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OwnCloud and External Storage via Dropbox.com September 29, 2017

Posted by Steven in In-Media, Innovation.
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I know I am late to the game. But just recently I discovered “OwnCloud“. In my view OwnCloud is mainly a well designed server software which can be used and installed freely. The suite also includes some client-side Apps and some extensions – some of these additional tools require a purchase. When you install your own cloud server you essentially get a nifty cloud file storage solution with easy ways to upload through a browser, manage files and documents, share stuff and keep track of versions and basic collaboration features. You can check out all the details on their official site:

https://owncloud.org/

As I said I am fairly new to that game. And I just recently installed an OwnCloud server on a backup webspace that I maintain since Uni. It works really well and it is a good extension to my regular drobobox and onedrive accounts. Over the weeks I casually looked through the features and discovered nice ways to extend an OwnCloud installation. You can access it through many clients and out of the box it supports the WebDav protocol. Also I would like to mention: The mobile and desktop web client is also really really good.

One nice way to expand is to add your external storage providers. I’ve done that with my Dropbox account and I was quite happy with having everything in a nice view through the lean web interface of OwnCloud.

However since one or two days or so this solution stopped working. I.e. there were error messages in OwnCloud and I could not open my Dropbox folder via OwnCloud.

It turns out that this OwnCloud external storage solution seems to use the OAuth 1.0 protocol as part of the Dropbox API v1. I feel that OwnCloud is already a fairly complex product and many enthusiasts work on the code and tirelessly want to improve the core and key features. The external Dropbox  solution seems to be a lower priority and it seems it was left untouched as Dropbox API v1 continued to work in parallel to the new Dropbox API v2. But just now on 28-September-2017 Dropbox really switched  off API v1.   :-(   for me this means – the just discovered option to use  Dropbox from within OwnCloud does no longer work.

https://blogs.dropbox.com/developers/2017/09/api-v1-shutdown-details/

I believe work will continue on that piece but I may need to stay patient. So OAuth 2.0 and consequently the new Dropbox API v2 needs to be incorporated in OwnCloud. People are already talking about this challenge and work has started:

https://central.owncloud.org/t/gsoc17-dropbox-v2-integration/5901

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Great Spots Showcased: Awwwards June 13, 2017

Posted by Steven in In-Media.
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Always on the run for inspiration and for great spots on the world wide web. Now I found one little service that makes for a good starting point.

http://www.awwwards.com

In my own words: it’s a website aggregator which allows users and jury members to assign grades (1-lowes 10-highes) to website projects. It’s updated daily and provides a great overview of well designed or very usable websites. A good place to skim for inspiration.

 

Workbench Project – Rely only on one Apple ID on my iDevices October 1, 2013

Posted by Steven in Apple, gadgets.
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CloudProjectchen01

I’ve recently had the pleasure to set up a new iPhone 5S for a friend of mine. I noticed that pretty early on during the on-device-setup it asked for your iCloud Apple ID (as you can see over at Ars..). Later on I discovered that using this Apple ID the system had pretty much tried to activate every service – so iMessage, Facetime, iCloud sync, Photo Stream etc. were all available relying on this Apple ID.

I started to think about my multipe IDs and I wondered: Wouldn’t it be cool to just have the one Apple ID and use it for all the services, thus having just one password? So I said: this is a nice little side-project.

Because I use iTunes longer than I used mobileMe – I had a Gmail address as my Apple ID for the stores and I had a nice mobileMe (and later on corresponding iCloud address) for my Contacts-, Calendar- and Photo Stream Sync and for things like find my iPhone etc.

Because most of my friends know the Gmail address, I used that one on Facetime and iMessage and so on.

Now the two ID method should vanish and I just want to have one Apple ID on my phone.

Which ID to choose?

For me the decision was fairly easy. My Gmail address based Apple ID was easy to use when communicating with friends (iMessage / Facetime) plus all my purchases in Apple’s digital stores are tied to that account – so I just had to pick my Gmail based Apple ID as the one and only ID.

I also thought about what kind of data is really 100% set in my other iCloud Apple ID. This boils down to a couple of documents in the cloud (nothing to write home about) and to my Photo Stream of round about the last 1000 photos (but these pictures exist elsewhere i.e. in my iPhoto library). Thus I said to myself there would be no issue in turning off the mobileMe based Apple ID.

What to do?

I dug around the internet and found a neat guide. Essentially I had to log off iCloud but keep things like contacts etc. on my iPhone. I then turned on iCloud with my Gmail based Apple ID. Plus I had to repeat all these steps on all iDevices and Macs I own.

Details with nice pictures are here:

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/transferring-data-when-moving-to-a-new-icloud-account/

What about email to the old iCloud / mobileMe addresses?

Well when I said I felt I can easily retire the mobileMe Apple ID – I should say it seemed feasible on the phone – but I definitely don’t want to loose these nice Email addresses. So I decided to keep the old ID around. Plus I used the iCloud web-interface to set up a forward of all emails to the mobileMe address to my Gmail address. It’s easy to do in Mail’s preferences. Another idea would be to simply set up the mail account via SMTP in any kind of Email program if necessary. Instructions are here.

Summary..

If you do not love to have two IDs on the phone it is quite easy and straight forward to switch and use just one ID. You should beware and check where your purchases are linked to. iTunes in the Cloud is quite a neat feature allowing you to re-download apps etc. There are ways however to use Apps from several Apple IDs on one device the bad thing is then: should something happen to the device you cannot easily re-download the Apps from Apple.

So for me it worked. It was quite quick. The main challenge is to turn iCloud off and on again with the right timing (keeping in mind i.e. that in that moment you should not change a contact on your Mac etc.) – so if you have lots of devices connected to the internet this might be a bit cumbersome.

I unfortunately lost my Notes on the way (one possible reason could be that they are somehow tied to a SMTP folder in your iCloud email address). For me this was no big issue as I mainly use Simplenote and furthermore I was able to simply copy and paste the lost note via the Web Interface of my old mobileMe iCloud system.

Link your Dropbox account to mailbox app and earn 1GB free space August 18, 2013

Posted by Steven in In-Media, Internal, The-Web.
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Another free space offer by Dropbox.

Download the iOS App “Mailbox” (recently acquired by Dropbox) and set it up with any of your Gmail accounts. Then go to settings and link your Dropbox account. You will receive 1GB free space instantly.

 

dropboxspace

My Dropbox Cloud hit 8,38 Gigabytes = 8 581,12 Megabytes :-) February 29, 2012

Posted by Steven in Freetime, In-Media, The-Web.
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Dropbox Logo (darkblue)

Through a lucky hunch I went ‘beta’ with my dropbox client on my Windows PC. That was a good choice. I spent almost two evenings snapping crazy shots with my digital point and shoot. I used the beta direct upload feature and hurray I got almost 5 GB of extra space!

I am so proud now to be the owner of 8,38 Gigabytes of free dropbox space!

Now almost all my stuff will fit on the tiny blue box! I just hope nobody will take away my newly ‘earned’ storage.

For further details I may continue to check out the dropbox forums:  http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=55007&replies=265

Useful Dropbox Background Information:

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