Author Topic: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox  (Read 24295 times)

Offline jaycount

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 3
I use my desktop pc for designing and setting up recipes but I like to have my netbook next to me on my brew day so I can not only view my recipe but also make any adjustments necessary a long the way. I didn't want to recreate recipes on my netbook because that's a huge pain and even exporting/importing wasn't my favorite method as it relied on me (I'm lazy  :D). So here's what I did:

1. Set up a free dropbox account (www.dropbox.com), there's other similar software out there that would work fine.
2. Install dropbox on both of the computers you want to do this with.
3. Back up your recipes, just in case something bad happens along the way.
4. In BS2, under "File -> Change Documents Directory", point this to your new Drop Box folder on your computer. This has to be done on each pc.
5. Verify that your recipes are there on both PCs.
6. Voila! Any updates you make on either PC will be automatically sync'ed with your dropbox account and in turn the other computer.

A couple points to keep in mind:
-I only have BS2 open on one pc at a time, I don't know whats going to happen if you have it open on both at once. Maybe Brad can chime in on at what point in run time the files are saved to the documents directory.
-Keep backups (on your local machine, not drop box), JUST IN CASE you have any problems.
-If you don't have an internet connection, your machine wont sync with drop box and you wont be able to load the most recent files or save any changes (until you have internet again). Keep this in mind if using a laptop and plan on brewing outside your wireless coverage.

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5356
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2011, 08:24:50 PM »
Hi,
  The files are saved when BeerSmith is closed and also "autosaved" about every 5 minutes if the program is idle.

  My only concern with this approach is if you had more than one machine access the files at the same time you could have overwrite issues (one copy overwriting the other) which might not give you the final result you desire - and could even corrupt the data files.

  Its probably OK (like running the data on a network drive) as long as you carefully limit yourself to having only one copy open at a time.

Brad
Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here

Offline Hopfrog

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 27
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 08:38:47 AM »
Very good tip! I've been syncing manually for a couple of years now, what a hassle. This is just what I've been looking for.
Thanks.

Offline sbbish

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 53
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 02:08:06 PM »
I installed BeerSmith (both 1.4 a couple of years ago and 2.0 last week) on my flash drive. That lets me run it on any computer. So I'll design recipes on my work computer during my lunch hour, or mess with inventory and ingredients on my desktop at home, then use my laptop on a brew day so I can keep everything with me out on the patio. I had no problems with performance and so far, it looks like 2.0 runs even better on my flash drive than 1.4 did.

Just be sure to "Change Documents Directory" to point to a location on your flash drive. By default, it tries to look in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\BeerSmith2 on the local computer and then you loose everything when you run it off your flash drive on a different computer (including activation). But once I pointed to a directory on my flash drive, everything has been hunky dory.

Scott

Offline ChrisNH

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 30
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 09:50:47 AM »
Drop box worked great for me. Thanks for the suggestion.

Chris

Offline Hoptomology

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
    • Hoptomology
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 10:10:02 AM »
Thanks for the tip jaycount!
I've been working between 2 computers for a while and never really looked into something like this. I usually create/tweak recipes at work and then use my laptp at home when I brew, but I find that sometimes I don't have the latest version because I forgot to bring the USB stick home, or didn't email or something, so I have to try and remember what I changed on it.
This sounds like the answer!
Cheers!
Jeff
www.hoptomology.com
A little about life, a lot about beer.

Stop by and share your brewing expertise!

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 62
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 09:09:51 AM »
I am having a really frustrating time with Beersmith overwriting files between two computers using Dropbox...I am not using them at the same time, but apparently the files do not always get synced to Dropbox from one computer immediately...so if you shut that computer down, and then open up beersmith on another computer, even if you don't change ANYTHING, Beersmith overwrites the dropbox files and slaps a new time and date stamp on them, so that when you turn on the first computer again, it then downloads the old files with the new timestamp, and overwrites all of the changes you had previously made! Ohhh...I can't even tell you how maddening this is....  >:(

Also, why are there "Recepe1," "Recepe2," "Recepe3," and "Recepe4," etc... files in my recipe's folder? Which one contains the actual recipe's!!? Why is there more than one?!

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 62
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 09:27:03 AM »
Is there some way to turn off the Auto Save and Save on Exit "features?!" OMG...there should be no reason this stuff got overwritten without having made any changes to anything. I just opened the program on the second computer, realized that the latest database modifications hadn't been synced yet, and then closed the program. At which point, starting up the first computer and allowing it to sync to Dropbox should have solved the problem...but NO...now the FIRST computer now has the "corrupted" files. OMG...  :-[

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5356
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 07:10:10 PM »
Hi,
  I don't recommend sharing across machines (particularly with Dropbox) for this reason.  If you are not careful you will overwrite the data since there are no locks in place to prevent it.  In addition several users have reported other problems using dropbox such as blank preview reports.

  I am working on a better internet sharing option right now which I hope to release early next year.

Brad
Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 62
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 10:34:09 PM »
Brad, thanks for responding.

As it turned out, what happened is that the laptop hadn't finished syncing with dropbox before I ran Beersmith, therefore, loaded the local copies of the database. While, unknown to me at the time, I had actually left a copy of beersmith running on my home desktop PC while I had the laptop at work...so as I was recovering the older files from dropbox to the laptop, the desktop was repeatedly overwriting them with the laptop's local databases that it subsequently synced to dropbox and then the home PC reloaded somehow...what a mess. Anyway, I finally got it figured out...I just have to remember to make SURE that I close out BS on the unused PC when I'm done, and make sure I allow at least a few minutes for the second PC to sync after bootup before starting BS...then, everything seems to be fine.

...that said however, I am REALLY looking forward to whatever improvements you can make to the network functionality in the near future! I really love the flexibility of Dropbox, I just want less risk with overwriting/corrupting files. If you could make the autosave and save-on-exit features user configurable in the mean time, it would be great.

Also, if you could explain what the "Recipe1, 2, 3, 4, 5..." and "Grain 1, 2, 3, 4..." etc... files are, it would be appreciated. Can I delete all of the numbered versions of the databases? It appears after my recovery efforts today that BS is only using the non-numbered (original?) versions of the database files, and that the numbered versions perhaps have something to do with the auto save feature? I'd like to clean up the recipe directory a bit if possible. There are a LOT of files in there. I wish there were only a few...

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5356
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 11:32:58 PM »
Yes,
  Unfortunately that is a risk with dropbox or a networked drive.  I have started working on an online sharing service which would make it much easier to exchange recipes via a server across machines and hope to have it released in a few months.

  The numbered items are actually backup files made automatically when you open the program.  They are there to prevent loss if a file is corrupted due to a system crash or other reason.

Brad
Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here

Offline bperetto

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
  • KotMF
    • Twin Hills Brewery
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2012, 08:57:04 AM »
Brad, that'll be a great feature to have!  Like others here, I develop my recipes at work and then have my personal laptop which I bring into the brewery.

Recipes are a big concern, but I also hope you plan on being able to (optionally?) synch settings, reports, equipment configurations, and especially the inventory.  When I'm done brewing, it'd be great to "check-out" those ingredients and then know what I have left when I'm back in the office.

I'm not sure what service you plan on supporting  (beersmith server?) but most file sharing services like dropbox are blocked at work- and rightfully so with the thread of viruses on the corporate network.  It'd be awesome if I could upload to my own FTP server.

Just food for thought...
Bryan "Sir Vorlauf" Peretto
Celebrating 10 years of the fermenting arts.

www.KotMF.com - Knights of the Mashing Fork

Offline wandering

  • BeerSmith New Brewer
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 03:09:50 PM »
Is there some way to turn off the Auto Save and Save on Exit "features?!" OMG...there should be no reason this stuff got overwritten without having made any changes to anything.

I second that (for unchanged files). Simply starting and closing BS2 causes 20 files to be udpated. (Even though I've only started using BS2, that's 1.5MB.) This causes unnecessary wear on flash drives and delay problems on DropBox. I stopped using DropBox even on a single PC because of this issue and the fact that reports, etc are temporarily created on DropBox as well.

Ideally, the files are updated / saved only if there had been changes to the file and there should be a folder setting for temporary files.

Offline jrehmert

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 09:12:30 AM »
Just a suggestion - as I tried this Dropbox sync method a while back - just use one computer with BeerSmith and use Remote Desktop to connect to it from the other computer in order to use BeerSmith.  That completely avoids the file sync issues caused by open/close and Dropbox sync delays.  Then, in order to use Dropbox as a backup (that's what I do), I just run the BeerSmith executable via a script and then backup the files once the BeerSmith executable is closed.  I put the VBScript in the root of my Dropbox and then created a shortcut on my desktop that executes C:\Windows\System32\wscript.exe //nologo //B c:\users\<my username>\my documents\my dropbox\runbeersmith.vbs" and it works like a charm.  The script is documented inline, so anyone can open/modify as needed using a standard text editor.  Here's the code (I'm sure not the best, most efficient code, but it does what I need):
Code: [Select]
' RUNS BEERSMITH AND BACKS UP BSMX FILES AFTER CLOSED

Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
' LOCATION OF BEERSMITH EXECUTABLE - USING SHORT FILES AVOIDS DOUBLE QUOTE NIGHTMARES
oShell.Run "C:\Progra~2\BeerSmith2\BeerSmith2.exe", 1, True

' GETS USERNAME TO USE IN DROPBOX LOCATION (DEFAULT)
set oNet = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
oUser = oNet.UserName

' GETS DATE AND TIME FOR USE IN BACKUP FILE NAME AND LOGFILE
sNow = Now()
sYear = Year(sNow)
sMonth = twoDigits(Month(sNow))
sDay = twoDigits(Day(sNow))
sHour = twoDigits(Hour(sNow))
sMinute = twoDigits(Minute(sNow))
sSecond = twoDigits(Second(sNow))

' FOLDER WHERE BEERSMITH IS INSTALLED
srcFolder = "C:\Progra~2\BeerSmith2"
' FILE EXTENSION(S) TO BACKUP
srcFiles = "*.bsmx"
' LOCATION OF 7-ZIP (DEFAULT)
zipExe = "C:\Progra~1\7-Zip\7z.exe"
' OPTIONS TO PASS TO 7-ZIP TO CREATE A ZIP FILE (MOST PORTABLE)
zipOptions = " a -tzip "
' FOLDER TO SAVE ZIP FILE
zipFolder = "C:\Users\" & oUser & "\Documents\MyDrop~1\BeerSmithBak"
' FILE NAME FOR ZIP FILE
zipFile = "BeerSmith2_" & sYear & sMonth & sDay & "-" & sHour & sMinute & sSecond & ".zip "
' LOG FILE NAME
logFile = "_log.txt"

Set oFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' IF BACKUP FOLDER (zipFolder) DOES NOT EXIST, THEN CREATE IT
If Not oFSO.FolderExists(zipFolder) Then
  set oDest = oFSO.CreateFolder(zipFolder)
End If

' SET THE DESTINATION FOLDER TO zipFolder VARIABLE
Set oDest = oFSO.GetFolder(zipFolder)

' DESTINATION SHOULD BE A FOLDER BASED ON ABOVE, BUT JUST FOR GIGGLES, MAKE SURE THE DESTINATION IS A FOLDER
If oDest.Type = "File folder" Then
  ' CREATE OR OPEN THE LOG FILE FOR APPENDING
  Set oWrite = oFSO.OpenTextFile(zipFolder & "\" & logFile, 8, True)
  ' CREATE THE ZIP FILE
  Set oExec = oShell.Exec(zipExe & zipOptions & zipFolder & "\" & zipFile & srcFolder & "\" & srcFiles)
  ' WRITE THE FOLLOWING LINES TO THE LOG FILE FOR READABILITY/REFERENCE
  oWrite.WriteLine "******************************"
  oWrite.WriteLine sMonth & "/" & sDay & "/" & sYear & " " & sHour & ":" & sMinute & ":" & sSecond
  oWrite.WriteLine "******************************"
  oWrite.Write oExec.StdOut.ReadAll
  oWrite.WriteBlankLines(1)
  oWrite.WriteLine "******************************"
  oWrite.WriteBlankLines(4)
End If

' CLOSE NICELY
Set oShell = Nothing
Set oDest = Nothing
Set oFSO = Nothing

' MAKE SURE THERE ARE TWO DIGITS IN THE MONTH, DAY, HOUR, MINUTE & SECONDS VARIABLES TO MAKE SORTING WORK RIGHT
Function twoDigits(iInput)
If iInput < 10 Then
twoDigits = "0" & iInput
Else
twoDigits = iInput
End If
End Function

Offline danielsan

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 6
Re: Sharing recipes/data between your 2 licensed computers via DropBox
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 03:50:59 PM »
Hey there.

I've been using dropbox to sync my two computers without problems for years. But now I want to add more complexity to the mix. Since I've started brewing with a friend and he got a license too, we want to share the same folder between both licenses.

We will give it a try tomorrow, after making a proper backup of the folder of course, and see what happens.
Any advice on this? Is there a better way to share all the libraries between different licenses?

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 03:56:06 PM by danielsan »

 

modification