Cubby not so chubby

This week I’ve tried out the new personal cloud storage service from Logmein.  We know logmein from their excellent remote desktop and support system, so I was curious to see how they managed to pull off a Dropbox-alternative.

Cubby.com is the main place to access your files and ask for an invite.  After two weeks I got the invite code in my mailbox.  Beta-users can invite two persons to the beta as well.
I realize writing a review on a beta product isn’t that fair.  I imagine the product to be far more advanced than what I’ve tried.

Downloading the cubby client was fast, installing it even faster… it easily compared to Dropbox in a sense of handywork.  In essence, it synchronizes between your computer or devices and backs the stored files up to the cloud.  You get 5GB storage space (equally to the SugarSync service,which is our favorite cloud storage to date).
The interface is clean, simple… but there are some snags.
First of all, Cubby’s upload is slow.  A directory containing 2GB of files wasn’t done uploading after 20 hours over a  3 Mbit upload line.  I think the server had some issues getting my files in for whatever bandwidth-related reason.
The computers I ran this tool on all slowed down considerably.
You can’t quickly share or upload one single file, it has to be a directory.  No problem for me, but the people I’ve invited found this very irritating.

Cubby is next to SugarSync and Dropbox a well made beta, with promising features,… but I doubt they will make a dent in the dropbox-marketshare or the upcomming Google Drive madness.

Links:
http://www.cubby.comhttp://www.logmein.com
http://www.dropbox.com
http://www.sugarsync.com

Comodo Dragon

Review of the Comodo Dragon browser.

I love testing browsers, … because it’s fun to play with something that a company like comodo designed to be secure, fast and reliable.
Comodo released this secure browser in order to give people a rebranded chrome with added security.  The main feature I found interesting is the possibility to use the Comodo secure DNS servers for the application only.
In other words: you can have all your applications use the DNS server from your ISP (or workplace) and have the Comodo Dragon use the Comodo DNS servers.  This is neat,… it also means you have to stop explaining on how to change the dns settings to your friends, family and co-workers.

Next to the addes security of the comodo dns servers, this browser is fast, very fast.
It also delivers a few extra’s like ‘always start in incognito mode’ or the ‘portable setup’.  This last feature is amazing, since it will install the user profile of your browser on a usb stick.  Handy for browsing the web on public spots or nosy work-environments.

All in all I think the Comodo dragon looks nice (the default theme just looks so much cooler than the one from Google Crome).  I’m preferring this browser because it’s simplicity, speed and features.

Mobile Vikings carrier

Review of the Mobile Vikings carrier Belgium

Mobile Vikings is a Belgian cellphone provider, they use the BASE (KPN) network for coverage.

Recently I switched from the ‘native’ Base network to this provider called Mobile Vikings, because I found out the KPN guys charged me about 0.26€ per minute for calling other network.  A bit steep, but at least I didn’t had any subscribtion costs.

I switched to Mobile Vikings for the easy ways to top-up your credit online, and the cheaper call rates (although, not the cheapes in Belgium – that’s Medion Mobile for now… ). An extra perk is that Mobile Vikings gives away great ‘packs’ of mobile internet data blocks and sms’s.
I hardly use SMS, but now and then I’d like to go online on my mobile phone.

The Mobile Vikings site is handy and has everything you need to track your use, check the rates and have all information available.
Within 3 days, my old SIM card was turned over (together with the telephone nr.) to their network and service. I topped up the credit and I was good to go.

The only two disadvantages so far where the errors when auto-configuring my nokia phone (I know, I should have a smartphone by now:) and some smaller issues with compatibility between my bank’s view on creditcards and the Mobile Vikings payment system through paypal (something I refuse to use).

Other than these two small issues I must say their customer support is impressive, fast and no-nonsense.  You mail them, and you get help.

Should you think about switching to Mobile Vikings, please use this link as a reference, so I get credit for it.

Kingsoft Pc Doctor

Software containing the work ‘doctor’ in the name is usually crapware.  Kingsoft is an exception to that.
The software is smooth, works incredibly fast and reliable.
It scans, optimizes and protects the way it should.  (unlike some high-prized commercial applications -cough- symantec -cough-).

There are plenty of summaries online to find out what this software can do for you, but I can assure you it’s great.
Test it out yourself, get it at http://www.kingsoftsecurity.com/

Chrome portable – a review

I’m one of those IT/ICT people that switches computer rather often at work.  The thing is that my boss doesn’t really have the ‘resources’ to give us all the most splendid laptop (the one that died last week was 7 years old and should be in a museum in my opinion).  Despite that all-too-common fact in this industry, there is one thing most IT-companies enjoy to invest in: logging.
Whenever I browse for something personal at work (like checking my bank, doing a much needed lookup for company information or even looking at jobsites), wherever I go: it is logged, or at least do my colleagues and boss have the necessary access (both physical and right-wise) to my computer.   Checking my browsing history or any other thing is theoretically possible.

I use a combination of google chrome portable (thanks to http://portableapps.com/) and OpenDns  (opendns.com) to prevent the all-too easy things from leaking out to my boss’ computer should he be interested.
(I know there are far better things to do to really really be invisible to all, and encrypt every step you make,… but I’m just trying to get an easy solution for this, one that doesn’t cost me a lot of time or money and is really easy to use on different computers.

Chrome portable is awesome because I just carry MY own browser, with all MY stuff (like passwords; logins) on it … just on a USB stick.
I use an 8GB USB stick for it… but the Google Chrome portable only takes up about 150MB space at average.

This way, my work computer stays as clean and ‘unpersonal’ as a Apple Store’s floor on Monday morning.
I just unplug the usb-stick carrying my Chrome Portable with me…  it syncs with my chrome sync account whenever I’m connected.

Two small disadvantages:
It’s slightly slower than the real Chrome browser and it doesn’t auto-update.  Two small prices I gladly pay for carrying MY browser with me at work, friends, family or while traveling.

You can download Chrom Portable from:
http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/google_chrome_portable