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Author Topic: Running Multiple Copies of KA  (Read 2504 times)
AGB
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« on: August 22, 2008, 06:44:34 PM »

I've been a KA user now for many years - great product, which I could not be without.

Here's the thing though - I regularly use a desktop PC, and 2 separate laptops (don't ask why!).  And I travel a fair bit, taking one or other of the laptops with me.  I have KA installed on all 3 machines.

I need to have my alarms in sync on all 3 machines (an issue I've discussed from time to time with Ian).  And it's not easy to do.  So I'm just wondering if other forums members - or Big Ian himself! - have and brilliant ideas or techniques.

Basically, I manually copy the ALARMS.tps and ALARMLOG.tps files from one machine to another (the desktop is my "default machine", almost always the most up to date).  That's something of a pain, but I'm used to doing it and it works well enough.  I use Windows Explorer, across a home wireless network, to do this.

I've just initiated a new work-round too.  As part of my regular back-up functions, I have KA itself back-up those 2 files to a small flashdrive twice a day (the whole of KA - and lots more besides - is backed up offsite several times a day too....).  That flashdrive always goes with me if I leave the office.  So if I've not had time to do a manual file transfer before I leave, I can do it from the flashdrive a little later.

But it's all still manual.  And of course if I create any alarms while I'm away, I've then got to transfer them back to the desktop when I return.

Maybe I've become too dependent on KA; and certainly my memory is not what it was!  So I live in fear of being away, but with a not-up-to-date set of alarms.

All suggestions welcome.

AGB
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Ian Cook
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 01:59:41 AM »

Hi AGB

Quote
or Big Ian himself!
Hey, I'm not that big <grin> Smiley

Sorry, I don't have any brilliant ideas (apart from me changing the program when I get time)
This may seem like a dumb question, but I am having trouble getting my head around synchronization would work?

I guess the first step would be to ..
select the first file (eg your laptop - machine A)
select the second file (eg your desktop - machine B)

What happens with new alarms?
If alarms DO NOT HAVE the same alarm number then this is easy.
I would - create alarms on machine A that do not exist on machine B
          - create alarms on machine B that do not exist on machine A

BUT, if DIFFERENT alarms on machine A and machine B both have the same number how could I determine if they were modifications to the same alarm, or two completely new alarms?

What happens with modifications to alarm?
Would I copy the most recently updated alarm? (if so KA does not know which one was last updated)

What happens to deleted alarms?
If an alarm on machine B was deleted, how do I distinguish between this being a deletion, or a new alarm on machine B


Perhaps I am making this too complicated, but as I said before I am having trouble getting my head around this concept.

Ian Smiley


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AGB
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Posts: 8


« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 02:54:48 AM »

Hi Ian,

I guess I'm not talking of "real time" synchronization, but of "sequential synchronization"!  Let me explain what I mean, and don't mean, and how I use KA, and how I don;t use it.......

I'm *not* talking of having two machines - Desktop A, and Laptop B, say - running at the same time, and each somehow always showing identical alarms....

I'm thinking more of:  I use Desktop A at the office.  I then need to go on a trip, so I "pass" all the current alarm data to Laptop B, by overwriting B's files with those from A.  Now, just for a moment, both machines have identical data - they literally have the same TPS files. 
But, out on the road, I modify /add /delete some alarms on Laptop B.  That's now my "up to date machine".  I go back to the office, and I now want to switch to using Desktop A - but the alarm data on Desktop A is, say, a week out of date.  So, I pass all the alarm data from B to A, overwriting A's old files.  Again, just for a few minutes both A and B are in synch.  But I'm working on A again, and will do any KA mods on that machine (so, if I want to use B, I will have to again pass the data from A to B).

Let's further imagine that, at my week-end place, I have a Laptop C, that I keep there permanently.  I head off from the office, where I'm working on Desktop A.  I want to travel light, so I don;t take big old Laptop B with me.  But I do take a copy of the up-to-date KA TPS files form A with me on a flash drive, and then I pass them to Laptop C when I arrive (overwriting any old TPS files therein).  And, if I modify KA while I'm on Laptop C, I need to copy the new TPS files back to the flashdrive, and pass them to Desktop A when I get back to the office......

Now I do all this by using Windows Explorer to either pass copies of TPS files from A to B and back again over the office wireless network;  or by making copies of the files onto a flash drive and passing them that way.  But infinitely easier (and I'm not a programmer!) would be simply to have an EXPORT ALL ALARMS option in KA, and a corresponding IMPORT ALL ALARMS.  So, instead of having to fiddle round with Windows Explorer (and also cope with the fact that the TPS files are in different locations in XP and in Vista.....), I would just click TOOLS - EXPORT... on A and send the files to a shared location (either a shared folder on the network, or to a flash drive etc etc).  And then on B (or C) I would just click on TOOLS - IMPORT...., and select that shared folder, or the flash drive.  (I suppose it would be prudent for KA to back up the old TPS files to a sub-folder before it replaces them with the new ones.....)

I've always been surprised that KA *does* have an EXPORT / IMPORT function, but this is only for either importing alarms from an old version of the KA program, or for exporting alarms to a non-KA program.  You can't simply transfer all your alarms from one working KA program, to an identical KA program sitting on another machine.

So, what I'm suggesting is pretty "low tech" - the "synchronization" is essentially manual, and relies on the KA user remembering to do it from one machine to another.  But I hope that one day it will be possible to do the actions from an option *within* KA, rather than having to rely on purely manual file copying using, eg, Windows Explorer.

Of course, I could just toss two of my machines out of the window, and stick to one machine, running one instance of KA!  But life, I regret, isn't quite like that!

Best,

AGB

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