Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jungledisk review: a rambling piece of junk

So, I've definitively switched over from Jungledisk to SpiderOak - I can't say the latter is a well-written backup application, but at least it works.

In order to justify the definition of "Rambling piece of junk", here is the overview both of the problems encountered and the lack of professionalism in the development.

Application problems:
- The dialog for choosing what to backup is broken for Natty. In addition to being broken, once it's opened, it will make the JD interface unusable until the next restart.
- Syncing of files with accented characters is broken.
- Syncing of directories with accented characters is broken.
- Because of a bug in the syncing, under some, not rare, conditions, JD will delete files in the sync folders.
- Big files can't be shared, because connection errors will cause the upload to fail. Note that this function works perfectly in Dropbox.
- Internet connection detection doesn't work well. Sometimes JD doesn't detect it (even if the connection works perfectly), so that the program can't be used (for a short time).
- Sometimes JD doesn't connect to the service, so that the program can't be used.
- I can't copy a specific file (video, ~600M) to the remote folder.

- Until version 3.16, the option 'Backup as soon as possible when backup time is missed' didn't work; this is a core option for backup applications.
- In the timespan between the releases 3.14 and 3.16, which lasted several months, the only things done have been:
- introducing a release with a very serious issue (3.15), which has been been retired after a short time
- "fixing 5 bugs" (none of the above, which still stand) and "addressing two issues".
- At the date of today (November 2011), it's still 6 months that no updates have been released after version 3.16.

You can judge by yourself.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Setting up Voipstunt (and similar) on Linux

I've been spending some time trying all the softphone solutions I could find around, in order to use Voipstunt on Ubuntu.

Most of them were either:
- not working, properly or at all
- had a horrible interface

Ekiga is in the first category; I couldn't make more than one phone call per application run.
Linphone is in both categories.
I tried others that I don't remember.

At the end I found two working ones:
- Qutecom
- Twinkle.

Twinkle has a clunky and outdated interface, with at least one serious bug (segfault when trying to delete one contact). It's simple to configure, though.

Qutecom has a modern interface, and it works reasonably well.
I again found a bug, but minor - if I try to close the application without hanging up a call, it hangs.

At the end, I chose Qutecom.

For people using Qutecom and Voipstunt, the only parameter to configure (aside the obvious login/password) is "" as SIP Domain/Realm.
Voipbuster, from the same phone company, uses most probably "".

The package is in the main Ubuntu repository, so users can install it using the GUI application or command line.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jungledisk deletes your data

Yes, the title is correct. There is a bug in the Jungledisk sync which, in not uncommon conditions, will delete your synchronised data across all the computers.

Specifically, if a machine is downloading the data of a synced folder, and you shut down the machine, on the following startup, JD will think that the data not downloaded has been deleted, and proceed to delete it on the servers, which in cascade, will delete it also on your other synced machines.

This of course make the Jungledisk sync unusable - I'm not going to trust code which deletes my data.

You can still go through past backup, but that's very uncomfortable.

In addition to that, JD sync is remarkably poorly coded:
- it has a very long lag, taking long time before detecting changes.
a real use cases is the one where you made a modification to your data, then turn your computer off. while competitors start the sync upload immediately (e.g. DropBox), JD won't, so either you wait minutes doing nothing in front of the computer, or you can forget your syncing. what also happens, is that you may forget to wait, and change the data on another client - you will have to solve the conflicts when you turn your first machine on.
- it has two separate bugs related to non-ASCII characters. one bug is on the folders, and another one on the files; both cases will cause your sync on the folders/files to fail.

All in all, JD's syncing has always been very poor, while being an important part of the application.

Files deletion support request:
Folder syncing support request:

At this point I'm really annoyed by filing bugs, so I didn't file the bug for non-ASCII files.

I'm trying SpiderOak now, and if it works well, I won't hesitate a moment before swithing.