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woodp

2.x BETA - "Duplicate" default is off?

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E the other day and that required upgrading SB DP from the 1.x version to the 2.x BETA version. With all due respect, I really don't like the new Metro (?) UI. It isn't as informative and it seems to be lacking a lot of 1.x functionality.

 

I didn't realize it for a while that my server storage requirements were so low, and it took a while for me to figure out that duplication was off. Then it took even longer to figure out where the duplication setting is. And then I was confronted with file or folder duplication, and nothing in the FAQ seems to address this.

 

I understand the concept of BETA - I hope 2.x evolves to resemble 1.x

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E the other day and that required upgrading SB DP from the 1.x version to the 2.x BETA version. With all due respect, I really don't like the new Metro (?) UI. It isn't as informative and it seems to be lacking a lot of 1.x functionality.

 

I didn't realize it for a while that my server storage requirements were so low, and it took a while for me to figure out that duplication was off. Then it took even longer to figure out where the duplication setting is. And then I was confronted with file or folder duplication, and nothing in the FAQ seems to address this.

 

I understand the concept of BETA - I hope 2.x evolves to resemble 1.x

 

Thanks for your feedback, I'm definitely listening.

 

While strictly speaking this is not a "Metro UI", I agree, it is similar.

 

I thinks that one of the major problems with Metro is discoverability, it is nearly non-existent. If you're not familiar with it then you don't know what to click and where. Other than that, it's pretty neat.

 

So I'll try to add more "discoverability" to DrivePool to make it easier to use.

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Honestly, I really do like the clear, concise nature of the 2.x user interface. It doesn't feel cluttered or way too busy. But it still manages to provide enough info to be useful.

 

But yeah, that little arrow can be a bit hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for.

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Oops, it wasn't my intention to turn this into a 1.x vs. 2.x discussion; although I can see how my original post may have done that, but to see if some of the 1.x functionality and reporting could be added into 2.x. Specifically:

  1. As I mentioned earlier, there wasn't adequate indication that duplication was off. 1.x had the two disk and folder screens that made it very obvious where the storage capacity was being used. I miss knowing that Folder A is distributed on Drive 2 and Drive 3, and that folder B is distributed ...
  2. I also miss knowing that Folder A is 600GB and Folder B is 400GB and so on.
  3. Even after finding that little pyramid, I was confronted by "Pool File" and "Folder" duplication options. I think I can infer what the difference is, but what is the significance of them and why do I need options? I'm running "pool file" duplication now. Is that the correct option for me?
  4. With regards to interface, I would have preferred a Plug-in, but that's just a personal preference.

Sorry about the tangential track.

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#1+2:

Most of that info was scraped from Windows Search... and that service isn't entirely reliable. 

 

#3:

Pool duplication means that *everything* gets duplicated. Period. Everything.  Folder Duplication allows you to select what does and doesn't get duplicated, by folder.

And if you want everything duplicated, then yes "Pool Duplication" is what you want.

 

#4:

You mean a dashboard add-on? If so, I would agree. It would be nice. At the very least... there is a link to manage DrivePool in the Storage section. (it brings up the UI).

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Just throwing my two cents in here. I agree that the little arrow to manage duplication is very hard to find. I actually spent an hour trying to figure out where the settings were until I finally gave in and searched google and it brought me to this post. I think it needs to be labeled a little better. (Please and thank you!)

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@Woodp:

 @#4: yeah, it's kinda easy to overlook. But once you know where it is.... or install Advanced Admin Console (which is worth the money anyhow)....

 

@ColoradoMurph:

Yup, I've been bugging Alex about it. He's focusing on squashing bugs first, and then will see about UI improvements. So he is definitely listening.

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Just throwing my two cents in here. I agree that the little arrow to manage duplication is very hard to find. I actually spent an hour trying to figure out where the settings were until I finally gave in and searched google and it brought me to this post. I think it needs to be labeled a little better. (Please and thank you!)

 

To be honest, I wasn't 100% comfortable with the arrow not having any text next to it, but I doubt that any designer ever is 100% satisfied with their design. You always want to keep tweaking it to make it perfect, but there are time constraints (plus, we can't exactly afford Johny Ive here).

 

I decided to ship it and listen for feedback, and based on that feedback I've slightly modified the pool options menu.

 

It looks like this now:

 

pool_options.png

 

Let me know what you think.

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Honestly, I really do like the clear, concise nature of the 2.x user interface. It doesn't feel cluttered or way too busy. But it still manages to provide enough info to be useful.

 

The stylistic inspiration for DrivePool 2.X came from Windows 8, and some mockups that I did for a potential cloud backup solution for the Windows Home Server years ago (way before Metro). This product was meant to follow up the StableBit Scanner, but MS decided to kill drive extender and so we have StableBit DrivePool instead.

 

The functional inspiration came from programs like ICQ (the first IM client), Hamachi (before they got bought by logmein) and Skype.

 

Here's a mock up of the potential OmniBackup web interface:

 

OmniBackup2.png

 

And the file details:

 

OmniBackup2_file_details.png

 

The mockups are rough and not finished, but you can already kind of see the "Metro" style in this design. I did this before I ever saw MS's metro.

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I do like the new text for the pool options menu. Much more obvious.

 

A couple other things I noticed while showing DrivePool 2 and Scanner to someone whose computers I was fixing (she bought both!):

 

* DP 2's GUI doesn't yet have maximise/minimise/restore buttons, and can't be set to open maximised via shortcut properties.

 

* DP 2's GUI doesn't remember the state (open/closed) of the Performance section between sessions.

 

(obviously we're still in beta, so bugfixes come before polish; this is just FYI for when there's time)

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I do like the new text for the pool options menu. Much more obvious.

 

A couple other things I noticed while showing DrivePool 2 and Scanner to someone whose computers I was fixing (she bought both!):

 

* DP 2's GUI doesn't yet have maximise/minimise/restore buttons, and can't be set to open maximised via shortcut properties.

 

* DP 2's GUI doesn't remember the state (open/closed) of the Performance section between sessions.

 

(obviously we're still in beta, so bugfixes come before polish; this is just FYI for when there's time)

 

There is no Maximize because I feel that there is no need for it.

 

As far as not remembering the state of the performance UI, well this is intentional. I've actually removed this functionality from later builds in favor of optimizing performance.

 

Right after the Performance UI was released, there was some criticism of it being a bit "bloated", so I've done some optimizations in this area which led to the performance UI being disabled by default.

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