The Cloud is Not Your Friend, Brain Meltdown Edition

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Sorry for the brief radio silence over the past couple of hours. I’ve been in a state of minor meltdown.

Here’s the story. About a month ago I went looking for a draft of a magazine article I was writing and discovered it was gone. In fact, my entire folder of Word documents was gone. I blamed it on Windows, restored from backup, and forgot about it.

Today, I went looking for an image, and eventually discovered that several thousand files were missing from my folder of images. After a bit of sleuthing, I discovered that other files and folders were gone too. The culprit, it turned out, was SugarSync, a program I use to keep all my files synced between computers. Last Friday, after a long period of nonuse, I opened up my notebook computer and apparently SugarSync went nuts. At 4:45 it began deleting a seemingly random bunch of folders. At 4:55 it went to work on my images folder and deleted 4,661 images. At 5:55 it stopped.

I’ve restored them all. However, after a bit more looking around I discovered a couple of old folders missing. Apparently they were deleted so long ago that they’re no longer on any of my backups. I just didn’t notice it. And since all of my computers are synced, they’ve been deleted everywhere.

As you can imagine, there was minor panic involved in all of this, and I’ve been frantically looking around, trying to figure what other stuff might be missing. I also turned off SugarSync, but just discovered that it had turned itself back on while I was out of the house getting a blood test.

No permanent harm has been done. The old folders have stuff I don’t need, and the newer ones were all backed up. But obviously I need to find a new syncing program. I certainly don’t trust SugarSync anymore. Anyone have any suggestions? Does Dropbox allow you to sync existing folders, or does it still require you to put everything in its special Dropbox folder?

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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