Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cool features in Windows Vista !! Folder redirection and sync

I'm so-called 'self-hosting' Windows Vista RC1 and I came upon a neat expanded feature, falling under 'Documents management'. Check it out!

[Location] under the properties of some key special [Explorer] folders like:
Documents, Downloads, Pictures to name a few.

What does this do?! - well not only does it redirect your documents to some arbitrary location, IT ALSO, 'syncs' with a network share if you point the darn thing to a fileshare somewhere, utilizing Windows Sync center. It automatically sets up a partnership with the network share. HOW COOL IS THAT!

Look for the Sync Center sync-up - to know your documents are being replicated.

Screenshot of how to get this all setup.

It's really super easy, just select the location you want to point to, and Windows takes care of the rest. ta da!

Ah, all is not perfect. Even though there is syncing with Explorer and the network share, I suspect there's still lots of traffic between the two when you conduct file i/o on your redirect documents.

Recently, I tried manipulating large RAW (NEF) Nikon images, these things are 10MB 10MP monsters. As a result, you should expect application hangs, delays and worst yet Explorer.exe hangs which may lead to Explorer restarting :(.

Also, if you so happen _not_ to want to sync with the remote share, but keep everything living remotely and not replicated then you can unselect offline files.


You might find it annoying when sync center has to de-select each individual object from syncing. Ughk! This was quite painful when I pointed it to my music collection.

All in all, a really cool feature. Especially, if you're going to have a network appliance/data server sitting in your closet somewhere to keep your data backed-up in some raid configuration.

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