How can I keep my flash drive synced to a specific folder?
February 5, 2005 7:56 AM   Subscribe

I want to put my usb flash drive in my ibook and have it sync automagically with a desktop folder of my choosing. Is there a simple and free way to do this?

How do you keep your usb flash drive synchronized, regardless of platform?
posted by mecran01 to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Sync automagically in what way? Every so often? cron and rsync will take care of this. Or if you're more of a GUI type of person psyncx ought to do the job.

If you mean you want an action to occur at mount-time, whenever the device is connected, and without having to remember to click something, I'm afraid I don't know how to do this (but am almost positive it's possible and that there are hooks for doing it).
posted by majick at 8:30 AM on February 5, 2005

mount-time syncing would be best, but perhaps I can script psyncx to do something similar. But also I'd like to hear about how everyone deals with the flash sync prob.
posted by mecran01 at 9:15 AM on February 5, 2005

I use Karen's Replicator ... still requires manual intervention, but not much.
posted by fourstar at 9:21 AM on February 5, 2005

Backup will let you schedule *periodic* synchronizations like this, I believe (it's free with .mac, I think you can get it off the apple site too).

But I'm pretty sure it won't do it automatically on mount.

If this were an issue, i'd just put the folder in question on the desktop and drag it onto the USB drive when I mounted it, then answer 'replace all' at the "OMG this folder already exists" prompt.

Assuming you're running Mac OS X, of course.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:24 AM on February 5, 2005

If the device supports auto-insert notification, you could add an autorun.inf that points to the syncing script of your choice.

Most flash devices don't support this. It would probably require an additional driver on the machine. Some devices may have built-in solutions, eg.

Other than that, I guess you'd have to run in the background and hook the appearance of a new drive, as GuardUSB, PenDrive Autorun or X-Autorun presumably do.

(Information lifted in about 30 seconds from a brief Google Search).
posted by Leon at 10:54 AM on February 5, 2005

iPhoto pops up when I insert a card, somehow, so it seems like it should be possible.
posted by smackfu at 11:13 AM on February 5, 2005

You could write an Applescript to trigger a backup once your flash drive is mounted.

Applications -> Applescript -> Add Script Menu

will add a script menu to your menu bar. You can add your script to the script menu folder and call it when you need to.

Here's an Applescript-aware synchronization utility: ChronoSync.

Drag the ChronoSync utility on the Script Editor application to view its Applescript directory.

If you haven't written an Applescript before, here's a tutorial.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2005

Drag the ChronoSync utility on the Script Editor application to view its Applescript directory.

Sorry: "dictionary", not directory. The dictionary is a list of AS commands for that application.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:30 AM on February 5, 2005

Thanks for asking this-- it is something I want to do as well. I have trouble though because apparently there are some hidden files in the folders I want to back up that don't want to copy.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I will be following it. Nothing seems to be working for me, and I have tried various programs.
posted by synecdoche at 1:56 PM on February 5, 2005

To update: majick's linked psyncx worked a treat for me. I don't know why all the other ones were so troublesome.
posted by synecdoche at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2005

Hmm. I'm an idiot - completely missed the "ibook" part. Apologies for any wasted time.

Maybe My response will help out someone else, though. *shrugs*.
posted by Leon at 4:26 PM on February 5, 2005

applescript snippets that auto-detect a mounted drive don't exist, as far as I can tell. I could have the script poll the drive every x minutes, and simply quit if it doesn't find it. I will check out psyncx, thanks.
posted by mecran01 at 6:36 AM on February 7, 2005

Using ideas and vocabulary from this thread I googled a bit more and found:

fink install unison

It looks very promising, and has true bidirectional syncing.
posted by mecran01 at 6:49 AM on February 7, 2005

You could write the AppleScript to do the syncing, and, having put it in the Scripts menu, assign it a keyboard shortcut. This is done in the "Keyboard and Mouse" preference pane.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:03 PM on February 14, 2005

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