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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Need More Control Over File Synchronization? Better Check Out Synchronize!
November 27th, 2000

Synchronize 3.9.1 ($29.95 Shareware)

Having a Mac is great, but having more than one Mac is better. If you do work on more than one machine, you may be concerned about where the latest version of a particular document is located. Is it on your desktop machine, or your portable? Although one can keep track of a few files in their head, if you work with a large number of files, an automated solution is in order. The File Synchronization Control Panel included with Mac OS provides basic services, but Synchronize! offers so much more...

The File Synchronization Control Panel will let you sync files and folders, but that's about it. When you ask Synchronize! to create a new set, you are presented with the following dialog that hints at the added flexibility of the package. Although the selection of the backup file or folder, and the direction of sync is familiar, there are additional options. For one, you can define a Master folder, whose contents will always replace the contents of the other folder. This can be handy for demos or presentations, where you know that any modifications to the original are not required or expected.

Defining a New Synchronization Set

You may also notice that this dialog contains an option where one can show files to copy. Sure, Apple's Control Panel will show you the files that will be copied, but there's no way to change them. Synchronize!, on the other hand, allows one to remove specific files from the sync operation. The following dialog shows the flexibility that is offered, where one can also see the size and modification date of each file to be copied.

You Can Exclude Specific Files, and Get Detailed Info

Another welcome feature is that once you start the sync operation, you will be greeted with a status windows that gives you just about any information you'd want to know about the ongoing operation, such as completed, remaining and total files, sizes and time.

Get Detailed Information on the Synchronization

There are some extra goodies in the Preferences, such as being able to copy open files. But the big fun comes in when you check out the Options menu. Options are organized in categories concerning network and startup and completion options, as well as file comparison and movement options. To round things out, the program keeps a log of all operations.

Take total control of your file synchronization, and check out Synchronize!

Have any other Mac OS Gadgets that make your portable computing experience more enjoyable? Let John know via e-mail, so he can review it, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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