'Syncing' PCs in home network and other how-tos

Hi all,
My main question is quite simple: I'm running two machines (a lappy and gaming PC) and use both for same activities such as browsing web, listening to music etc. etc. My problem is that doing the same activities leaves parts of bookmarks/music/younameit on one machine, and other parts on another. Now, manually copying all these files isn't hard, but in truth, it's pretty annoying.
I'm planning to run Win7 RC on both machines. What I want to do is 'syncing' both machines, so certain files or folders would be shared or updated after every session. Are there any built-in solutions for such situations? Should I look for some app? Or maybe I can set it up in Total Commander? You tell!

In fact, what I really need isn't just answer to this rather small question but some nice guide that would explain to me how to get the most out of home networks. I'm pretty sure that there are tons of great ideas and solutions for setting these things up I haven't heard of. I got my first lappy a year ago and haven't really got used to idea of having two computers to use.

For bookmark syncing, use Xmarks. Added benefit is that your bookmarks are stored online and you can access them from anywhere via web.

Jag wrote:

For bookmark syncing, use Xmarks. Added benefit is that your bookmarks are stored online and you can access them from anywhere via web.

Thanks. Problem number one solved.

For files, use FolderShare (free), Syncplicity (2GB free, more for pay), SugarSync, or DropBox. All are realtime, change-detect synchronizers.

Syncplicity and SugarSync both store versioned copies on their server. I don't know that DropBox does versioning but it does also offer cloud storage. Foldershare is peer-to-peer so it's very fast for local network.

Dropbox has quite literally changed my work life, and yes, Dropbox does versioning. I share a dozen or so folders with editors and whatnot, and have my server, my desktop, and my laptop always in sync. Im not sure it's the ideal solution for a GIANT media library, I just use synctoy to keep some itunes folders in line for that.

I use Unison for syncing my laptop and desktop folders. For Linux machines it works very well -- simply specify the folders you want to sync and it will automatically and quickly resync every time you run the program (except the first time, that takes some time). I use it for a big huge media library, coursework, and save game files.

No idea how well it works in Windows, but its probably worth a shot.

Funny coincidence, I've found Dropbox via Lifehacker minutes after posting this thread, but thanks for all other apps, I'll give it all a try.

Offhand, I'd say the simplest way would be to just set up a persistent mapping to your gaming PC from your laptop (you're always connected via wireless, right?), and then just specify that as your music folder and forget about it. Or do you need to maintain a local copy because you want to be able to take the laptop out of the house and still have your stuff?

I'd be leery of any tool which sync'd the special My Documents folder and subfolders...that's just asking for trouble. If you decide that you need to maintain local copies on both machines, it'd be best to set aside some specific directories for syncing.

And I'll give another endorsement for Dropbox, you eventually get so used to it that you forget how you got by without it.

Mr Crinkle wrote:

I'd be leery of any tool which sync'd the special My Documents folder and subfolders...that's just asking for trouble. If you decide that you need to maintain local copies on both machines, it'd be best to set aside some specific directories for syncing.

I've synced My Documents for years. Other than one program (Evernote) which stored its database there and had a lock, I've never had a hiccup.

Mr Crinkle wrote:

Offhand, I'd say the simplest way would be to just set up a persistent mapping to your gaming PC from your laptop (you're always connected via wireless, right?), and then just specify that as your music folder and forget about it. Or do you need to maintain a local copy because you want to be able to take the laptop out of the house and still have your stuff?

Yeah, that's it. Everytime when I go away for few days I want to be able to hit one button to synchro all my folders like music library, docs, folder with software installs, savegame folders and game configs etc.
It seems I've found perfect tool for this via Lifehacker:
SYNKRON: http://synkron.sourceforge.net/
You just select two or more folders, hit the button and voila. You can create any number of such 'sync rules' by adding new tabs with new folder connections. Then you just hit one button to update and voila!

I've also installed Dropbox, it should prove useful for having my data backed up and using it for online projects with friends.