Monday, August 9, 2010

SugarSync disaster

It's not often that I have such a bad experience with a product or service that I feel like I need to write about it, but I'm downright angry with SugarSync. I set up this service several months ago to keep files (source code, business documents, and reference materials mostly) in sync between my home desktop, office desktop, workbench, and laptop. It seemed to be working OK at first, but things got progressively worse as time went on.

Here's the shared folder where I keep my Quickbooks files:

Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) (Backup Apr 04,2010 06 26 PM).QBB
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) (Backup Jun 05,2010 06 40 PM).QBB
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) (Backup Mar 01,2010 08 04 PM).QBB
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) (from Workbench).QBW
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) (from Workbench).QBW.ND
<dir> Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter) - Images
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter).QBW
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter).QBW (from Workbench).ND
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter).QBW.ND
Argent Data Systems (from Jupiter).QBW.TLG
Argent Data Systems.QBW.ND
Argent Data Systems.QBW.TLG

Keep in mind that I only have Quickbooks installed on one machine, so these files have never been opened or locked on another PC. Yet the files show up like they were edited in multiple places at the same time and the service couldn't resolve the conflict.

Much, much worse is what it did to my source code. I'd work on a project, come back a few days later and edit some more, and then find out that when I'd opened it the second time it had synced an old copy from another PC and I was editing that one. I've had to spend a lot of time with a diff utility trying to merge the changes.

Their support is worthless. All I can get out of the SugarSync people is that it's working as designed and making duplicates of locked files. Yet somehow it also manages to do this with files in my music collection that haven't been edited since 1997. It's also truncated photo files and made them unusable immediately after they were synced.

It looks like I essentially paid $99 to have an application trash my files in insidious ways. Avoid this service. I still need file sync, so I'm going to look into Dropbox or another competitor, but I'm very unhappy with how this turned out.