Random, messy, personal thoughts and links. Estd. 1999 by Joelle Nebbe-Mornod aka Iphigenie / Superiphi

Nothing Fits in The Cloud - an open quest to solutions for backup, sync & collaboration

Posted by iphigenie on 21-Apr -2014 in Tools • | Permalink


I’m having a difficult time finding the right tools for cloud sync and backup. Every time I find something that has most of the features I need, they turn “corporate only”

I would have said I have really simple needs:

- decent login security
- encryption option
- option to PAUSE operation when travelling etc.

- Be able to select files and folders to back up, across my computers and drives (this includes documents but could also include settings, saved games, logs, and other files which will never be in a “set” backup folder)
- short term versions being kept
- deleted files NOT deleted from the backup archive unless requested
- this can be slow and the cloud version can be slow as well
- I would have a local version (already done) and a cloud version

- a set of (work and personal) folders which are being actively used.
- fast and regular saving
- fast single file & folder restore
- synchronize between multiple computers

- share certain folders/subfolders with people
- some can be simple passive access
- some must be dropbox-like team sync
- sharing a small folder with someone cannot require both parties to pay, there needs to be a small “free” plan. Nobody will buy a plan just to work with me, and I can’t afford plans for everyone!

- having distinct home/work modes without duplicate accounts would be amazing
- browse/find/tag/organise photos would be amazing (I’d love to delegate some of that!)
- integrate with other services (email, trello, quip, online editor) would be amazing
- access from all devices including less popular phone OSes for when working with normal non geeks


Advantages of dropbox are that it is integrated everywhere, and almost everyone has a box. Disadvantages are the single folder option (can’t use it for configuration files etc), and several quirks in using/sharing which have caused me grief in the past. Low security record, too. I have it because many designers use it.

Syncplicity offers both sync & backup without demanding that everything move to one folder. It also had an intuitive tool, editor integrations, versions, I managed to restore things thanks to it. Alas, it turned to a corporate only model and reduced my plans while increasing my costs, and the cost structure is not interesting for a “large number of small external contributors” small business.

Good backup, on all platforms (even Slackware!), high security. Has both “pick your own folders” and “automatically shared folders”. Due to the nature of the encryption system, does not have a collaboration option. Also does not have an easy way to deal with moving to a new machine. Very flexible files/folders choices
Has saved my bacon quite a few times!
Has also recently made a “pricing offer” blip that antagonised me and many existing customers (special offer with no upgrade option for existing paying customers) will see if they make it up to me at renewal time.

Was a lot like syncplicity and I was glad to find it. Has both an automatic folder and the ability to back up folders you want. Worked well from windows, less useful from mobile devices. Had the occasional conflict problem and there also was no way to PAUSE. Very slow to start up which can be annoying if you want a file to sync after you were on the road.
Not perfect but I would have put up with the limitations (and am currently still a paid customer). BUT the removal of a free plan means I would have to pay for any people that do a bit of work for me, which at £70/yr basic plan is just not going to happen.

I mostly list it because it is cheap, often integrated with, and Google is ubiquitous. I cannot get myself to like it, and I have free space on it! I have had to use Google apps more than once for contracts and there is always versioning conflicts, changes not seen by everyone, google docs are not friendly to use either. Causes as many project hiccups as it solves. Good integrations though, almost as common as dropbox, though not natively well supported outside Android, a minimal windows app… Price would be the main attraction, or if I moved to Gmail
Photo tools with G+ integration and autoawesome are quite good so if I could just get the documents support to work better…

Again, price is an advantage, and it is slowly being integrated everywhere, but it is still a windows-centric option. Force the one folder approach like Google and Dropbox. Is a bit constraining on windows 8. Not explored it much yet but obviously the office files handling is slick.


I have at the moment identified that I need to look at Google and OneDrive a bit more - but I have also identified a few more services that seem to have interesting offerings:

* box.com which will soon offer personal encryption keys, offering sharing while encrypted. Pretty commonly integrated.
* cubby.com seems to offer backup from every folder, encryption, reasonable pricing
* copy.com interesting pricing options, and at first glance good features
* adrive.com reasonable business plans, too
* zoolz.com slow cold storage + normal storage, interesting combination

Anyone use one of these services?

box.com has indeed a decent reputation, features look nice, free plan is general and team plan at 3.50/person/month is acceptable. Not checked if it allows people on paid plan to share with people on free plan
I also read they will offer user-managed encryption which if i want to back up customer and/or accounts data I will need

copy.com is owned by barracuda, seems to have few limits and generous free plans (company features plan for 5 people, linked to people’s private account space…).
It is a “one folder” solution but one that, like dropbox, supports aliases to folders elsewhere

cubby.com is owned by logmein. Features look slick, backup folders everywhere and also allows for sync between computers without storing in the cloud as well as encrypting certain folders. Pricing not too shocking either.

adrive.com has been around a long time, i have old bookmarks about them. Seems very standards compliant and flexible (rsync available!) generous pricing too. Seems to work more on a “job” basis than in continuous background


Posted by iphigenie on 22-Mar -2014 in journalMotivation • | Permalink

(a half baked manifesto first written at a comment on Facebook)

I dont want to buy products whose makers consider workers customers and the planet as interchangeable things to use, where the environment is wasted, where people (not just children) are broken, where animals and people are forced in horrible factory conditions, where land is being stolen from the powerless, where civil wars or armed thugs are kept going (or created) for access to resources, where misery is kept high via political influence to maintain desperate demand for horrible jobs, where people are killed through negligence or design -all to make a few more pennies per product.
Supposedly for my benefit.
Err, no thanks, not in my name. “Sorry, I know it seems horrible but it’s just business and if we don’t do it…” should be met with “sorry I’m not buying it, it’s bad business”

Except today any product from a large enough company or long enough production chain… will have it. Size and distance make it easy…

My Mana Theory: How Belief can Hook You

Posted by iphigenie on 13-Feb -2014 in journal • | Permalink

(I wrote this in response to a post in Google+ https://plus.google.com/photos/+MichaelCohen-mjc/albums/5975066336271305185/5975066335989834978 first, but capturing it here too)

I call it the mana theory, after a concept used in fantasy books and games. Giving belief to something gives them/it mana, and makes them more powerful. There is no such thing as mana in real life but there is mental and emotional energy that, once we have invested it into an idea or person, gives them tremendous power over us. Mana is a good shortcut.

What generates the most mana is when the person/belief gets you to sacrifice something desirable or valuable, and/or creates daily rituals that “bind” in daily life. That gives the belief/charlatan a tremendous amount of mana.

In order to shake away that belief or that charlatan, you not only have to shake the belief, but you have to fight the immense amount of mana you have invested in it - including facing that all the sacrifice was for nothing. This is for many very painful to face - understandably so - and many will react aggressively to anything planting doubts or questioning it.

This is why the most successful religions and movements are the ones which have (instinctively) developed rituals and rules that demand sacrifice - certain activities, certain foods, very complicated fiddly time consuming rituals of grooming, sexual restrictions etc. (Usually the biggest load is on women as they are the ones you least want to lose since they breed the next batch)

This also happens at a lighter level with investments of time or money, but is strongest for belief and emotional labor.

Be careful who and what you give your mana to smile

I’m cynical about productivity products and programs - but this one shut me up quick

Posted by iphigenie on 28-Jan -2014 in journal • | Permalink

Yeah, right, you have 4 personality types - big deal. I worked with a test giving organisation, and beyond this I’ve seen plenty of information marketeers come up with their own system, good as well as useless ones…

Still, you test is free, I will take 5 minutes… I’m a what?

And now you claim you know one of my biggest problems. yeah.. right…

i'll shut up now

OK, I’ll shut up now…

this was at http://rethinkproductivity.com/

I haven’t dug more yet but this was a 100% target hit

Why gaining expertise can make us feel crappier

Posted by iphigenie on 27-Jan -2014 in journalInspiration • | Permalink

Because an expert generally develops his capacity to criticize his work FASTER than his ability to flow and create, it is important to suspend judgement at times and just let it happen.  His work will never be perfect, and the self-critical faculty can be DEVASTATING

Stephen Barnes


Get a stacks of issues the Annals of Improbable Research, free

Posted by iphigenie on 26-Jan -2014 in life and cultureGreat Stuff! • | Permalink

If you want to startle your students (or colleagues, patients, or other good people) by making them LAUGH then THINK, we have a heap of Improbable Research for you to give them. For free. You need only be able to come get these things, soon. WHY: Because of impending mega-reconstruction in our building, we find ourselves having to jettison several stacks of historic (yet pristine!) paper copies of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). We want to donate these splendid magazines to people and institutions who/that will put them to improbable use. - See more at: http://www.improbable.com/2014/01/25/we-will-donate-a-heap-of-improbable-research-to-your-school-or-your-whatever/#sthash.no0gg8M6.dpuf

Go grab them!

Bookmarked 06/23/2013: toxic food, really?

Posted by iphigenie on 23-Jun -2013 in bookmarkedlife and culture • | Permalink

Taking on silliness and our easy paranoia when it comes to food smile

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bookmarked 06/17/2013

Posted by iphigenie on 17-Jun -2013 in bookmarkedGreat Stuff! • | Permalink

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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