Dropbox . F*$#ing Dropbox!

I am very close to reaching the turning point. I have had it. Within the next week or so I expect to turn my back on one of my best friends for the last several years.

It’s not that I don’t like him anymore, or that I have met someone else that is just as good a friend, or even better (although I have to admit I am looking, I am back on the market!).

And. unfortunately, the phrase «It’s not you, it’s me» doesn’t apply in this case, either.

’Cause it’s definitely not me. It’s him.

When you reach the point where the one you are truly dependent on no longer is dependable, it’s time for a clean break.

Which is why Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) will be shown the door in the not too distant future.

I have lauded Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) several times in the last years. As a developer that switches between 2 workstations several times a day, Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) has helped me immensely by keeping my files instantly and effortlessly and – most of the time perfectly – synced between the 2 computers.

For the last couple of weeks, though, I have struggled with a recurring «issue»: Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) won’t sync one or more of my files due to «permission» problems (the dreaded status message: Can’t sync “this or that file”: Permission denied. At least, in this round, that is what it started with.

Because I have been so satisified with what Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) does for me when Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) does what Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) is supposed to do, I have glossed over or ignored that I through the years have spent quite a few hours struggling with sync problems caused by permissions problems.

Now the time has come to demand that Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) just simply works as advertised.

The turning point came when I recently moved from one computer to the other, started editing some files, and too late realized I had edited an old version, overwriting the latest version. I was saved by the fact that I am paying Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) extra dollars to have an unlimited number for versions and deleted files stored online. But scrolling through and evaluating which of the hundreds of version available was the one I wanted to restore, took too much of my time.

My main complaint is this, though: As a Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) user I shouldn’t have to worry about «permission problems». If I create a new file in my Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!), it should be synced transparently to my online «repository» and to my other Mac. If I download a new application on my iMac, I expect it to show up in the Downloads folder on my MacBook Pro immediately after the download has finished.

Too often this doesn’t happen. Too often I get a status message from Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) telling me that a file can’t be synced because of a permissions problem. And too often this file does not have a unique filename, which means I have to search through all my synced folders and try to «guess» which file is the culprit. I will have to change permissions on the file in question, which sometimes solves the problem. But more often not.

Too often I have to resort to using the «built-in», but hidden, Fix Permissions function in Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!). Too often this results in nothing. Sometimes out of desperation I have deleted the dropbox cache and/or the .dropbox folder in my home folder. Sometimes this has done the trick. But very often I have had to manually move files out of my Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) synced folders to find out if that file is the bad file. Which it necessarily isn’t.

My last round of Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) woes started a couple of weeks ago, with the now «standard» permissions problems. But evolved quickly to a completely new problem: My MacBook Pro reported that all files were synced just fine. My iMac reported «Downloading 6 files…». Which it kept reporting for days. All the usual tricks didn’t result in anything.

Finally I sent a request to Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) support, not really expecting an answer (I was so pissed already, that I considered Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) to be crap, on consequently expected their support to be crap).

It turned out their support is as crap as the application/service itself. But at least they answered me, and gave me a lot of «good» advice (at first advice that was pointless, as I had written in my initial request what I already had tried).

(We really started out on the wrong foot since I wrote in my initial request that it was my iMac that was having the problem, and the first «reply» from Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) support consisted of asking me which of my computers was having the problem…!).

Anyway. To make a long support conversation story short: It all ended with the Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) representative concluding:

“[…] I believe that this syncing issue is due to the symlinks in your Dropbox folder; however, we don’t officially support the use of symlinks in your Dropbox folder, and I would recommend not using symlinks.

Please note that as they are not officially supported, we cannot guarantee them to work properly, and we can’t offer technical support for them. […]”

Case closed, If I understand the reply correctly. Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) doesn’t support the use of symlinks, even though their forum is filled with tips on how to use symlinks (yeah, I realize that the forums are filled with user supplied articles and tips, but, hey…)

The thing is: I am totally dependent on being able to use symlinks. I sync several tens of thousands of files, and most of them «has to» stay in their original location. I cannot – and will not – move them to the Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) folder. The symlinks has worked for me for years.

My final question to Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) support – which I have asked at least 4 times, but still not had answered – is:

Is there any way to find out exactly which 6 files Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) is struggling with?

It should be. Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) knows it is downloading 6 files. I assume Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) knows which files it is trying to download. Why can’t Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!) tell me this?

Conclusion: I am pissed. Royally.

And I am looking for a replacement. I have tested DrivepopZipCloud and Sugarsync. All of these require me to move my files to their sync folder. Not gonna happen.

I am currently evaluating Copy and CX. The latter looks very promising – on «paper». Only problem is that their desktop app won’t launch on my MacBook Pro. And on my iMac it won’t launch again if I quit it. It apparently crashes on quit. Which means that when I start it up again (after a computer reboot) it has lost it’s preferences, and I have to relink all the folders I had already linked.

Copy seems nice. But I haven’t really stress-tested it.

I will keep you posted.

But Dropbox (F*$#ing Dropbox!): You’re dead to me!


About cfcodernorway

Read my Twitter profile: @cfcoder
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2 Responses to Dropbox . F*$#ing Dropbox!

  1. Update:
    Testing CX:
    The desktop app still won’t launch, or rather: Now it won’t launch on either of my Macs.

    Testing Copy:
    First of all it seems horribly slow.
    Second: It messes with file permissions. It syncs the files just fine. But when a file is synced from computer A to computer B, it is “read only” on computer B, or I don’t have access to edit it.

    My worst fear: I will have to eat huge amounts of humble pie, and stick with Dropbox…

  2. Pingback: Back Up Storage--RUN from ZIPCLOUD-Consumer Alert-Do NOT Use Them

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