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Sidekick98 in Dropbox

Sidekick98 in Dropbox

Sidekick98 in Dropbox

This is just a bit of information on Dropbox which might be of interest if you travel as much as I do. Dropbox is one of the internet secure storage services with 2GB of free storage.
Travelling with Sidekick98 alongside, is easy these days and I carry a laptop less than 1kg and need nothing else.
Sidekick has excellent print-outs for Address, Memo, and Calendar and as my wife likes this,we have that alongside as well.
Even more, there is a usb pen with Sidekick files converted to dbf,doc,pdf,xls, etc files with pdf the most used in other computers.
I used to have a Palm Zire until it went wonky but it was more of a plaything than today’s laptop.
The reason for adding Dropbox is that it is there at least as a secure back-up accessible anywhere for any computer.

So far, I see two uses:
a) Keep the master files on Dropbox as automatic back-up. They can be accessed directly by Sidekick in the normal way.
b) Use Sidekick98 web versions for access from any computer in any location.

Normally, when we use a Sidekick file, it’s location is in the Starfish USERDATA file with a name such as ADDRESS.SKCard. Using “Publish to the web” we can create a WEBCARD file and send this Contacts card to our own website as an html. It works independently inside the website but the way my website is set up, anybody with know-how can access it, and it can take time to upload.

With Dropbox in mind, I have published to the web, creating the WEBCARD file in the USERDATA as usual. This I have then copied to the Dropbox file. Thereafter, on entering the Dropbox site, and using my Dropbox password , I can download WEBCARD from the Internet with any computer in any location. It will work in an html browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox etc. The htm cards to click on are bucard or buindex depending on which layout you want.
Finally, you might have reason to keep WEBCARD on the ‘any’ computer but normally you delete anything you might have saved during this temporary use.

It can also be done with the calendar WEBCAL and the layout and usage are identical to the Sidekick original.

Changing or amending the data is not being considered here because you can do it to WEBCARD or WEBCAL and upload back into Dropbox from ‘any’ computer, but not to your original Sidekick file.

If instead of creating an html file, you simply put ADDRESS.SKCard file in Dropbox it has the distinct attraction that you can use this location instead of USERDATA and you can make it your master file. This means Dropbox always has the latest Sidekick file accessible by any computer you then use, not just html files. Obviously if the ‘any’ computer has Sidekick you use it, but the near certainty is that the available software on the ‘any’ computer would require downloading the SKCard to Excel, Word, OpenOffice . The layout is affected by the fact that Sidekick allows a lot of freedom per line which you do not get with any other PIM. It works fairly well with Memos but not really Contacts. It is usable if you are searching for info and creating a pdf file worked best with me. This can also be applied to SKW2 sdb and skn files.

At the end of the day, I suppose it is just another ‘portable’ permutation. However, I like this idea of having secure internet storage access from any location with any computer and at the same time, a back-up file that syncs with the master file.

RE: Sidekick98 in Dropbox

Dear Jim

The only thing is, that if the Address.SKCard in your Dropbox is being synced at the time you are using Sidekick and accessing it or saving data that you have just added to it, you could have an incident whereby you could end up with corrupt data in the file? Which in the nature of Dropbox would then be synced to all the other computers, overwriting the last good version?
Might be an idea if you used SecondCopy which allows you to keep the last 4 or 5 versions (or more). Or to send it up to an FTP server daily, weekly etc. The only error message you would get then, is if the address file is in use, SecondCopy would try again in a minute or two!


RE: Sidekick98 in Dropbox

Hi Jim,
This refers to putting the USERDATA master in Dropbox.
I take your point and it might be something to keep an eye on.

It’s on the edge of my know-how, but I thought you cannot sync an open file.
If not, my routine with Sidekick SKW2 or 98 is always off-line and your risk is on-line. So normally there is no problem, but I can see I might leave the router on!

On-line, Dropbox has a ‘status indicator’ in my taskbar. This rotates when it is syncing and would alert me. Also, if an open file can be synced, my thought is that the next sync with closed files would correct any open file errors in the copy on the Internet. The master in the USERDATA would not be affected by syncing.

Second Copy is a good idea because Sidekick is just one of many things I try to bring together for worldwide access and an automatic copy from the Starfish file to Dropbox extends what I already do with external disk back-up. As it has a log, you can check what happened.

RE: Sidekick98 in Dropbox

Yes Jim
You could use SecondCopy to copy the file into the Dropbox and then there would be no problem with dropbox syncing, though it probably uses the same file check system that second copy does.
You could also sync the file back from Dropbox to Sidekick if you were using another computer in between times.

RE: Sidekick98 in Dropbox

OK thanks Jim
We really should always put these things to the test.
Dropbox will in fact sync an open file but will make it a ‘temp’ only. Virtually as soon as you close the file it deletes the temp and makes a closed file copy.
Second Copy does not sync open files. So that looks fail-safe to me. In Dropbox you can see it in “Events” and Second Copy has “Log”.

If I have a problem, it is that I now do not think my on-line ideas are convenient and this is significant when you are travelling.

So what’s the most convenient Sidekick sidekick when you are travelling? I suspect it is the pencil. My wife has hard copies of Contacts, Memos/Notes, and Calendar which she scribbles on daily and in reality these pages become the temporary master. The layout is excellent.

Somebody is going to tell me to get a decent mobile.

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