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April 2014
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June 2014

Dropbox deleted my files by itself

I know that many of you love Dropbox, and I did too until this last Sunday, when I realized that I can't really trust it anymore. A reader of another website of mine sent me a note pointing out that some of the graphics on the site were missing. Huh?

Sure enough, after a lot of digging, I discovered that a handful of jpeg files (about a dozen) were deleted from the Dropbox folder where I keep the source for that site. I don't update that site very often, and I was able trace back and determine that the deletions occurred in a period where I was not working on the site at all.

And because I don't have a paid account, Dropbox won't restore the deleted files for me. (They were deleted more than 30 days ago.) They are G-O-N-E. But, I have a Time Machine backup of the local version of the Dropbox folder so I was able to restore the missing files.

But the bottom line is this. I'm no newbie, and I'm not known to spasmodically, or drunkenly, delete random files from my working projects. This was no user accident. Either Dropbox had a hiccup and deleted those files, or something (not someone, this is not a project that is shared) else did. Either way, I won't trust Dropbox again.

And neither should you. A simple search of "Dropbox deleted my files" will return an alarming number of similar stories. This one and its comments being but one example. Beware.

Update: I have since discovered that several assets within a Curio package stored on Dropbox were also deleted. This underlines my assertion that the deletions weren't a user (me) error. It's not very easy to delete individual files from within a package and it's certainly not something I would ever do.

Numerous - lovely and useful tracking of numbers

I've been helping to beta test the new iOS Numerous app and have really grown to love it. Yes, it's beautiful, but it also has just the right amount of openness and flexibility to make it truly useful, too.

What can you use it for? Anything you want or need to quantitatively track or measure: the number of times you've gone to the gym, how many days since you've watered the plants, your weight, the number of panic attacks you've had this week, and so on.

But you can also tap into "public" numbers, which are either automatically provided by Numerous (such as stock prices and weather) or have been created by other users as publicly available. That's right, you can share your data, with everyone or just those you invite. For example, perhaps you and a buddy want to each share the number of miles you've run this week. If you have an iPhone 5s, it's dead simple to track or share how many steps you've taken each day because Numerous supports the M7 coprocessor. It can also read from Location Services, so right now for example, it's telling me I am 607 feet above sea level and 1,841.4 miles from Cupertino.

But the best part, for us home automators, is that there is an API for updating any value. Your HA system can easily keep you up-to-date on whatever you'd like to track. Or, use the IFTTT channel to tie-in any of the many options that service supports. (For example, during beta testing, I kept track of my weekly tweet count, all automatically.)

Check it out, I think you'll dig it.