Sunday, October 08, 2006

Files on the move

I own a laptop like most people and travel a lot. In the organisation where we work, we are encouraged not to store any files on the desktops. Rather we have a very organised file structure with proper file naming conventions that enable us to retrieve information very efficiently on a file server.

Many a times when I am at clients place, I need a particular file and realise that I am not carrying it on my laptop. I call-up someone at office and ask them to mail it to me and then when I go back to office, I copy the file back to the file server. The end result, I end up with multiple versions of the file and not knowing which one is the latest.

I was trying to find a solution to this problem and chanced upon the Windows Briefcase. The briefcase is a inbuilt feature (tool) in Windows. I have seen it in Microsoft Windows since Windows 98. Probably it was there in Windows 95 also. What the briefcase allows you to do is to copy files to your briefcase and you can at the click of a button synchronise the file at your server or another computer when you come back to office.

The synchronise facility looks for files that have been modified on either locations and copies them to the other location.

Creating a briefcase is easy. You can just right click anywhere on your desktop or any folder and select "New" and then "Briefcase". Adding files to the briefcase is easy. Just drag and drop files into the briefcase. Next time you are leaving office, just go to the briefcase and say update all. All files in your briefcase will get updated with the ones on the server.

In case you have made any changes to files when you are out of office, come back to office and say update all and it will copy the files back to the server.

There are many advantages and some advantages of using the briefcase, but that will have to wait for my next blog.

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