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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Using CVS to Manage Data on Multiple Machines

Work with your data wherever you are without fear of getting out of sync with your home machine.

Here’s the scenario: instead of just using one Mac, you regularly use two (a desktop and a laptop) and would like to keep up-to-date copies of all your data on all of your machines. After all, when working at home, you want to take advantage of the large monitor and dual processors of a desktop Power Mac, and when you are on the road, you want all the portability of an iBook or a PowerBook. Most solutions to this problem are haphazard and error prone.

However, a tool that software developers use can help you. It’s called CVS. And with it you can work with all your data no matter where you are.

What Is CVS?

CVS is an open source tool that provides version control. Version control is the practice of maintaining information about a project’s development by tracking changes and coordinating the development efforts of many programmers. CVS uses a centralized repository (sometimes called an archive or a depot) to store all the information about each and every file, as well as every change to those files, contained in a project. These kinds of systems are used in projects small and large, including the development of operating systems like Mac OS X.

Each and every developer of the project has a copy of these files on her own machine. As a developer makes changes, they are committed back into the central repository, allowing the other developers ...

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