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HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox

 
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HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/5/2012 7:43:10 AM   
delatbabel


Posts: 1246
Joined: 7/30/2006
From: Sydney, Australia
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Sending PBEM files via email wastes a lot of time and bandwidth -- especially when you add in the extra load of saving the email to a Sent folder (if you keep sent messages) and also add in the 25% or so padding that goes on top of a binary file when it's sent via email. A faster and more convenient way is to use a file hosting service such as Dropbox. There are other services around that do a similar job, but I will cover Dropbox in this post. If you want to change the instructions for using a different provider then please do so and comment here.

0. You may have already set up an account because your opponent sent you an invitation. Just accept the invitation and you and your opponent will get 250MB free with Dropbox (enough for 50 saved games). You can skip to step 2.

1. Set up a Dropbox account if you don't already have one. If you prefer and would like to use a referral code then click http://db.tt/BDobmUu (that will give you and me both an extra 250MB free), or if your opponent has a Dropbox account already then use their referral code. If you don't want to use a referral code then click here: http://www.dropbox.com/register

2. Remember the Dropbox email address (your email address) and Dropbox password that you used when creating your account. Store it somewhere safe such as in Keepass (http://www.keepass.info/) or use a password you can remember. Yellow sticky notes stuck under your keyboard are a very bad place to store your passwords!

3. Download the Dropbox software, here: https://www.dropbox.com/install and install it onto your computer, following the instructions. I normally use all of the defaults when installing Dropbox but you can change the folder location if you wish.

4. Log in to Dropbox at http://www.dropbox.com/login

5. You will see a list of your Dropbox folders. If you are new to Dropbox there will only be a few -- Public and Photos will be two of them.

6. Click on "Share a folder". Select "I'd like to create and share a new folder" and type in a folder name (e.g. the name of your game).

7. On the next page, enter the email address of your opponent. If your opponent already has a Dropbox account then they will get a message saying you'd like them to share the folder. If they don't have a Dropbox account they will get a message inviting them to join Dropbox and giving you both a 250MB bonus.

Now, each turn, each of you has to do the following steps:

1. Copy (don't move) your game file from your shared Dropbox folder into the dat\save folder in your WitE installation.
2. If you want to keep a copy of the game before your turn for AAR purposes then make another copy of it with a different name in dat\save (e.g. MYGAME_T99.psv).
3. Play your turn and save your game back to your dat\save folder as normal, with the same name as you started with.
4. Copy the saved game back to your shared Dropbox folder (with the same name it started with, don't change the file name in Dropbox from turn to turn).

Each time you save a file to the shared Dropbox folder it will automatically be updated on your opponent's computer, and vice-versa. So each time you check for email you will just get a message from your opponent saying he's completed his turn, and your Dropbox shared folder will automatically be updated with the turn (probably even before you read the message). Then when you save your turn back to the Dropbox shared folder, your opponent's computer will automatically be updated.

Updating a WitE saved game file using Dropbox is much faster than sending via email because it all happens in the background. Only the file changes are sent, so if from turn to turn only 5% of the saved game file changes, then only that 5% is actually sent and received.


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RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/5/2012 9:00:51 AM   
Timmeh


Posts: 744
Joined: 12/20/2005
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good god .... even the interweb is going 'green' ;)

(in reply to delatbabel)
Post #: 2
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/5/2012 10:49:54 AM   
Aurelian

 

Posts: 2277
Joined: 2/26/2007
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Yahoo saves it in a sent folder with out my having to do anything.

And with cable, it uploads faster than I can read this sentence.

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Post #: 3
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/5/2012 1:12:44 PM   
Webizen


Posts: 1458
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: online
In the opinion of this gamer and no matter the speed of your connection, Dropbox is still a better solution for exchanging turns. I use Dropbox all the time with Advanced Tactics Gold and would use it for any other "PBEM" game too.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian

Yahoo saves it in a sent folder with out my having to do anything.

And with cable, it uploads faster than I can read this sentence.



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Tac2i

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RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/5/2012 7:37:32 PM   
Blutch


Posts: 49
Joined: 9/12/2009
Status: offline
I use dropbox with Combat mission in Normandy, and it is really the easiest way to exchange files especially big one.
A guy developped a small application to automatically transfer files from the game directory to the dropbox share file.

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 5
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/6/2012 4:47:56 AM   
Berkut

 

Posts: 757
Joined: 5/16/2002
Status: offline
What would really be nice (and dear god why doesn't WITE use a standard Windows file explorer??????WHY???) is if you could load a save file from any directory rather than a hard coded one - then you would not have to actually copy the files around at all.

It is stuff like this that simply dumbfounds me as a software developer - why do people make their interface harder for the user to use AND harder to code?

(in reply to Blutch)
Post #: 6
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/6/2012 4:56:19 AM   
AFV


Posts: 372
Joined: 12/24/2011
From: Dallas, Texas
Status: offline
Berkut +1 on that!
I too am confounded why they would think that using a hard coded directory was a good idea.

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Post #: 7
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 3/14/2012 2:11:15 AM   
governato

 

Posts: 560
Joined: 5/6/2011
From: Seattle, WA
Status: offline
Thumbs up for Dropbox. I have been using it for work a lot. Did I mention that the software backs up the stuff in the Dropbox folder automatically? Btw, one can share files with people who have not seen the light yet ..erm not joined dropbox yet. Just place your file in the 'Dropbox/Public' folder, use the drop down menu to get a link and just send that via email. Works like a charm.

(in reply to AFV)
Post #: 8
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 7/9/2012 8:24:16 PM   
demjansk

 

Posts: 542
Joined: 2/20/2008
Status: online
when I click on the folders for dropbox it has private and public, how do i create a folder for the game I am playing now ww1 strategic command? I sort of lost you after direction number 5 and 6.

(in reply to governato)
Post #: 9
RE: HOWTO: Turns via Dropbox - 8/14/2013 1:44:08 PM   
TJD

 

Posts: 246
Joined: 1/6/2008
Status: offline
For those who don't have Dropbox it's possible to use a Shared Folder in Google Drive for the same purpose. The only downside is that Google Drive doesn't yet have notifications of changes to shared folders (a much-requested feature), so you might still want to send an email alerting your opponent that a new turn awaits him. But if using Google+ you can do that directly from the Drive window. Google+ seems to have some interesting advantages for wargaming, in fact.

(in reply to demjansk)
Post #: 10
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