Online Sync Storage – a digestible options list

Want to sync about 30GB of data from your computer to an online sync service for backup purposes?

Happy to pay but not through the nose?

Here’s a quick summary:-



Price £GBP Storage
Copy 15GB 5GB US$99 £62 250GB
DropBox 2GB 0.5GB US$99 £62 100GB
Ubuntu One 5GB none I think US$30 £19 20GB
SpiderOak 2GB 1GB US$99 £62 100GB
Box 5GB none I think £42 £42 100GB
Google Drive 15GB none I think $60 £38 100GB
Sky Drive 7GB couldn’t find easily so ignored intentionally blank

And here’s my thoughts:-

· I couldn’t easily find the necessary info re Microsoft Sky Drive quickly and easily so they’re off the board

· The rest are easily installed on multiple platforms and feature apps for your smartphone so you can grab files anywhere.

· DropBox is the best for usability as it’s now got LOADS of other apps that work with it. High scores on simplicity too.

· If you’re worried about file security then SpiderOak is unbeatable, due to their no-knowledge setup.

· Google Drive is cheapest and is pretty good, except it’s difficult to put away the worry about what they scrape from your files.

· Ubuntu One looks good for the price but is smaller – and appears to be unexpandable. Off the board for this exercise.

· If you’ve got lots of friends that are happy to join, you can quickly get a great quota free from Copy.

· Box is great value. And it’s well thought of in business circles in the USA. So it’s recommended.

So to pick a winner, it comes down to Box and DropBox. And since DropBox wins on connectivity with other functions (e.g. the ability to automatically take photos off your phone and sync off into the cloud), I’m going to give it the gong.

Box is second. SpiderOak is third for me because of SpiderOak Hive (more info).

The one I use most myself is DropBox, with a little SpiderOak as well for the personal and business files that I just *don’t* want breached.

For more in-depth options have a look at as recommended by Gary Smith @fl1bbl3

What’s your backup plan? If you don’t have one, get one. Or ask someone that can help make one.

In the event of fire, theft, flood or frying disks you’ll be glad you did.


Texting from iPad

You can’t send texts from an iPad right? Oh contrare!! I’ve discovered a workaround of sorts that might be useful, dependent on other gadgets.

I won (yes I won!!) an iPad Mini from @TechTVuk and have spent the last few evenings setting it up as half a Work iPad and half a Family iPad, so that the parents and children can all enjoy the new device. But not everyone in my contacts has an iDevice(!), so iMessage-only may be a bit limiting. So I started installing some other apps that I use and recommend for calls on iPhone.

To set up Viber & Vonage I needed a device to which an SMS could be sent in order to login. Enter my @ThreeUK mifi. Text sent to mifi. Code obtained. App set up. Very straightforward indeed. And Skype was of course easy too. (no text code required).


I can now send texts via three different apps on the iPad, plus iMessage as well. Skype Vonage and Viber. Happy face.

My grateful thanks to the good folks of @TechTVuk for awarding me the new iPad Mini. They do creative video for technology companies. Tell them @pedrostephano sent you.

NB picture shows the text I had sent to my iPhone. Setting it up this way didn’t work. But via the mifi did – and it’s exclusive and thus separate to my iPhone which is the way I want it.

Update – learned that Viber also has an app for desktop in both Windows and Mac variants, as well as the mobile platforms.

Outlook – unsent emails remaining in Outbox

Outlook has an intermittent problem in that it sometimes fails to send emails that are in the outbox. I’ve spent a fair bit of time googling* a fix, but cannot find one that reliable and definitive, so I’ve developed a quick workaround that enables easy spotting of the issue, plus first aid that works. Screenshots used here are from Outlook 2007, but I’ve struck a similar problem on Outlook 2003 recently where this advice applies.

This shows before and after Send/Receive (F9) when sending works normally.

Basically it boils down to a lack of timestamps. If an outgoing email appears in the Outbox with a timestamp beside it, it will successfully send on next Send/Receive sync. But if it’s timestamped “None” it just will not go, no matter how many times you hit F9 or Send/Receive. It’s a frustrating bug, as the email will stubbornly sit on your outbox, and if you don’t know or can’t see it, you may mistakenly think the email has gone, and be waiting a darned long time for the recipient to respond.

Before send – no timestamp (or timestamp is ‘None’)- after send there was no change – it didn’t go

First thing to try is edit the email in Outbox. Open the email, add a couple of spaces or a return at the top, save and send. If this activates a time stamp you win. But if not…….

Copy and paste into a new email. Clumsy yes, but in my experience the only reliable way. Don’t forget to copy all the address fields, the title, and the body. Send.

Top email will go as timestamp is ‘Today’ whilst bottom email will not be sent.

And here’s the final step – change your Favourite Folders so that you can spot repeat unsents. They will likely occur! Make an Outbox shortcut there by clicking and dragging Outbox from Mail Folders into Favourite Folders, then right click that new Outbox shortcut and select Properties, then Show Total Number Of Items. This creates a counter beside your outbox fave that can easily become a visual identifier of the problem – if it’s not zero (i.e. not present) then there is unsent mail in your outbox, and it just might be lacking a timestamp. So now you can assess it. But at least you know. And knowing is power. Isn’t that right? 😉

Click and drag ‘Outbox’ from Mail Folders to Favourites. NB this just creates a shortcut, and does not actually move your Outbox anywhere.

*Googling suggests AV plugins, Windows fix and disconnection from email server as amongst many various causes, some of which I’ve tried with no effect.

This workaround allows one thing – getting on with your email, so you can do what’s next after that.

JaunterCreekICT helping you, helping your gadgets.