The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Start Syncing

Windows and Mac OS have this in common: Neither synchronizes files perfectly

3 min read

There’s the Apple way of doing things, and there’s the Microsoft Windows way of doing things. After 15 years, the consistency of it still surprises me. Nowhere have I seen the difference more clearly than when comparing synchronization software, in this case GoodSyncfrom Siber Systems and the comparable Apple product, MobileMe.

GoodSync first presents itself as a largely empty window containing a New Job tab, two location fields, and some buttons. An Analyze button looks important. As with many Windows applications, poking around is both instructive and not as scary as it looks. Click the Browse button next to a location field and pick one of several options: a local directory or drive, a network directory, or an FTP (file transfer protocol) site. This will be your Left Folder. Now pick a different directory, drive, or site for your Right Folder. Analyze will determine what needs doing, and once the Left and Right Folders are analyzed, the Sync button will activate and you can start the sync. GoodSync manages all additions, updates, and deletions between the two folders. There’s a restricted free version and a $30 Pro version with no limitations on jobs or files.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less