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Sunday, November 6, 2016


Digital File Synchronization Programs
VxLabs has a story about digital file synchonizing programs. The opening is good:
It’s quite hard finding reviews online that go deeper than the very surface. Most sync software reviews can be summarised as: 
Hey, look, here’s a new service that’s a dropbox killer / dropbox alternatives / disruptive in the sync space. Wow, you get N gigabytes of free space, that’s more than dropbox. Look, it seems to be syncing these three files I put in there. That’s great. The End.
Actually, most software reviews on the web are like that. I suspect this is because everyone uses different methods to deal with their data, even when they are working in similar fields. The only people who really know how well a computer program works are those who use it every day, and you don't want them writing reviews because they are going to tell you all the problems they are having with it, not the problems that it solved.

This guy spends some time trying out several different programs and then reporting his results. Near as I can tell he wants the holy grail: all his files in sync all the time on whatever computer system he chooses to use. Except when he doesn't want it. I think.

Syncing is nice, I suppose, but it's not something I want. I don't even use backup programs. I don't use them because, for one, I don't trust them, and for another I don't want to learn how to use them. I know how to copy files. Copy is simple and reliable. It may not be as fast or fancy as some of these other programs, but I don't have to install it or learn how to use it or, even worse, learn how to cope with its foibles.

And then there is Apple who takes care of you and doesn't let anything happen to you and makes sure everything is safe and secure, as long as you are willing to pay, pay, pay and pay some more. My wife's Apple phone is running out of online storage space. She goes in and deletes a bunch of stuff, but it doesn't make any difference. I investigate and find that iPhone backup files are like write-only garbage cans that never get collected. They just keep growing until you run out of space and then they start asking for more. But there doesn't seem to be a way to get any of your data back out of them. The only thing I can figure is that if your phone dies, you can reload your new phone from this backup, but you'll only get as much as will fit on your phone. If this is the model they are working with, then the backup file should never contain more than what your phone can handle, the initial storage they give you should be enough to cover that, and it should never be asking for more space and money. Stupid Apple.

Yes, I know, some fancy backup programs can save storage space, but I just bought a three terabyte NAS (disk with a network connection) for a hunnert bucks. I suspect all my files won't fill a tenth of that, and if you look at the stuff I actually created (words I wrote, pictures I took), it's probably only a tenth of that.

Now if I can just get all my stuff copied over there. Chromebooks don't automagically connect. I am looking into it, but I'm not there yet.

VxLabs link via Detroit Steve.

1 comment:

CGHill said...

I just got around to putting Dropbox on my work box and one home machine. So far, so good, but I haven't asked much of it. (400 MB, maybe; freebie accounts are allowed something like 2 GB, which isn't much.)