HELPLESS AND HAPLESS
Last year, I had the following great words about GBS:
"With this post, I'm officially classifying Google's recently introduced "Browser Sync" extensionaggressive marketing by the company. as a "Thriller" product, worthy of more
I was pretty enthused about Browser Sync already when Google introduced it earlier this month. As a refresher, here's how Google describes this cool piece of software:
"Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers.
It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. For more info, please visit our FAQ."
Well, I may have spoken a year too soon. GBS did work relatively flawlessly syncing all my bookmarks, passwords, cookies, etc. across a handful of Windows and Macs, for all these months.
But yesterday, I noticed that my primary Windows laptop had a blank bookmark bar in my Firefox browser, where the day before, there'd been dozens of folders meticulously organized with all my important bookmarks.
I quickly went to my primary Mac laptop and fired up Firefox. Sure enough, no bookmarks.
Then went quickly to my primary Windows and Mac desktops, and also, no bookmarks.
It's as if each machine had been lobotomized overnight.
I didn't panic. I figured it was just some sort of a server synchronization error on Google's side. I mean, as reliable as Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. have been, there HAVE been occasional hiccups.
So I went to the GBS FAQ and went through the meager suggestions offered for refreshing and reconnecting GBS.
Did them all.
No dice, no bookmarks, no joy.
Then the normal demands of the day intruded, and I had to put aside the whole GBS thing yesterday.
I hoped in the back of my mind that things would be back to normal today.
Again, no such luck.
This morning, I've spent a good amount of time on the web researching this issue, and it seems I'm not alone.
Google doesn't seem to have proper support for GBS. There is a discussion group though, rife with reports of similar problems over the last couple of months.
But I can't seem to find any official response from Google on the problem, or on how to fix it.
At this point I'd even settle for some way to get an older copy of my bookmarks, so I can restore them directly to a browser again.
The various kind folks in the Google discussion groups all seem to refer to the "Wrath of GBS" discussion thread, where after one reads through countless posts, several work arounds have solved the problem for some.
I read through most of them, and tried the various things suggested. No luck my end.
To my amazement, there seems to be no setting within GBS that allows one to access previous states of one's browser configuration.
I'm not even sure of how one might make a backup of one's bookmarks with GBS.
If that's the case, it's a pretty abominable state of affairs.
There's no warning label on the GBS site that this is a beta product.
Now I know it's still a Google Labs project, so that implicitly means that it's a beta product.
But I'm mad at myself for having let it become to mission critical to my online work, and being oblivious to the beta nature of the product.
And of course for not worrying enough to have figured out how to make a backup of all my bookmarks.
So I'm up the proverbial creek for now.
So much for living one's life "in the cloud".
Makes one yearn for good, old-fashioned desktop applications again.
Any thoughts and/or suggestions out there, are most welcome.
Oh, and I'm suspending the "Thriller" rating on Google Browser Sync, for now.
Now, I'm going to try and figure out how to back up all my documents and spreadsheets on Google Docs. Just in case.