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Thread: Family computer setup recommendation

  1. #1
    Chad Guest

    Default Family computer setup recommendation

    My brother and his wife both use iPhones and Macs, but they’re about to have twins and need to upgrade their old machines. The goals are:
    * Have a shared contacts list. When one ads a new contact, the other gets it.
    * Shared system for notes
    * A single destination for all their photos, to collect, organize, archive and share
    * An easy way to backup their content to a different destination drive
    * Have all of the above in a simple, non-technical arrangement that once set up, they can manage on their own

    Too much to ask? I hope not.

    My assumed solutions is:
    * Use one apple/iCloud account for everyone (Takes care of contacts and maybe adds new iCloud email address that could be joint and only used for subscriptions and junk, but also all provide the ‘foundation’ to connect to and share the Notes app.
    * Photos? Apple’s Photos app seems the only choice.
    * For backup, I’m less sure. I like Propaganda Productions simple Deja Vu app. Choose what to backup, choose where, choose when and yer done.
    * Pack all this into a mac mini connected to a TV, plus an external drive for separate backups

    What am I missing? How do you organize and share your ‘stuff’ in your family?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Grangeville, ID USA


    I share my home computer with everyone, logged in under my User name and accounts. Since I don't use Apple's Photos, I leave that to other family members and have my own file system built into the Pictures folder.. In the User database you can easily add things like Bobs Pictures folder and Marys Pictures. Anything that is built on an Apple app that makes its own database will need to be shared by all users, like Photos or iTunes. Mail app can easily accommodate as many email accounts as you want. I have at least 6 all the time, which includes any personal email as well as several different business accounts.

    DejaVue, CCC, Chronosync et. al. all use Unix rsync command and are all decent backup methods.

    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    on the landline, Mr. Smith


    If you want to use iCloud, check out the family option. Much better IMHO than a single shared account.

    I started out in the same boat (sharing a single account), and it was OK with little kids. As they get older and have their own devices, it got too complicated and messy. The family plan gets rid of 98% of the pain.

    Oh, and if you use iCloud for the smaller, basic data (contacts, calendars, etc) you can get everything done with the free version.

    That leaves music, photos, and video to take care of.

    Lots of ways to handle these. Other cloud services (both free and paid) or a centralized "server" at home, which is just a shared machine that gets all the fat data, and gets backed up. Could be a Mac or PC, could even be a Linux box. I have a Win 10 PC running iTunes, with lots of storage that houses everyone's music, video, and pics. It is also a good spot to backup iOS devices (via iTunes). Been happy with it, and it's cost-effective. Spend more on it, and could stream content, and it could be a gaming rig too. Really depends on your wants and needs.

    One of the only downsides to using a win box for the server (other than it is a win box ) is that I don't get to use my favorite Mac backup tools.

    One way around that is to use a separate backup NAS that supports both platforms, like a Synology. that gives me a separate backup that I can get to files from just about any platform or device. I also get some cool/handy features like automatic TimeMachine backups over wifi of any Macs I want, plus the ability to have a file server that can easily (and securely) be accessed anywhere on the web.

    And...if you look closely Synology will share data, files, contacts, and calendars too. You could use it (instead of iCloud) for nearly everything but App Store purchase management.

    Lots of ways!
    Last edited by unclemac; 02-13-2018 at 03:21 PM.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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