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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Leewave wrote:
Thanks for this reply, Dave

I don't see why you have to copy or replace folders every day, and having a dummy DB folder in Mavericks with empty folders doesn't seem to be a good idea, I guess that won't work.

The dummy folder in Mavericks would only be AFTER April 2019, when DB switch me off and sign me out of Mavericks. Otherwise it would mean copying across the entire DB folder to Sierra each time I wanted a DB sync.

The method that I have tried today seems to be very effective but it isn't really necessary. The shared folder is a very useful place to do that, I guess you could use that method if the accounts have different short usernames but I'm not sure. Anyway all my personal accounts use the same short username to simplify cross communication.

That wouldn't work with Parallels virtualiser, which runs another OS (e.g. Sierra) WITHIN the host (i.e. Mavericks). Yes, you can share data from the host to the guest, but this is manual, not automatic (unless there is something about Parallels I've not yet learned). So I couldn't automatically sync from Mavericks to Sierra.

Using symlinks, if they work, seems quite a good idea although I'm not sure if you really need to have those items on Dropbox, standard backups should be more appropriate. I assume they do work for you since that's what you're doing. Another instance on the same DB account could give you problems though, it might delete the symlinks. But using symlinks might throw a spanner in the works. As you say you have iCloud backup but surely you may also have Time Machine backup or a clone too - so why do you need to do that, is there any real benefit?

As said, the symlinks are for data that can't - or shouldn't - live in the DB folder but remain in Application Support. I'm not sure what will happen to them in Sierra. Yes, I have Time Machine but DB is for the worst case scenario, e.g. fire or theft.


I decided to have everything in the Dropbox folder with no exclusions, there is only one DB folder now on my MBP used for both OS instances of Dropbox. It is backed up by Time Machine as well since the Shared folder is included in the TM backup. I also run Dropbox on my two Mac Minis, so there is plenty of duplication anyway, and the TM back up insures against accidental deletions.

That's your set up. I don't have a Shared folder that can be used in the virtualised Sierra, not automatically.

As I mentioned, when it comes to sharing a DB folder from two different places, Dropbox will complain on initial installation - when it sees that there is an existing DB folder. I fixed it by renaming and copying stuff across as stated above. However doing that is not really required, I just did it because I could, and I wanted to see if it was possible, I try to do things in an efficient (even if complicated way!) and sometimes look for the boundaries of the possible.

My problem was different. I downloaded DB ok, and I could login to my DB account online and see all my data. The problem came with setting up DB in Sierra - the login / setup window was nearly blank apart from the logo and the shadow cast by a ghost button. When I clicked the ghost I was invited to login using my Google account, so that's what I had to do in the end.

If you just keep a separate DB folder in Sierra as well as a another DB folder in Mavericks - there is no need for all that complication. Both DB folders will be duplicates of each other so space needed will be twice what is strictly necessary, but they will both be independent in their own OS and functioning in the way that Dropbox intended. That's surely the easiest way. You can have as many computers as you like on the same DB account connected to their own DB folders with the same data in them. There is no limit as far as I know.

Yes, the space needed is double, but because the virtualised Sierra uses a minimum amount of space, adding stuff into that space doesn't (immediately) add to the total used. As for the DB folders functioning as intended - yes that's true, as long as the Sierra folder is sync'd with the Mavericks folder. Which is fine until next April, when the Mavericks folder will no longer sync with the online account.

Also, the reason I have suggested copying the files with Finder from an existing Dropbox folder when setting up a new installation is because it might take an awfully long time to download several gigabytes of data from the Internet at Dropbox limited sync speeds - whereas copying it directly and synchronising it afterwards is much quicker. But then I'm still in the Stone Age and I only have 7.5 Mb/s Internet! I don't think DB will allow very fast speeds for synchronisation, (I stand to be corrected) as it appears that even selecting nonlimiting download speeds in DB preferences > Bandwidth doesn't seem to give the full whack.

That's true! After about 90 minutes, I would say about 2/3 has been downloaded, but as it's running as a background activity except when I'm monitoring it, I'm not too bothered about when it will finish.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:23 pm 
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Leewave wrote:
I don't see why you have to copy or replace folders every day, and having a dummy DB folder in Mavericks with empty folders doesn't seem to be a good idea, I guess that won't work.

MacBiter wrote:
The dummy folder in Mavericks would only be AFTER April 2019, when DB switch me off and sign me out of Mavericks. Otherwise it would mean copying across the entire DB folder to Sierra each time I wanted a DB sync.

I don't understand what you're saying there. I don't see a reason for having to copy the entire folder across to Sierra every time you want to make a Dropbox sync within Sierra. You just need to selectively copy the bits that you want to copy while you're running Sierra, surely. Perhaps you could set up a script to do that every time you run Sierra. But now the amount of effort required to do this is getting disproportionately huge! It seems somewhat unrealistic to spend this much effort to do this, but these topics are often interesting to discuss and pick apart.

And I suppose (I'm almost sure) that from Mavericks you can have no access to the Sierra virtualisation data so you can't actually just keep an alias to the Dropbox folder within Sierra directly to make changes, and presumably you can't even keep a symbolic link to it either. But not knowing how Parallels really operates, I'm talking blind.

Trying to mess around with Dropbox is quite difficult because DB does have their proprietary ways of doing things and they lock you out of what they think is impermissible.

Another option then is to do what I did on my MBP, just make a another small partition on your iMac to hold a raw basic installation of Sierra. It doesn't need much space if you don't have much data in it. My partition for that is 30 GB with more than half still free. That means of course you have to reboot every time you want to go there if you can't do DB via virtualisation, but I can't think of another way round this.

It's interesting to discuss these things, I like to try to work out ways of solving these arcane problems - experimentation is always the way that I have found to move forwards. Discussing it by text messages is very labourious and you can't see the results of your suggestions until you actually try them and then get feedback by e-snail mail!

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:39 pm 
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Leewave wrote:
Leewave wrote:
I don't see why you have to copy or replace folders every day, and having a dummy DB folder in Mavericks with empty folders doesn't seem to be a good idea, I guess that won't work.

MacBiter wrote:
The dummy folder in Mavericks would only be AFTER April 2019, when DB switch me off and sign me out of Mavericks. Otherwise it would mean copying across the entire DB folder to Sierra each time I wanted a DB sync.

I don't understand what you're saying there. I don't see a reason for having to copy the entire folder across to Sierra every time you want to make a Dropbox sync within Sierra. You just need to selectively copy the bits that you want to copy while you're running Sierra, surely. Perhaps you could set up a script to do that every time you run Sierra. But now the amount of effort required to do this is getting disproportionately huge! It seems somewhat unrealistic to spend this much effort to do this, but these topics are often interesting to discuss and pick apart.

Doh! That's why the dummy DB folder - it would just contain the bits I want to copy to Sierra!! Then once copied, it would be emptied again of actual documents leaving just empty folders ready for re-use!!

And I suppose (I'm almost sure) that from Mavericks you can have no access to the Sierra virtualisation data so you can't actually just keep an alias to the Dropbox folder within Sierra directly to make changes, and presumably you can't even keep a symbolic link to it either. But not knowing how Parallels really operates, I'm talking blind.

As I said before, I can access the host (10.9) from the guest (Sierra), but only manually AFAIK. So the dummy folder is - so far - the easiest thing.


Another option then is to do what I did on my MBP, just make a another small partition on your iMac to hold a raw basic installation of Sierra. It doesn't need much space if you don't have much data in it. My partition for that is 30 GB with more than half still free. That means of course you have to reboot every time you want to go there if you can't do DB via virtualisation, but I can't think of another way round this.

Quicker to run Sierra in Parallels and just copy data across to sync to DB in Sierra.

It's interesting to discuss these things, I like to try to work out ways of solving these arcane problems - experimentation is always the way that I have found to move forwards. Discussing it by text messages is very labourious and you can't see the results of your suggestions until you actually try them and then get feedback by e-snail mail!

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Core i5 2011 21.5" iMac 12,1 2.5 GHz 12GB RAM OS X 10.9.5


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