So, it turns out that my insatiable desire to always try out new programs that I think will make my life easier, inevitabley backfires and initially makes my life much harder.
But it’s always a great ride, right….?
My newest ride was Microsoft’s Groove 2007.
Onenote has built-in (weird) sharing/synching features. If I wanted to save my Onenote notebook to a network drive and access it from multiple computers I can do that quite easily. However, you have to be connected to the network drive. If I am away at a conference, it’s no longer on my computer.
Long ago, I briefly toyed with Groove, but wasn’t too interested. I have used many programs to ‘synch’ or work with files remotely or on multiple computers.
Foldershare – is quite simple for simple sharing of files.
Second Copy – I like for copying via ftp automatically to my family website. I can make a folder on the dektop of my family members, then any picture they put in the folder will be sent via ftp to the website automatically.
Logmein.com – I really like this for remotely controlling all the computers in my lab, home, and family member’s computers. But, not that great for ‘really’ working with Onenote or other programs.
These programs didn’t work too well in my Onenote share testing (mostly because sharing of Onenote notebooks is a huge pain because of its own strange sharing features?). With the above programs I at times lost changes (if I was working on the same notebook at the same time, or even the same notebook within 10 minutes).
I read some Groove stuff and decided to give it a go. I have new students working on a project with me, so I thought I would use one e-lab-book in Onenote and let them access it at different computers throughout the lab.
You can use the same account on each computer, or different accounts on each computer. Either way you share one workspace (folder).
I, initially, just used the same account on each computer in the lab (and my computer at home), then went back later and changed to different account names.
Why? Because if two people are working on the same Onenote folder or file at the same time then one will be saved as, for example, ‘HCN1′ and the other may be ‘HCN1 (Shawn’s copy)’. So I would get a bunch of ‘(Shawn’s copy)’ folders and not know which computer it came from. So I switched to every computer having its own account.
During the switchover to separate accounts (I must have done this too quickly or something), Groove was synch, synch, synching, but it must have lost track or something and ended up getting rid of all the files in the folder except for the .one files. All the tiff, jpg, excel, word, pdf files that were in the folder and linked in pages of the Onenote notebook, they all disappeared! I had it backed up, so it wasn’t a big deal, but be warned! Since the setup, no problems at all (a couple weeks of heavy use).
This ‘Shawn’s copy’ thing is aggrevating and less than ideal, but better than losing changes completely I guess.
This ‘x’s copy’ thing only happens if the file is changed ‘at the same time’. You can actually have the same Onenote notebook open at the same time on more than one computer. If only one person is making changes at a time, you should be fine. In fact, it is kind of neat to see. If I write something in Onenote, then about 10-20 seconds later it pops up on the other computers Onenote page.
This ‘close to real time’ synching is both good and bad. It’s good because I don’t lose changes (like I saw in some other synching programs). But the Onenote folder files xxx.one can get quite large. And I have read that Groove doesn’t resend entire files (instead just parts of the file that have changed), however I have noticed a heck of a lot of data sent and received when only typing the word ‘test’ into a page. It seems like it resends the entire notebook sometimes. Plus it tends to have a problem with the Onenote TOC file – (.onetoc2), but that doesn’t affect much.
While not ideal, Groove has worked quite well sharing Onenote on multiple computers in the lab (apart from a couple initial hiccups). Plus, it still allows me to have my Onenote notebook on my computer when I go to conferences.