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How do i copy preferences between computers


A user asked in the AlphaTclMailingLists? :

    I run AlphaX 8.0 on two different macs.  I would like to export macros and
    their corresponding key bindings from one machine to the other.  The macros
    themselves are in Library/Preferences/Alpha-v8/tmp/Macros, but I can't find
    where the key bindings are stored.

What you have found is a temporary storage folder for the macros to make it easier to edit them. The true definitions for them, as well as the binding settings, are stored between editing sessions in the "arrdefs.tcl" file.

    A more general question is: is there a way to synchronize everything
    between AlphaX on the two machines?  One is a PowerMac G4 450 and the
    other is an iMac G5; both are running OS X 10.3.9.

The "Library/Preference/Alpha-v8/" folder that you found contains all of the preferences saved between editing sessions. (See also WhereIsMyAlphaPreferencesFolder) In theory, it is possible to copy this folder and place it in the appropriate location on your other computer. Any preference that relies on a file path will need to be updated, of course, unless both computers have the same exact file structure.

When you copy your old prefs folder to the new computer and restart Alpha, you might be also be prompted to "rebuild package indices". If this doesn't happen and you run into errant behavior, you might need to select

Config > Packages > Rebuild Package Indices

yourself to set everything straight.

Another alternative to copying the entire folder is to only replace some of the key files that store the preferences. These include


as well as any *Prefs.tcl files that you might have created. Most of the other files in your Prefs folder will be automatically created/updated as needed. Take note of the following warnings:

  • You should make a back-up copy of the original files before you replace them, in case something goes wrong.

  • Alpha should not be launched when you are replacing these; when Alpha quits the current preference values are written to these files.


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