RM with more than one Mac

What are the thoughts of this group about the best way to use RM on two Macs? Better/easier to use a Flash Drive or sync from a backup?

I have two older Macs. The way that I do it is by putting my Backup, Media, GEDCOM, and Reports folders in the cloud. I keep the actual RM9 data file in a local folder on each computer.

When I work on the RM9 database on one of the Macs, I make sure that I run a backup. Because the backup folder is in the cloud, it is available to the other Mac without any additional work.

Now when I want to work on the second Mac, I restore the file from the latest backup file to the second Mac. The media location is the same for both machines, ie in the cloud. Even though this is the case, I find that I have to repair the media links in the restored file. But that is the only thing that I have to do after the restore.

No file movements are necessary. But I do need to keep track which machine I used last.

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This ia pretty much what I do, working on two Macs. As the OP said, hardest part is keeping track of which machine I used last!

It should not matter which machine you’ve last used provided only one has the database open at the time, provided a backup to the cloud is always made on closing, provided a restore from the cloud synced backup is made on starting a new session and provided sufficient time is allowed between the backup on one and the restore of the other.

The broken media links may be resolved through drive mapping or symbolic folders to create virtual paths that are common to both machines.

Edit: “provided” made explicit. It also implies that the setting to automatically open the last database file opened on starting RM is disabled to avoid confusion and conflict.

I have been using various versions of RM on two Macs (desktop and laptop) for several years. I keep my program and data files in a folder on my desktop which is stored on iCloud. As long as only one copy of the database is open at a time, as Tom mentioned. I’ve had no problems using this method and find it quite convenient, especially if traveling.

Note that the prior posts all keep the working database file outside of synced folders because of possible interference from the sync process to the file’s integrity locally or on the server. This is not an issue for the backups. Search the RM Support, this Community and the FB group to see the countless times users are warned not to have their working database in an actively synced folder. The only exception I would be confident in using is OneDrive which I have seen explicitly pausing sync on RM database files in Windows when they are registered as connected to the RM app or to a sqlite manager.

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Thanks to all who have replied. I don’t understand most of the replies. I’m familiar with three genealogy programs native to the MacOS: Reunion, MacFamilyTree and Heredis. All of these make syncing between two computers easy, so I wonder why RM makes it so difficult? To me, this should be a simple process, with simple, easy to understand instructions provided by RootsMagic (I just want to know the time, not how to build the watch).

Thanks Tom. Unfortunately, you completely lost me with your second paragraph. “Drive mapping”, “symbolic folders” and “create virtual paths” are way beyond me. All that should be necessary is for me to quit RM on one computer and (after perhaps a couple minutes) open RM on the other computer. And there should be no reason why that process should not include media.

you wrote “a reatore from the cloud synced backup is made on starting a new session”. I interpret this as saying that every time your open RM, it restores from a backup. Am I reading this correctly?

If so, how does RM determine which backup to restore from if you have multiple back ups with slightly different names so as to not overwrite previous ones?

I, also, use two macs. One is a laptop and the other is a desktop.

My method to transfer DBs from open the other is thus: I created two folders is iCloud named “to Laptop” and To Desktop".

When I finish work on one computer, copy the backup file (and sometimes the DB file) to the corresponding folder. If on my laptop, I copy to the “To Desktop” folder, and vice version.

It saves me from being confused and ensures that my files are backed up via time machine.

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Misinterpretation of my inadequately worded sentence: “provided” precedes every phrase. You manually select and restore - nothing automatic.

  1. for synching consider using desktop and documents in the cloud setting on and test the results. RM is not very familiar with macs and has issues with cloud storage that I do not understand myself.

  2. restoring from a backup in RM apparently dumps all media into one folder and destroys any nested subfolder structure you had. I use nested folders to keep media under control and this would be a disaster for me if true.

Your watch metaphor was great!

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Thanks Robert. Your solution makes sense and is easy enough for this old man to follow. That said, the process of syncing between two computers is something that should be done within the RM program. Reunion uses Dropbox (ugh!) but the process works pretty well, provided you don’t have two computers open at the same time. MFT has their CloudTree system, which works well. Heredis’ systems just works.

Only if your backup includes media and you choose the restore option to include media. So never do a RM backup with media (it can take forever anyway and defeats the goal of doing frequent operational backups as a coarse “undo”) or never do a RM restore with media.

Thanks Rooty. My harsh reaction to RM not being “very familiar with Macs or with cloud storage” is to either get in or get out of the MacOS. RM does not have to be everything to everyone. If the Windows environment is where RM is most comfortable and would like to be, then do that. Be great at what you want to be, not mediocre to everyone. End of rant.

While I have Heredis, I don’t use it. I know they have some sort of web service as does Family TreeMaker which has their Vault web service for backups. Both of those applications use the same database engine, SQLite 3, as does RM and are as vulnerable to the same issues if the working database is stored in a cloud-synced folder. I suspect their cloud backup solutions are driven by the application, not by an outboard drive/folder/file syncing service that cannot know what is going on within the database. I’m not defending RM - just telling it as it is.

I know that you can’t answer this, but why shouldn’t RM do what MFT and Heredis do regarding syncing? Each genealogy app has strengths and weaknesses, but RM has no viable, easy to understand syncing system and also has no iOS app. All three of their MacOS competitors (Reunion, MFT and Heredis) do. There are a lot of things that RM does and does very well, but I sure wish they would make some changes, especially as pertains to the MacOS.

Side note: this has been a very good discussion about this subject

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I read up and learned about those a decade or so ago as I had a Windows tablet with RM on it which I wanted to sync with my computer. The sync worked a charm, even synced the RootsMagicuser.xml and spelling dictionary files. The tablet battery more or less blew up so I don’t sync anymore; besides, I don’t think RM8,9 would have been remotely usable on it; prior versions were difficult enough needing a keyboard for data entry and navigation and touchpad or mouse for finer resolution clicking than on screen.

FTM has a cloud tree service which is just a single tree cloud backup. Kind of silly, costs $20 but does let you use their ios app. they promote it as a tree backup but silly as your automatic computer backups take care of that for multiple backups.

thanks for the tip about not including media with backups.

I misspoke. The program file is in my applications folder on each computer. It is not on iCloud although all the data files are there as described in my original post.