Transporter Sync Review: High Cost, Non-Working Features, Non-Responsive Support

For quite some time, I have been hearing about the Transporter line of products. Many of the podcasters rave on and on about them. Some of them are sponsored by Connected Data, which makes the Transporter products. This means there’s been a discount available on them.

I had been looking into consolidating my online cloud storage into one location. The prices have been continually falling, making it the right place for backups. However, each one has it’s own features and it was hard to come up with the one solution that would cover all my platforms: Windows, OS X and iOS, with an option for Android just for good measure.

Recently, after listening to Ken Ray’s podcast, Mac OS Ken, I decided to use his coupon code and take the plunge on a Transporter. I purchased the Transporter Sync since I had a few portable hard drives laying around that I could use, without spending big bucks on a full Transporter. This also would allow me to see how it would fit into my workflow and if purchasing another Transporter for a backup off-site would work for my needs.

The installation and setup was very straightforward. Within a few minutes the unit was up and running. The hard drive enclosure that I am using currently has a caching issue that can cause corrupted data if there is a power loss while writing data. Since my unit is on a UPS, I wasn’t too concerned about it.

The desktop software installation was straightforward and worked without any issues. However, when it got to the iOS software, that’s where things fell apart. Since my reason for getting this was for data backup, a backup of the photos on our phones is essential. In fact, this is the primary purpose since that is the only data that currently is not getting backed up. So, this process HAS to work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t!!

After enabling the Camera Roll backup within the Transporter software, it started to back up the photos. All appeared well for a few photos until it abruptly stopped. After clicking on Upload Now, it restarted where it left off and stopped after a few photos again. This continued each time the upload was restarted. Sometimes it would only last for a couple photos and sometimes it would get through 20-25 photos before stopping.

Although this was annoying, it was getting the photos backed up. Where it all falls apart is when it attempted to backup a video. If the video was small enough, usually less than 30 seconds, it would eventually get backed up. Unfortunately, larger videos, even as small as one minute, never seem to make it through the upload before failing. As such, this prevents any photos after this video from getting backed up.

My only recourse was to open up a support ticket. I described the problem, letting them know it was an issue with iOS and the Transporter Sync. The first response back from support was quite disappointing. It was like they never even read my problem description. They responded back with a long list of questions, many of which were not even relevant to my situation (PC specifications and desktop version information) and links that were malformed, requiring editing to get to the actual data that was being referenced.

Working in the software industry, I knew I was dealing with a level 1 support rep and that he wasn’t going to be of any help. I was right. It didn’t take long to be transferred to another rep who asked a few more questions. At least his questions were related to the issue and the platform I was using. Unfortunately, after responding to those questions, there’s been silence. There’s been no response from them on how to proceed, even after updating the ticket with the results from other devices.

At this point, the unit does not work for the purpose that I had bought it for. These units are not cheap, which I don’t understand since they are just a Linux system in a custom case with a USB port! Even with my Mac OS Ken discount, the unit still cost me $80, and that doesn’t include a hard drive. The support ticket has been open for over 10 days and there’s been no response from them in the past 7 days, other than to say that someone would work on it.

Right now, I am getting close to requesting a full refund. This unit doesn’t work as advertised for the purpose that I wanted to use it. I would be better off to use some web services to back up all my data onto a cloud data service.

If you’re looking for a solution to backup your photos from your iOS device, you’ll want to look elsewhere. At this time, the Transporter solution doesn’t work. Save your money and by some cloud storage. You can get over four years of 200GB of cloud storage for the price of a Transporter Sync.

Installing TextExpander on OS X Mavericks

For a while I had been hearing about TextExpander. Recently, after listening to the Mac Power Users episode on TextExpander, I decided to take the plunge and make the purchase.

The iOS version installed and worked flawlessly with other applications, such as Drafts. However, installing and getting TextExpander to work on OS X was a bit of a chore.

According the the installation instructions, the installation involved:

  1. Unzip the downloaded Zip file.
  2. Copy the extracted file to your Applications folder.
  3. Go into the Accessibility entry in the Security & Privacy Preferences pane and enable the entry.

Sounds simple enough, but after performing items 1 & 2, the entry did not exist for me to select. Because of this, there was no way for me to use TextExpander.

After a bit of experimenting, here are the steps it took me to get TextExpander to install and work on my OS X Mavericks system:

  1. Unzip the downloaded Zip file.
  2. Copy the extracted file to your Applications folder.
  3. Go into the Accessibility entry in the Security & Privacy Preferences pane.
  4. Drag the from your Applications folder on to Accessibility application list.
  5. If the entry is not automatically enabled, enable it.
  6. Reboot.

After performing these steps, I had TextExpander up and working. If you are in the same boat as I was and can’t get it working, try these steps. Let me know if it works for you by commenting below.

Rainbow Over Lake Huron

I’m finally getting around to going through the photos from our road trip last summer.

At the point furthest north in our trip, in St Ignace, MI, we were greeted with this rainbow over Lake Huron. As it was forming, there were no other photographers around. By the time anyone got there, it was already going away and that photographer was using auto mode, with the flash going off!! So, I got the best shot of anyone.

Nice to score such a great site!

Hey, Your Shoes Stink!


My favorite phrase lately has been: Don’t walk out into a pasture, step in cow poop, and then blame others because they say your shoes stink.

I know, you’re saying, “Huh?” Well, let me explain.

We were raised to learn that actions have consequences. In other words, if you did something wrong, you accepted responsibility for it and took whatever punishment was dealt to you. However, that has changed. The common practice now is to not accept responsibility and to make it someone else’s fault.

Recently, there was a local issue that resulted in a quite heated discussion. Emails apparently had been flying back and forth on the issue. One of those emails was email blasted by a local person in a position of authority and that email had nothing to do with their scope of authority. After responding to that message, this person shut down all communications through them and passed the buck to another authority group that had already made a decision on the issue. This person only chose to email blast on behalf of one position on the issue and did not afford the same courtesy to other viewpoints.

Well, I called this person out on it and told them two things:

  1. It was inappropriate for them to be using their position to email blast on behalf of any issue outside the business of their authority group.
  2. By shutting down all further communications, their attempt to promote that position would most likely backfire and hurt the cause.

Do you think I got an email back accepting responsibility and indicating that they shouldn’t have done that? Nope. I got a phone call … at home … late at night … saying, “You hurt me!” Ugh!

I guess I should have seen this coming, considering where I moved. I should have also seen it coming when the email was in ALL CAPS and sent from an email address. Yep, I walked into a cow pasture and stepped in a pile of cow poop. I guess I’d better throw out these shoes before people start complaining about the smell.

Lend Me A Child

With the tragic events that have occurred recently, I think these words from a my mother say it better than I ever could:
    Watching the events of this past week unfold, w/the grieving parents of those killed in the Boston race and the Newtown parents who went to D.C. to lobby Senators I couldn’t help but think about those who’s children were killed in these tragedys.
    And, of my brother, who at age 10½ was killed just as unexpectedly, by a hit and run driver, while he was riding his bike on the shoulder of the road.
    The parents from Newtown, who took their cause to D.C. to try to make changes in legislation that would impact all of us appeared many times in public w/their sorrow.
    And I thought, their sorrow, and other parents’ sorrow from other incidents, is NO worse than the sorrow my mother felt when we found out about my brother.  And, the sorrow she carried for the rest of her life!    He left that morning for a bike ride.   Just as those Sandy Hook children left for school that fateful day . . . my mother expected my brother to come bounding in the door any minute at the end of the day, just as those parents did.
    These types of things happen every day, in many different ways.    It is selfish of them to expect everyone in the country to be forced to comply w/new laws that would not have prevented what happened to their kids, because of their sorrow.
    When my mother passed away many years later I found a poem she had kept from the newspaper years ago.   I will copy it below.   It stresses how our children are “lent to us for a time”.   They are NOT our possessions for life.   They are a blessing, for a “time”!   And, that is the lesson to take away from all these seemingly senseless child deaths.
To All Parents
“I’ll lend you, for a little while, a child of mine,” He said.
“For you to love while he lives, and mourn when he is dead.
“It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
“But will you, ’till I call him back take care of him for me?
“He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief,
“You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
“I cannot promise he will stay, as all from earth return,
“But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
“I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,
“And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.
“Now will you give him all your love — not think the labor vain,
“Nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again.”
“I fancied that I heard them say, ‘Dear Lord, thy will be done.’
“For all the joy this child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
“We’ll shower him with tenderness and love him while we may,
“And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
“And should the angels call for him much sooner than we planned,
“We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.”
                        …Author Unknown

And The Most Annoying Software Company Is …

… Adobe!!

Yes, I am claiming that they are the most annoying.  Not only is their software constantly filled with zero-day security vulnerabilities, but their policies are just plain wrong.  It seems that every time I install or update an Adobe product, their install violates Microsoft Windows guidelines.

I’ll give two examples: Reader and Flash Plug-in. 

Every time I update Reader, the Adobe installation installs an icon on my desktop.  Hey, Adobe, I DON’T WANT AN ICON ON MY DESKTOP!!  Nowhere in the upgrade process is there any option to turn off that process.  For years, going back the days of Windows XP, it has been required to give the user the option to install or not install an icon on the desktop.

You are probably wondering why this bothers me so much.  Well, it is because I have no icons on my desktop other than the trash can.  Since Windows XP, the “Pin to Start Menu” and “Pin to Taskbar” features have made it completely unnecessary to have icons on the desktop.  I can use these features and get to my regularly used applications much faster than I ever could by having an icon on the desktop.

The other issue I have is with the Flash Plug-in installation.  Without asking, the installation will install the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer and the Google Chrome browser.  Not only do they install it without giving me an option not to, no where in the installation dialogs does it indicate that it will install it.  Not only is this annoying, its also a VERY BAD practice.

Not only are their installations doing actions that they should not be doing, but Adobe does not listen to their users when they complain.  Repeated compaints to Adobe, both through email and Twitter, do not even get a response from them.

So, Adobe puts out bad software, forces installation items that we don’t want and does not listen to their users when they complain.  I think that tops everyone else.

You are probably wondering why I even install their software if I think this way about them.  The reason is that I have to.  Reader is required by corporate policy and I am forced to use Flash as part of the web development that I am working on.  Until our corporate policy changes….

Things You Would Love To Say At Work

  • I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll be it’s hard to pronounce.
  • How about never? Is that good for you?
  • I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
  • I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
  • I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarting.
  • I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
  • I don’t work here, I’m a consultant.
  • It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.
  • I like you.  You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
  • You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
  • I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
  • I’m not being rude, you’re just insignificant.
  • Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
  • Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
  • If I throw a stick, will you leave?
  • Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
  • Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
  • Nice perfume.  Must you marinate in it?
  • Chaos, panic and disorder…my work here is done.
  • I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted a salary.

Southern Home Security System

How To Install A Southern Home Security System
  1. Go to Goodwill and buy a pair of size 14 -16 men’s work boots.
  2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.
  3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
  4. Leave a note on your door that reads ……
Bertha, Duke, Slim & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls.  They got the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don’t think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood.  Anyway, I locked all four of ’em in the house. Better wait outside. Be right back.


How Long Is Shortly?

We’ve all heard those “Greatest Lies Ever Told.” (Apologies to Fulton Oursler!) You know, the ones like “The check’s in the mail” and “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Then there’s the lesser known ones like “But honey, I’m only going to buy a couple things” and “The tow truck will be there in 15 and 50 minutes.”

I propose that a new one be added to the list: “A representative will be with you shortly.” We’ve all been on hold at some point in our lives and heard the recording of the nice, usually female, voice that breaks in to the on-hold music and says: “Your call is important to us. Please hold and a representative will be with your shortly.” Although the exact wording may vary slightly, they all pretty much follow the same script. I call foul on them all!

Almost 15 years ago we moved into our new house. We had the house wired for security and shortly after moving in, we had ADT come and install a system for us. After a few years, we were sick of the high price and the lousy service and switched to Checkpoint Services. A few years after that, they were purchased by Brinks Security, who, after a few years, spun that division off into a wholly-owned subsidiary call Broadview Security. Well, when that happened we knew what was coming next and it happened, Broadview Security was sold to ADT.

Now, we’re back where we started again. Shortly after taking over, ADT couldn’t resist and increased the rates. With nowhere to go, we had no choice to put up with it. Recently, we accepted an offer on our house and the one thing I was the happiest about was getting rid of ADT. I called and arranged to have our service canceled. However, a few weeks later, the deal fell through.

So, here we were, having to call them back up and cancel our “cancellation.” You would expect that this would be a simple process, if I could get a hold of someone to talk to. Over the course of a day, I spent almost two hours on the phone, waiting for a chance to speak to “an associate.” This was over the course of three attempts. The first attempt I gave up after 45 minutes and the other two attempts I gave up after 30 minutes. On each of the calls, they played the same song (only one) and it was only interrupted by that friendly female voice every 90 seconds reminding me that “an associate will be with your shortly.”

After a day of frustrations, I finally took to the ADT web site and filled out the contact form. I selected “Moving” from the list of departments to contact and told them briefly (I was limited to 250 characters) of what I wanted. About 10 minutes after we activated the alarm that evening to go out to run some errands, ADT calls back. (My daughter believes they waited for this to happen before they called!) Was it a call to handle my cancellation issue? Nope, they were calling me to try to sell me a system.

So, not only does there not appear to be anyone working in the ADT “Moving Department,” they also don’t appear to have anyone that can read the contact request properly. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything more considering the state of our <sarcasm> wonderful </sarcasm> government educational systems.

Time to make a phone call again….and wait on hold. If I go crazy, you’ll know it’s because they’re still playing that same song…over…and over…and over…and over…