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Archive for September, 2014

Picturelife – no updates for ages…

September 24, 2014 2 comments

Has anyone noticed the lack of Picturelife updates over the last few months?2014-09-24 20_38_25-picturelife new ios app - Google Search

For example – they released their radically different iOS app some months ago, with a beautifully fluid experience, and a promising sign of things to come. However, at the same time, they removed some of the most useful features, including:

  • Family sharing
  • Multi-select (for deleting, sharing, etc)
  • Album sharing

…with the promise to bring them back bigger and better in an update, within a few weeks.

Three months on, and aside from compatibility and bug fix updates, including for iOS8, there’s been none of the promised second tranche of features – or even any features.

Likewise for the web app, which is as functional as it used to be – no less, but no more. It now sits strangely inconsistently with the iOS app. The Android app has been updated, but is still only good for uploading photos and simple viewing – it has none of the editing or other features of its cousins.

More frustratingly, the support forums have been shut down, so there’s no preferred way of sharing info with the community or getting feedback from the team.  And while the service status blog has been updated a few times, the general blog where features might be announced, and the pulse of a web company, has been worryingly quiet for the last two months.

So… have Picturelife hit a rut? Are they working on the next big thing, or are they struggling to survive with issues under the hood? I, for one, am worried… and disappointed. I really don’t want to give my photos to Google+, but they seem to be the only such photo service that is living, breathing and innovating… with Apple offering their own alternative, if you are happy to jump in with both feet.

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When a Crashplan backup seems far larger than the original data – finding junctions

September 15, 2014 Leave a comment

I recently had an issue whilst setting up a PC on Crashplan, where it never seemed to stop scanning the source files, and kept adding more and more files!

I checked the size of the two source directories, and found 12,000 files in each for a total of 8GB – yet Crashplan had counted 80,000+ files totaling 35GB, and was still counting and counting….

I suspected some kind of loop, and that a Windows shortcut in the directory was to blame. For example, I had a shortcut to “My Documents” inside the My Documents folder, and my thought was that Crashplan was recursing through this. However, it should be able to handle Windows links without following them, since there are often plenty of symbolic links in any users’ directory.

After some investigation, I realised that the link was not a normal link… but a junction. Junctions are like links, but ‘harder’ – they are indistinguishable from a genuine directory by normal applications, which is why they work as a way of redirecting iTunes to a backup directory on another drive, for example. However, if recursive, they’ll also confuse the heck out of backup software, which is why I found that the backup contained D:\My Documents\My Documents\My Documents\My Documents\My Documents\file.doc. The fact that it looks like a normal shortcut in Windows Explorer…

2014-09-15 19_27_24-1.png - Windows Photo Viewer

….such as someone might accidentally create by fat-fingering a mouse drag, meant I didn’t spot it.

You can check for junctions using the command:

dir /aL /s C:\

Typing this will show a list of all the junctions it finds, recursively. You can then remove them – I actually just deleted the link in Windows Explorer.

After this, I checked again… and voila – Crashplan counted the right number of files.

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