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Old 01-15-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
rtt121
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Default Cloud izing/ifying Beersmith! Or how can I use my database everywhere?

EDIT! Nostalgia pointed out a much better easier way to do this. I haven't had time to try it as I recently moved.

Its as simple as creating a dropbox account. Copying and pasting your entire beersmith folder into drop box and then running the executable file from there.

When I attempted this I tryed to do a fresh install to the dropbox folder.. this does not work.

Everything below here was the original post.




So I basically use beer smith to create my recipe and use the tools. After that... it goes to waste .

I have realized the reason I have not utilized the great features such as brew logging, inventorying etc.. is that I run the program on 3-4 computers, some at work some at home some portable some not. All having their own database instead of one database that looks the same from everywhere.

Keep in mind here I am no computer programmer. So somewhat smarter than I please feel free to improve upon this idea. Here we go....

First we are going to need two extra programs, both are free.

dropbox.com - this is a program that needs to stay running on all computers if you want to try this. Basically a "cloud" folder that looks like its on your hard drive. If the application is running, anything you put into your dropbox folder will be updated to the cloud.

autohotkey.com/ - a program used to write small scripts to make somewhat large tasks smaller. For example you could make it work so that every time you type in "BTW" it will actually write out the words "By the Way"

We are going for something that looks like this:


Every computer you use will have these three "applications".

"Beersmith" obviously opens beersmith (each computer having it installed
locally).

"Update Beersmith Cloud" takes every .bak and .bsm file locally and copies it to the cloud folder.

"Update Beersmith Local" takes all files beersmith related from the cloud and copies them to the local beer smith folder.

For example, I am at computer A and I make a recipe that I want to stay in my database. Close beersmith as normal and double click "Update Beersmith Cloud". Now when I am on computer B, before I open Beersmith I double click "Update Beersmith Local". Perfecto!

Setting up a script in autohotkey is pretty self expanatory. When you are there it is simply a blank notepad document that the autohotkey program uses to run.












After getting into the script editor (notepad) this is the entirety of the Update Beersmith Cloud script

Filecopy is the command. The first address points to local beersmith folder. The second points to your "cloud", note the "dropbox" that is the cloud folder. The 1 designates to automatically overright.

In the cloud update, I copy all the bsm and bak files. Essentially leaving the .exe files behind.








In the Update Beersmith Local script I have this. Similar to the Update Beersmith Cloud script except when this one is run it will copy FROM the cloud to the local beersmith. Note only one line and the *.* because exe files were not copied to the cloud in the first place. DO NOT MOVE the executable files around, your beersmith wont work anymore until you reinstall.

THATS IT!

A few notes. Obviously these scripts are written to where my beersmith is installed and to where my cloud folder is installed. These may need to be changed for every computer you want to hook up to your new beersmith database network. For example. The cloud folder on my computer A is under C:\documents and settings\administrator\my documents\dropbox\ on B it is C:\documents and settings\owner\my documents\dropbox\.

If anyone at beersmith is reading, it would be great to have the application simply web based (a real cloud version of beersmith). Thus eliminating the need to update each and every time.

I hope this helps someone!

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Old 01-16-2011, 06:33 AM   #2
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Clever idea. I'll try to help you add some additional slickness.

If you really can't install and run Beersmith from the cloud folder directly (I haven't tried so i don't know) you could use the same basic principles you outlined above but put all of the actions into a single VBScript. I'll outline it in psuedo code, implementation should be pretty easy.

Start script
Verify connection / folder existence for cloud folder
Copy files from cloud to local folder
Create shell object
Execute Beersmith from Shell object
Wait for Shell object to return exit code (proof that you finished and closed B.S.)
copy local files back to cloud
Exit

That's it, only one script to run. You could set the paths by hard coding in the script with variables, pass them as arguments from a shortcut or set environment variables on the computer and read them with the script.

The only immediate problem you have with this scheme (as you implemented or as described above) is that if you open and edit on two computers at the same time, the last one to write to the cloud wins...

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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Awesome.. I knew someone would take this and make it more "exactly what I wanted". Let me know how she goes, your above my level

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Old 01-16-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Maybe I'm missing something here. I just created a Dropbox account. I dragged my Beersmith directory into it (from C:\Program Files\Beersmith\). I went to my wife's machine, installed Dropbox, double clicked on Beersmith.exe and it ran just fine. I even added a recipe and checked that it updated on the other computer.

Have you tried just running it from the cloud folder?

-Joe

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Old 01-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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That would be way easier... Like I said, I never tried it.

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Old 01-16-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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Sorry, was talking to the OP. I did see that in your post.

I just tested it out on my laptop and it works just fine. I just put a shortcut to Beersmith.exe in my quick-launch bar and I'm good to go.

Just be careful if using on two machines in rapid succession - it does take a few seconds for the files to synchronize after you make changes. Shouldn't be an issue in normal use. Which for me would be the desktop to tweak the recipe, then the laptop during the brewday.

-Joe

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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I just opened a dropbox account, and moved my Beersmith folder to it. I had to re-enter my license key....but now I can't see any of my recipes. Are the recipe files stored somewhere other than the Beersmith folder?

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:17 PM   #8
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Fairly sure it's against your license to have it installed on more than one computer. Being a programer feel I have to point these things out to keep honest people honest that don't realize otherwise.

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Nope...not against the license. My email from Beersmith that has the program key says it can be installed on two computers.

I found my recipes too....Win7 hides them in a virtual store folder.

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
Nope...not against the license. My email from Beersmith that has the program key says it can be installed on two computers.

I found my recipes too....Win7 hides them in a virtual store folder.
OK, so I retract my previous statement, and as a programer will follow the advice I give my clients (at least under my breath) and STFU and RTFM
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