It’s been an interesting couple of days. I was rather honored to see that Lifehacker did a short highlight of Time Drive, which I thought was pretty cool. It’s always been one of my goals to have something featured in Lifehacker or Gizmodo, and now I’m going to have to scratch that off the list of goals. But that’s okay, I’ve got other things to fill the void. Like … how exactly does one get invited to present at TED?
On another note … while I knew that I would see some kind of traffic bump due to the article in Lifehacker, I wasn’t necessarily prepared for the magnitude. In mathematics, there is this thing called a step function. It’s where you move from one value to another more or less instantaneously. It looks like a step, hence the name. Sure, It may not actually exist, since even very dramatic shifts still have a non vertical slope; but even so, the change in my traffic might as well be a step-function. Between yesterday and today, I’ve had more visits to this site than I’ve had in much of the rest of the year combined. I think that’s kind of cool, though it probably won’t last.
(This might be a good time to say that I am actually rather proud of my “lackluster” web traffic. Though it might not necessarily be that impressive, it is, nevertheless, mine. I’ve worked hard for it, and I revel in the fact that some 40 to 50 people each day find the unorganized garbage of my mind intoxicating. Some of them even come back!)
But as interesting as that might be, traffic stats is probably not why you’re here. Good thing, since I’ve got announcements.
Time Drive Update
As of this moment, Time Drive has been updated to version 0.1.5 and is available on the project page.
Let me start by saying what this release isn’t. I really wanted to write a blog post and say, “Time Drive is available, and now it’s really easy to install!” In the past few days, this has been by far the most requested “feature” and I’ve tried hard to deliver. (Honest!) Unfortunately, creating a binary installer for Windows and a self contained package for Mac has proven … illusive. I’m not really a programmer and the inner workings of py2app and py2exe are tremendously frustrating. I have made some serious headway, but stand-alone installers are still “forthcoming.”
But a lot of things are new, and some of them are even shiny! Moreover, the relatively huge interest has gotten me excited about the program, and I’ve spent some time refining things that didn’t quite work right. “So …” you ask, “What’s different?”
For starters, the Snapshot History on the main window actually works now. If you want to restore a previous version of a file, you can select it from the list and click the add button (+) to open the archive browser. It will automatically load the snapshot as it looked on the selected day and time.
If you can’t find your file there, don’t despair, from within the archive browser, you can easily navigate forward and backward between snapshots by using the arrow buttons or by dragging the slider to the appropriate place. Once you have it sitting on the snapshot of interest, hit the refresh button to reload the file list. This is starting to get closer to the overall vision of the program that I originally stole. Now, you can actually use Time Drive to keep tabs on how your files change.
I also cleaned up the way that Time Drive interfaces with cron. Now it works on Mac without requiring tweaks. In the relatively near future, I’ll write a proper backend for Windows so that is uses the Windows Vista task scheduler. Installing cron on Cygwin is just too much of a pain.
Looking into the future, I foresee support for Amazon S3, pruning and naming snapshots, and advanced folder options. There may be other changes as inspiration strikes. Expect additional announcement soon.
Well, that’s it. Why this may be a bit of a minor addition, there’s still some nice stuff. (I know, I’m biased.) Head over the download page and check it out.