Beware the Ides of Google

I love Google for many things. I remember the first time I used the Google search engine, how amazingly simple the screen was. And I remember my wife asking the now laughable question, “What’s ‘Google’?”

I love (and hate) how Google remembers things. For example, recently I was looking up my favourite donut shop, Tim Hortons, to see if there was one in a town I would be visiting… about 2,000km away. Imagine my surprise when the next week I was in that town and pulled up Google Maps intending to search for Tim Hortons. Before I typed anything, Tim Hortons was already in the search list. Scary. Fun too.


You’ve got to love it when you’re in a small town in Saskatchewan and there is a Tim Hortons on each side of the street.

One time I was searching for a Tim Hortons and the map said, “You were here a year ago.” Yikes!

Anyway, that has nothing to do with this post.

I just want to say a couple of things about Google, and I would call this a “1% about TNT post”. Here’s the 1%:

If you use Google Drive AND use TntConnect, do NOT store your database on Google Drive or OneDrive.

TntConnect is optimized for Dropbox only. If you are sharing your database with another person (such as a spouse or team member), or if you routinely use your database on two separate computers, it is essential that you only use it on Dropbox.

Why is that? Because when you open and use TNT, Dropbox automatically locks the file to prevent someone else from opening and using it. If by chance two people do have it open and make changes, then when the second person closes it, Dropbox will recognize the file date/time don’t match and will copy the file and rename it as a “Conflicted Copy”. Then the next time you open TNT, TntConnect will recognize the conflicted copy, alert you, and walk you through a way to synchronize the two so that any information entered in one is updated in the other. Once they match perfectly, TNT will delete the conflicted copy. Also, Dropbox manages the database better: It only uploads changes instead of the entire (large) database, so the web-sync is substantially faster.

Google Drive (and OneDrive also) do not work this way. They have a much simpler procedure: Last one wins. So if you spend 5 hours painstakingly updating 100 different things in TNT (like we all do monthly, he he) and your spouse opens and closes it… just after you… your spouse’s copy “wins” (because it was saved last, it must be more accurate, right?). All of your work would be lost.

So while I often say that TNT has a lot of flexibility to do things your way, in this case I am adamant: DO NOT STORE YOUR TNT DATABASE IN GOOGLE DRIVE or ONEDRIVE!

I mention this because I wanted to bring something else up: My organization has a business account with Google that gives me unlimited storage on Google Drive. This was a real boon to me because I scanned a lot of old documents and photos and other things over a year period.

Only after I did that did I realize that all of those hundreds of files will be lost to me when I leave my organization… which will happen some day. So now I have to go through each of those files and send a copy to my personal account so that they are mine forever.

Ironically, my dad kept budget ledger books and my mom kept photo albums and a DayTimer planner. Years upon years, decades upon decades, these files were instantly accessible. Today we generate more data than ever–more fitness data, more photos, more financial data–yet that information is of no value if it is not retrievable.

And, humorously, this brings me back to why I love TNT: It allows me to keep and store and retrieve and export all of my data, any time and anywhere I want.

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