Goodbye Evernote

Evernote has been a staple of my GTD process for around 10 years now. Originally I used it as my idea capture bucket. Over time I found it clunky and more GTD software had arrived on the scene, so I used it for reference material, notes, and such.

I really liked the software, so much so, I paid for it for a number of years.

One thing that bothered me about the software was the lack of keyboard short-cuts. Eventually, I did the normal thing, and complained about it on-line. Once my payment cycle came around, I stopped paying. Withholding payment will surely bring them to their knees! Well, 2 years from my complaint and still no updates to the short cuts.

And so it was until the other week. I was digging back in my notes for a image I squirrel away. It was gone. To be fair, the thumbnail was there, but the full sized image was gone. I starting looking through at my other images and, to my horror, they were gone too.

I can forgive poor customer response. I can forgive a poor roadmap for a currently working product. I can’t forgive losing data. Especially from a product with “ever” in the name.

After poking around, I realized Google Drive, a tool I already was using, was an excellent place to put this large cache of information. A bunch of massaging and reformatting and done.

Goodbye Evernote. It’s been fun!

Cloud all the things!

Recently, I found that Amazon is offering their Cloud Drive service, with unlimited storage, for $60/year.  As someone who has had more than one catastrophic disk crash on my personal data stores, I was very interested in this service.  They are offering a 3 month trial so, I jumped to sign-up.

And was immediately very confused to find I was only offered 5 GB of photo space. After puzzling for some time, I realized I was not allowed this service because my Canadian Amazon site was linked to my US Amazon site. Lame.

Fast forward a week, I was relaying my story to a friend who said “Just sign up again”. I said I need a new email address like I need a new hole in the head.  He mentioned that Gmail has a neat feature. After the local part, if you can add a plus “+” symbol with anything you like, it gets dropped by Google and delivered to you. An example will make this simpler.

ie – matt@gmail.com would become matt+syslo.gd@gmail.com would get delivered to matt@gmail.com

Sold. I signed up for a new Amazon account and started mucking with their service. The GUI sucks. I mean, I really don’t want to upload things by clicking on them. They have some app for Windows, but that isn’t super useful for me.

I found a few projects for Linux which interface with ACD before landing on rclone.  The big sale point for me was the bandwidth throttling, which I’ll get to in minute.

I started shovelling things into the service to test it out. It is consuming like a champ. I found my home broadband provider, or their upstream, is doing some poor QOS so, my Upload/Download to AWS is shit.  I found one of my VPS had WAY better speeds, so I futzed around with that as a downloading station. Immediately, I tripped over saturating the virtual network driver caused hard-locking of the machine. It required a reboot in the console to recover. I found throttling total transfers below 10MB/s seemed to do the trick, hence the rclone feature.

A couple of package installs and some trivial shell scripts and I  had a tidy little pipe line to pull down data and shovel it into the Cloud Drive. Side-note: If there is interest, I can share the scripts.  Perhaps I will clean them up and publish them here.

So far, I’ve crammed about 420 GB into the storage and it’s behaving nicely.  There are a couple gotchas:

  1. you can’t play any video longer than 20 minutes. I think this is so people don’t upload their movie collection and play it from there.
  2. There is a 40 GB file limit. I believe this is so people don’t do DB dumps and stuff them in here, or something like that.

It’s nice piece of mind knowing some old television shows, movies and what not have a permanent place to live without the fear of hard drive crash.  It’s also nice to know, that when I leave this mortal coil, my credit cards will get terminated and this account a year later.