Cloud storage confusion

With cloud services it can become confusing as to where things actually are. If you’re like me, old school, I tend to want to keep a local copy of things just in case and so I elected to do this on the MacBook with Desktop, Documents and the photo library so I would always have a local copy if things come undone.

This all worked fine until I changed my Apple ID today prior to the potential deletion of .eu domains held by UK people post-Brexit. My Apple ID was a .eu email address.

So, new ID set. The iPhone and iPad both worked fine but the MacBook presented an empty desktop and no documents. Oh. After a fiddle it transpired that it had not re-enabled the Desktop and Document folders in iCloud Drive in Settings. Checking this resulted in a re-populated desktop, albeit with the icons jumbled up. No biggie.

But all the files showed that little cloud icon with a downward facing arrow. This does not imply a pending thunderstorm, rather it means you can download the document.

But remember I kept local copies? Well, it transpires that the MacBook made an archive of everything. So all the files are sat in a named folder with ‘(archive)’ appended.

So the MacBook now appears to be happily downloading all the files from iCloud regardless of the fact they are already there in this archive. All 21Gb! Thanks.

There is a twist in this tale. Photos has also been disconnected. It now gives me the option once more of sending all photos to iCloud (they are all there already and can be seen on the iPhone and iPad!) and also storing them locally. Only its says there is insufficient space! yes, because you made a 21Gb archive and are now downloading the 21Gb again so that’s 42Gb and that’s more than the free space you numpty.

I am wary of deleting the archive, and anyway the photo library may have its own, as-yet undiscovered archive too. Apparently my photo library is 51Gb… good job we have unlimited broadband.

On the plus side, when I logged into iCloud again on the iPhone and iPad the photo app now uses iCloud. I had intended to switch over to this but never did. So at least those work… I just need to sort the MacBook because, being old school I really want a local copy of the photos just in case.

And it’s probably time to fix the NAS so it can be used by Time Machine again, or get a plug-in disk. You can never have too many copies when you are old school!

Google cloud

There is a story about how Google blocked access to a load of documents in their cloud provision because an automated check determined they are in breach of Google’s terms of service. Of course, everyone reads these don’t they (actually they are written in a fairly easy to understand language unlike many, so no excuse really)

But my interest here is how Google (or any such provider) can protect itself given it can automatically check stuff in the cloud. If something got to court I wonder if a judge would request that Google somehow prove that it did not know a given document was illegal, and how it could prove this.