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Old 08-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #16
chilady1
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Getting a Dropbox account and moving my Calibre library folder into the local DB folder was the best thing I've done in ebook management. (Well, maybe after using Calibre.) I was frustrated trying to keep libraries synced on different computers. This makes it automatic, and also provides an off-site backup in case the house burns down or something. I use it the same way to sync and backup my current writing files. As ficbot says, it doesn't replace your local files, it just keeps a copy.

This supplements but does not replace other ways of backing up, I should add. My most important stuff is always backed up about five different ways.
I have to second this comment. I have 4 different computers in my house, 2 of which I primarily use (my netbook and desktop). I wanted to be able to open up Calibre on either one and download and organize my ebook library without having to go back and forth between the two. I started with Dropbox but switched to Sugar Synch because the amount of space I needed was small and the price was lower. What a difference it has made. Now, having said all that, I still back up my Calibre library on a weekly basis and I also keep all of the original ebook sources backed up as well in the event I move from my current e-reader (Kindle, soon to be Kindle 3) to something else. Since I remove DRM as soon as I get the book - all books are in their source format (epub, mobi, pdf) for future use. Synching really has helped and moved things beyond just backing up.

P.S. Like someone else indicated, I like Dropbox and Sugar Synch because you do have a local version of what's being stored in the cloud environment. It's not just storage.

Last edited by chilady1; 08-12-2010 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Additional Info
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
I don't quite buy into the "blackbox" model of the Calibre library, as I often look at those files for one reason or another--don't change them, but check them or copy from them--and it would be better if all those folders were sorted by last name. It would also make the GUI easier to scan when sorted by author.
I'm not on my home computer right now, but I seem to remember that one of the recent versions of Calibre now allows you to locate the file in the Calibre GUI and then click on it to open the containing folder.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:43 PM   #18
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I'm not on my home computer right now, but I seem to remember that one of the recent versions of Calibre now allows you to locate the file in the Calibre GUI and then click on it to open the containing folder.
Yes, that is true. But I'm someone who likes to have things in an order I can understand (at least on my computer; you'd say I was crazy if you looked at my desk ). I don't necessarily want to have to open Calibre just to easily find a file.

Anyway, it's a small thing, far outweighed by the huge advantages of using Calibre.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #19
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...I don't necessarily want to have to open Calibre just to easily find a file...
Doesn't bother me.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #20
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Hi Folks

I have a collection of ebooks which are currently in two folders:

- Folder One contains folders named A through Z. Each of these contains Authors subfolders in the format 'Lastname, Firstname'.

- Folder Two contains author subfolders in the format 'Firstname Lastname', - but does NOT contain separate folders for each letter. (i.e., all author subfolders are in the one folder regardless of name)

For neatness sake, I want to combine the two folders into one collection, but I'm stumped as to which is the better format to use. I use Calibre to convert/transfer these, but I hate the way Calibre creates subfolders for each individual book, and this cannot be changed.

I want an optimal folder structure for the books which will play nice with Calibre import. Any suggestions? I realise it's kind of a vague question and there may be no 'right' answer, but I'd like to hear what structures other people use and what success or problems they've had
Like many others after reading Lady Fitzgerald and the person who quoted a eulogy to Calibre (can't see his name from the edit window), I'm going to be examining Calibre much more than I have done up to now as an ebook manager - have just used it for converting to epub.

But Lady F has a point - one needs a bucket to hold all ones files in case one ever needs to change, say from epub to mobi or from this computer to that one, etc, and you have a double setup, Roryok. And you're right, last name, first name is the way to go. But if you want to have some extras, without sacrificing too much hard disk real estate and you have a half-way decent operating system, you can have another - or two or three other - systems at the same time. It only requires a little routine when you add a new book.

Save it in last name, first name - do you really need that A-Z first level? - and then create what decent operating systems call a symlink and Windows calls a shortcut to that file in your alternatives. I can imagine you wanting to have a list in title order - there you maybe want A-Z, or genre order.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:34 PM   #21
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The best thing about dropbox is that you don't have to remember to stick in a usb. Everytime I add a book to Calibre on one computer, it is uploaded to dropbox and then downloaded to all the other computers on which I have dropbox installed. I used to have backups on a usb, an sd card and a portable hard drive. Definately OCD, and proud of it!
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:02 PM   #22
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Then what's the point of dropbox, other than syncing your files with other computers? I got the impression you were using it just for offline storage?
Several points. It's not just synccing, it's backup too. I do have an external backup drive, but it is stored in a closet because I don't have the space to leave it set up all the time. Once a month or so I do darg it out and run time machine but Dropbox lets me rest assured that all my stuff is always backed up. And if there is an internet outage I don't have to worry about how I will access the 'cloud.' It just lets me run my local copy as usual and backs it up in the background for me.

I also use the web interface from time to time to share files between home and work. If I have a file at home that I want to access at work, I can just log into the website and get it (I do not have my own workspace at work either due to the nature of my job, so it is all shared computers with servers there). And if I create a file at work and want to send it home to be with my other related stuff (for example, if I make a new worksheet to go with a book I am using and have at home already) I don't need to fiddle with thumb drives and which file is where. I just upload it to the relevant folder in dropbox and when I get home, it is magically on my computer.

I had a hard drive crash recently and it would have been tragic if I didn't have dropbox. I have many books and files from work, music for teaching, 900 ebooks etc. All I had to do was install dropbox on my new machine, log in and let it download my folder. Then I just pointed Calibre to where my folder was, and all my ebooks were there, just as I left them.

For me, it is vital to have access when I want or need it. So having the local copy is important to me, and knowing that it is all backed up on their servers should I need it is what makes the whole system to beautiful for me. I did pay for an upgraded account, and it was so worth it. It's like insurance, you hope everything will be okay, but when it isn't, boy are you glad that you have it!
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:49 PM   #23
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:55 PM   #24
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Too many free online storage options of gone belly up, often without warning, in the past few years to be able to trust them for long term storage, especially for crucial data. Far better would be to just pony up for one or more USB flash drive sticks. One can find them for as little as $10. Unlimited permanent online storage in the form of automatic data backups can be had for $55-60/year from services like Carbonite and Mozy.
Although USB drives can also corrupt easily - I recently lost almost 8GB worth of data when my drive malfunctioned leaving me with random characters in filenames and supposedly 300 GB in the folders.

Last edited by citac; 08-19-2010 at 05:56 PM. Reason: extra word
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:59 PM   #25
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Then what's the point of dropbox, other than syncing your files with other computers? I got the impression you were using it just for offline storage?
For me it's an additional off site backup copy and also a way to access my books from anywhere. It's nice when I'm out and about the be able to load up the DropBox android app pick a book and have it load into Aldiko and start reading.

I'd never rely on an online backup service as my only backup, but having 'yet one more' especially when I don't have to do anything to maintain it is great.
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