Monday, March 05, 2007


This is another one of my academic ease series, posts aimed at making the life of academics easier. Again I emailed the philos list with this suggestion awhile ago, but have expanded upon it here. A classic problem for at least me, and I suspect other academics, is making sure that multiple computers ie the office, the home and possibly the laptop and/or handheld have the most up to date files on them. There are a variety of different ways to achieve this, from emailing yourself copies, to putting files on a USB stick and carrying them everywhere you go. Inevitably though each of these solutions carries costs and risks, of having to remember which copy is which, of having large quantities of emails gumming up your computers, copying the wrong file on top of the right one, and leaving the darn USB stick at home. Microsoft have a program which might well solve your problem in this regards, it certainly has for me.

This is a piece of software called Foldershare.

Developed by someone else but now provided for free by Microsoft, basically what foldershare allows you to do is to set it up to automatically sychronise the contents of selected folders on two machines that the program is running on via the internet.

I use this to keep the my documents folder on my home pc, my laptop and my office pc the same. Basically as soon as I save a document, it updates the other machines with the new version of it. This means no more messing about with emailing myself various works in progress, or mucking around with usb drives. It’s a huge time saver and I no longer suffer from the old copied over the top wrong version problem.

Their website is here:

It does work best if you can arrange it so that at least two of your machines are frequently on at the same time. This works for me because my wife often has the home computer on while I am at work.

In any case I hope this helps you.