Portable Devonthink Setup using Flash Drive or Online Drive

I carry around a 12Gb flash drive. My DEVONthink.dtBase file is about 1Gb in size.

To date, I have kept DTPO on my macbook pro, but I don’t always want to boot that machine up in order to get the one piece of data.

Rather than syncing DTPO between the two machines, as discussed in other threads, I was thinking of trying to use the flash drive as my portable version of Devonthink.

Can anyone see any issues with this? Have others done this?

I am aware that the access speed on the flash drive is likely to be slower than I am used to.

Another option that I am considering is using some sort of online hard drive service, like .Mac, to house my DEVONthink.dtBase file and having an app install on each machine. Is this a plausible setup, assuming I am ok with the idea of performance being impacted by network speed?

thanks in advance for your experiences and advice.

The flash drive approach can work. Note that running a database can involve many write operations. Some flash drives are not as robust as a hard drive in terms of the life cycle for data rewrites – but flash drives are improving.

I sometimes carry databases on a portable hard drive to move databases among multiple computers. Portable external drives have gotten pretty inexpensive and offer much greater capacity, much greater speed and are very reliable.

In either case it’s a good idea to leave a backup on the machine most recently used, especially if significant changes were made to the database. If you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office, Scripts > Export > Backup Archive is great for that purpose.

We advise against running a database over a network such as a .Mac account. Responsiveness is unacceptable and there are significant potentials for errors and database corruption – for other database applications as well as for DT.

Your mention of the hard drive gave me an idea, which I am going to try.

I am going to keep it on my iPod for a week and see how that works out. Thanks.


Just a quick update, this approach has worked out very well. I am carrying my DB around on my iPod, and back it up to my local drive array every night.

Performance is fine.