Edit 8/15/2012 – This is now available collected into a single ebook for your kindle. Only a buck. Version Control for Authors
Here it is, the final installment of this series about Version Control, and how authors can use it.
- Part I: What is Version Control and Why Should Authors care?
- Part II: Getting Started
- Part III: Get Your Stuff Back
- Part IV: Questions & Tips
- Part V: Addendum <- You are here
Part V: Addendum
Okay, here’s the deal. Versioning is great, but if your computer crashes one day you’ll just lose all those pretty versions of your work. However, I respect your time, and I know I’ve already given you extra things to every time you need to commit to the database.
So let’s make backing up your work automatic, okay? My goal is to make this process as painless for you as possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to help you do this. I’ll cover my favorite one and list a couple more.
Dropbox makes a directory on your computer, cleverly named “Dropbox”. Dropbox then syncs everything in that directory to its online servers and to any other computer on which you have dropbox installed.
In my tests, it worked fine to put both a repository and Fiction Working Directory in the dropbox folder.You can even sync a repository to two different computers at once (At least it worked when I tried it)
How to get it:
Just visit by the Dropbox website, sign up for an account, and download the software. If you go with the free account, you get 2GB of storage in your dropbox.
If you use my referral link below to signup, we each get an extra 500 MB for our accounts.
Why I like Dropbox
And as I mentioned, if you get friends/aquaintences/random blog readers to sign up for Dropbox, you can earn and extra 500mb per signup up to 16gb total extra space.
There are a ton of desktop and android and iphone app that come with seamless integration to dropbox.
Also, guess what – dropbox comes built in with a sort of version control built in without you having to do anything. See – you knew I’d throw version control in here somewhere. Dropbox saves a copy of each file every time you update and save it.
Of course this doesn’t give the ability to label versions or anything, but has been a lifesaver for me once when I got my files crossed and overwrote a file I had spent hours on with an old version.
Also, you’re not guaranteed that it’ll have all the old versions you need or want.
To make use of this versioning functionality, you first need to log on to the dropbox website (after you’ve signed up, of course.)
Once you log in, you should be shown the contents of your dropbox folder. You can click on the folders and find the files you want.
To access old versions of your file, you need to click in that file’s row. If you click the file name itself, the file will download, so click somewhere else in the row.
Once your file is selected, click the “More” button above. A drop down menu will appear with “Previous versions” available as one of the options.
If you click on Previous Versions, you get the version history screen. Just click on the verssion that you want to download.
You can also find deleted files. As you’re logged into the dropbox website and looking at your stuff, you just need to click the “Show deleted files” button, and the deleted items show up kind of grayed out.
I’ll step down from my Dropbox soapbox now.
Of course, there are plenty of other options for similar services.
Here’s four of them:
- Sugarsync https://www.sugarsync.com/(5gb free)
- Microsoft SkyDrive http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/home(7gb free)
- Google Drive https://drive.google.com/start(5gb free)
- Apple iCloud http://www.apple.com/icloud/(5gb free, but with restricted file types)
Okay, that’s it. You made it through all five parts of this introduction to version control. Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve found something useful.