I used to keep some work files (keep in mind that I am still a student) at Dropbox. The idea was that I could work from home or from the university without having to bring my laptop back and forth and not having to worry about copying stuff before going home.
The problem became when my wife decided to use it to share photos with family. My 2GB space vanished quickly. There is another little problem, I can keep an updated version of my work, but I cannot roll back versions (as if I was using CVS, SVN or git). But having my code in sync with work is helpful enough (and I still can use SVN to control versions once in a while).

A while ago, I tried Unison, by Benjamin Pierce at the University of Pennsylvania. It's an open source software that allow you to implement your own "Dropbox". You have to set up your server machine on the internet, preferably 24x7. That was not the main problem with unison, though. The synchronization does not work so well with multiple users.

Recently, I looked for other alternatives and found Ubuntu One. It gives you up to 5GB for free, and you have a bit more granularity if you want to add extra space (so it's possible to spend less money than with Dropbox). For now, I am keeping work in Ubuntu One and personal stuff in Dropbox.

Now, when sharing this with a friend (Jon), he mentioned yet another alternative. It's called Sparkleshare, that performs synchronization, but using git. So, it's possible to have some version control at the same time as we have automatic synchronization. As Unison, I still have to set up a server (I could use Githup, but I don't like the idea of having my unfinished work open to the public).

I really find this Sparkleshare quite promising. I haven't used it yet, but I will soon be configuring a Git server and check how this thing works. More on this in a future post.




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