Surface RT, Surface Pro3, WinPhone, desktop -- all together now....

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro FAQ's and Guides' started by amarlow, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. amarlow

    amarlow New Member

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    I have a brand new SP3 (i7, 512, Win 8.1), an original Surface RT (8.1RT), a couple of older desktops (XP) and laptop (7), and am hankering for a Windows Phone to replace my Android device...

    How should I use all these different machines in a collaborative, harmonious, happy & productive way?

    What is the best way to use all of these devices together (or a subset)? Especially the SP3, Surface RT, and WinPhone.... I want these devices to play happily together, keep each other informed, give me a "common experience" (within capabilities) --BUT-- I don't want everything in the cloud! I use OneDrive, but will not keep all my documents, all my notebooks, my personally sensitive info there.

    I want to "sync" locally, in my own home, via WiFi or BlueTooth, or the like.

    I'd appreciate your ideas and thoughts.

    ~amarlow
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's start here:

    Option 1:
    Let the Surface Pro 3 replace two desktops, and a laptop.

    Option 2:
    Upgrade the Windows XP Desktops and the laptop to Windows 8.1 , and use OneDrive.
    Connect all to the same WiFi network on your home router.
     
  3. amarlow

    amarlow New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, sharp. That (option 1) is the plan, in time. I have kids at home still; they use the other machines. For me, it will be Surface Pro 3 + dock exclusively.

    Now, your answer is more high level than I what I am looking for. I am asking about specific logistics. I am sure I have read about the connectivity of Windows 8 devices, how they all talk together.... but I am just not sure of the 'how to' parts. ie, what tools from the OS to use, what aftermarket software might be available; how to use voice recognition in Win 8, Cortana in WinPhone8; how to use wifi so that when I walk in my house and wake up the SP3, it knows my phone is home, syncs what should be sync'd (pix, texts, etc); or when am out and about, the SP3 & phone keep everything together via bluetooth....

    This is really how best to USE my Win8 or 10 devices in my increasingly MSWindows-centric world in the most collaborative, cooperative, flexible, efficient way possible.

    Microsoft should generate a "user guide" or "white paper" that covers this in serious depth. They may already have done so. That's the sort of thing I am asking for here. Those are the questions I am asking. Make sense?

    ~amarlow
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay -

    The phone and your SP3 will already handle all that you wish, via OneDrive. Make sure you enable OneDrive on both devices, using the same (Microsoft) account.

    For the other devices, the family could also access any files on www.OneDrive.com , which you give them access to.

    Take it a step at a time. Start with the above - OneDrive on the SP3 and smartphone. Then check back in with questions, etc. I'll be right here with others to help.
     
  5. amarlow

    amarlow New Member

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    Thank you, sharpcolorado. I do have OneDrive set up on the Surface RT and Surface Pro 3 set up with the same MS acct. I also have it on my three year old Android phone (Motorola Droid Bionic) but it doesn't sync as it's supposed to (picture roll). My next (soon, I hope) will by a Windows Phone, but Verizon doesn't play the WinPhone game very nicely.

    BUT-- to have the syncing accomplished via OneDrive requires the documents be actually stored on OneDrive. This I do not want. I want my photos, MSOffice files -- Outlook/Word/Excel/Visio/ and especially OneNote notebooks -- to be local, on the Surface Pro 3. I'm just not ready to pinch my nose and jump headfirst into the cloud.

    So as I said, I'd like my Windows 8 devices to be "aware" of each other, and when nearby to sync at least some of the files I listed.

    I have used OneNote since it was released more than a decade ago. My entire life is held in a dozen notebooks, including two or three key ones, on an external flash drive (frequently backed up). I also have three or four notebooks on OneDrive, which are visible from all my devices (even my Android phone). But if MyLife (that flash drive) is plugged into my Win7 laptop, and I am editing my financial notebook there in OneNote 2013, my SP3 doesn't sync, doesn't know about the changes to the notebook. Is there any way to keep the SP3 up to date with OneNote edits without storing the actual notebook, the mother, on OneDrive? I mean via WiFi, for example... Is there an app for that?

    Am I dragging this thread out too far? unraveling the sweater, as it were?

    ~amarlow
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So to share files, but not in a cloud, you should set up a network drive.

    For you, I would choose a stable desktop running XP, and leave it powered on all the time. Attach an external USB hard drive (these are cheap) of the size you wish to that computer, or if plenty of space is available on that computer, create a folder which will be used to store stuff to share.

    After you have created that folder, visit here.
     
  7. amarlow

    amarlow New Member

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    Perfect! Great idea. Thanks much.
     
  8. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You do not need to have the monitor powered on - only the computer. No need to waste power that way.

    You could add a drive to your home WiFi router, if it has that USB capability. No need to spend more money to add that, if you don't have a network drive-capable router. The desktop solution will work fine.

    We will set up subfolders for each family member for their own stuff, and a main folder for items the whole family can share. Check back in when you're ready for that.
     

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