert) on my iphone during my train trip to work or on a computer at work.

I also have another folder within dropbox with my book collection. I find it all pretty cool...

but then I also get distracted by shiny things
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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I uploaded all the PDF colouring books I have for my students to my folder at home. I just got to school, logged in, printed one and within ten minutes of arriving at work, had a new unit ready to go for my JK class. Magic! I am really considering upgrading---for $10 a month ALL my music and documents and photos and everything will be there and I can log in from work and find it all.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #13
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Do Dropbox still give all users of a shared folder full read and write access?
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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Do Dropbox still give all users of a shared folder full read and write access?
From their FAQ:

Quote:
Can I set permissions for members of my shared folders?

All members of a shared folder have full read and write privileges. Setting read-only permissions isn't currently possible, but the feature is on Dropbox's roadmap.

Some permissions systems are incompatible between operating systems. For example, a file with read-only access on your Windows computer may not be protected on your Mac. Dropbox doesn't change a file's permissions when syncing, but can't guarantee the permissions you set in one operating system will work properly when opened from another computer.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:00 AM   #15
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Do Dropbox still give all users of a shared folder full read and write access?
Yep... you have a choice for sharing stuff to other people.

A shared folder, as you mention above, which means all users shared with have full permissions.

A public folder which makes it available to the world in a read-only fashion. OF course, there is no way to browse your public folder... you have to send the URL of the item to anyone you want to be able to access it.

BOb
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