Thursday, July 26, 2012


Hey! Internet post!

I still do not have a "smart phone" (the quotes there represent my fingers doing the quote gesture as I say "smart phone"). So, you might think that I am behind on the internet times.

But no! If you think this you are wrong. I use three computers (home, office, and lab), and they are all linked together. They share a Dropbox, which has basically replaced FTP in my daily file-shuffling. From what I hear, once MEEI has finished eating SERI, they're going to do away with our FTP server anyways, so that's fine. My computers also are all equipped with Logmein, so I can use any of them from anywhere, so long as they remain connected. Effectively, all three computers can be used as one.

Those are both pretty basic, though. The thing I'm excited about is SVN: version control. D* just taught me about this last week, and I'm already using it to manage my manuscripts. You create a repository to store files for a project, and it contains all versions of the project over time, as you make changes. It is amazing.

Sophisticated users, e.g. software developers, will give SVN its own server so it can be accessed from multiple locations by different users. What I'm doing is leaving the repositories on Dropbox; so, wherever I am, so long as the files are synchronized (i.e. as long as the internet is working between the two relevant computers), I can always get to the current version of my files. This is great. I don't have to worry about whether I'm moving the right ones, or which were the most recent versions (on which computer) after a long pause in a project - the most recent versions are all contained in the central Dropbox location, and I don't have to think about it. I'm sure there's a pitfall there.

The Dropbox is backed up on the lab and office computers, but I haven't set up a backup on my laptop yet. Need to do that. Anyways, I feel this is a great advance in organization. We'll see what my files look like after a few years of this. Next big modeling project should definitely take advantage of this system!

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