RIP Cubby

Unless you are willing and able to stump up USD149/year—and neither I nor Shirley my friend and collaborator in China come into that category—Cubby is no more; at least it’s still there but says my Cubby is full, even though it was only 50% full the evening before. So, I’m going to have to find another route for collaborating with Shirley, and manage my space on Dropbox more carefully.



You might find Box suits your needs. The free version gives you 10Gb of storage but with a file upload limit of 250Mb.

Other than it being a bit slow, I’ve had no problems so far, but I have a straightforward use case. :smiley:

Thanks Tacitus. I opened a Box account years ago, but at that time, without paying a large sum, there was no Dropbox/Cubby-like desktop app to automate the process. I might revisit it … and nontroppo may know if that too is one of the many things blocked by the GFWoC, as he is in the reverse situation.

I’ll also re-visit SpiderOak to see if that would answer.


I found a service called “sync” ( which is a Canadian company. The free portion of their service allows 5 GB storage. It works very much like DropBox; so far, my experience has been positive. I have no idea if sync stops at the ‘great firewall’ but it may be worth a try.

(My only disappointment with sync is that they have no Linux app; but they do accommodate the other major OS.)

Thanks very much Graybyrd. I’ll send the URL to Shirley and see if she can access it. Do you keep active Scrivener projects on it, or do you just use it for zipped backups? It’s being able to share projects with Shirley that is what concerns me.

I’ve checked out Box, and my login worked fine, but it seems only to have a desktop app for Windows … fine for storage, but not for collaborating in Scrivener as I’m on a Mac.


Sync seems to play well with Scrivener. I set up a test project and it linked accurately between my two Win7 laptops without error. Project opened on either laptop; changes made were synced to the other without error. Felt very similar to using DropBox.

Just opened the Sync folder on my Mac Mini/Snow Leopard box. Perfect! Test scriv project opened, no errors. I’d say go for it… with a test project, of course. Good luck!

One last comment: Sync comes with 5 GB free user account, but they have a ‘bonus’ feature to very easily earn an additional GB just by completing four easy steps. So, essentially, it’s a 6 GB free service.

I use Box on my Mac:s and iDevices. There is a MAc app.

I use that regularly and for me at least it works fine. The only slight problem is that it’s always seemed slow compare to DropBox.

Wonder whether the Great Snooper’s Charter of GB will affect any of these? Or, will it spur more of this type of service to use full end-to-end encryption?

Have you heard of BitTorrent Sync? I don’t know if it works across the Chinese firewall, but I do know that Ioa has used it with live scrivener projects with a good deal of success. It would require that you set up a computer that’s always on to share your projects with, but it seems pretty reliable.

Heard of it under its commercial name of Resilio Sync although I’ve not used it. Sounds good though, but I’m not sure it would be useful if you’re mainly on a laptop.

Well, I went through the Box site many times and never found that, I also notice that the URL you give seems to be a Swedish site which didn’t come up for me. I’ve finally managed to find it through the UK site, the whole thing looking totally different … doesn’t make me enamoured.

In the meantime, Shirley has been able to set up Graybyrd’s recommendation (I think) so we’ll go with that for the moment, but I’ll also set up Box on my systems, to have it up my sleeve, so to speak.

Thanks everyone.


It appears to be a Swedish page on a .com site and I found it via a normal Google search.

Further info on Box, having downloaded their desktop app from the URL here and installed it, it won’t login to my account, which I’ve tried several times, giving me the helpful information that it is “error (2)”. On following the path that I have finally found on the server from the UK, I finally discover that to use the app I have to upgrade to a “Business account” … cost = GBP11/month.

I now remember that’s why I gave up on it the first time China blocked Dropbox and I was looking for an alternative. It’s still no use to me.


While I can well understand Ioa using it, I’m not sure I can contemplate setting up Shirley—and having to lead her on the other side of the world through setting it up on her Chinese Windows computer when I’ve never even used BitTorrent myself on my Macs—to use it for collaboration, nor do I fancy having one of my computers permanently on and open to the internet. But thanks for the suggestion.


I’m not that familiar with the GFWoC, so pardon me if this is a naive question. Can you use a VPN or Tor to tunnel through to the service of your choice?


Yes you can use a VPN, but the system is continually tracking usage to find the VPNs and blocks them as soon as they are found. So my friends found they were continually having to look for VPNs that weren’t blocked. Then there is the problem that VPNs are not free and are normally charged in USD; so you need to have a USD account, which is not usually the case for Chinese citizens. My friends also tell me that many VPNs they have tried are too unstable to allow working with Scrivener … I guess you could make the automatic save period so long that it was essentially disabled, but that somewhat defeats the object. That said, nontroppo seems to have a working VPN at the moment.

I’ve never heard of Tor.


Now with Cubby gone, I’ve just switched to using a VPN (12VPN) and Dropbox (which works fine with Scrivener for me). VPN is complex in China as most Western companies are actively blocked or accounts are difficult to buy for Chinese people. Good VPNs are still constantly changing servers and stealth techniques to work round the GFWoC and do sometimes just stop working now and then. For most students paying for a VPN is a non-trivial cost.

Resilio seems a neat way to sync your computers, but its dependence on constant uptime of all nodes makes it not ideal for collaboration of an edited document, or even syncing between home and work (where computer may be on or off). There is a reason an intermediate cloud server is so useful.

I haven’t tried Box for quite a while, but remember not liking it much when I tried it. with 5GB free looks very nice and not too much more expensive than dropbox (similar to the very expensive Tresorit, they both offer end-to-end encryption). I may try when I get some free time.

The Onion Router project: aimed at anonymity, but can also be used to traverse firewalls.

Strange. When I look at the Box page and look at the alternative plans it is separated between personal and business accounts. Personal accounts are free, up to 5 Gb.

True, and I have one, but you have to have a business account to be able to use the Mac desktop sync app. I can use it as a storage repository through the web-browser interface, but that’s no good for active Scrivener projects, which I need for collaborating with Shirley. I have set up Sync as recommended by Graybyrd and will give it a try.