Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Apr 2012 17:39 UTC
Google Well, this has been a very, very long time in the making. Google has finally unveiled its big Dropbox competitor: Google Drive. You start with 5GB for free, and you can go all the way to 1TB for $50 per month. This is a big deal for many (if you were to use rumouring as a gauge), but all I can think of is this: why on earth would you entrust your files to a company - any company - whose sole interest is extracting money from you, and who, to boot, is subject to crazy American laws?
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What about...
by galvanash on Tue 24th Apr 2012 18:15 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

A cheap network attachable device with exapndable storage that could replace dropbox... What about Raspberry Pi?

This whole idea of running your own private dropbox sounds like a really good way for an OSS developer to do something that even non-technical users could get on board with AND make a little money (without being seen as a leech):

1. Make some nice OSS software that runs on the Raspberry Pi that essentially emulates what dropbox does. Write a client for windows/OSX/whatever for it. Make it all OSS. Hell, this probably already exists more or less - just needs proper packaging and simplification.

2. Resell Raspberry Pi's pre-configured with a big SD card and a nice enclosure to just plug into your home network and go - charge a nice little premium over cost (maybe +$25 or something)

The OSS crowd can just DIY - but you could sell the hardware to the I-just-want-to-plug-it-in-and-have-it-work crowd and make a little money.

Everyone is happy.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What about...
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 24th Apr 2012 18:20 in reply to "What about..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...and you can take the device with you on longer trips, eliminating the need for web access altogether.

Pretty nifty. Beats iDropDriveSkyBox already.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: What about...
by galvanash on Tue 24th Apr 2012 18:35 in reply to "RE: What about..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me.

Its perfect for OSS - because you could have one team of developers concentrate on the device software and the APIs exclusively. Each "client" (Linux, Windows, OSX, Android, iOS, etc.) could be a separate dev team - its all very orthagonal and clean, everyone could work fairly independently of each other and optimize for the target platform extensively.

Some (or all) of the money generated by hardware sales could be used to fund bounties or reward top contributors or whatever. The point is that instead of developers seeing their work pilfered by a hardware manufacturer they could actually get into the game themselves and make at least a little money.

I also found this:

http://solidworksbootcamp.com/raspberry-pi-board-b-enclosure/

I think it is just a concept housing, but it sure looks nice... Someone is bound to start making and selling these kinds of things soon.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: What about...
by sorpigal on Tue 24th Apr 2012 18:49 in reply to "What about..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

A cheap network attachable device with exapndable storage that could replace dropbox...

There is so much ridiculous naivete in replies, but I'm going to single out yours.

A cheap NAS is no where near DropBox and it would be difficult to make it that way even with a layer of easy-to-install-and-configure software on top. If you think that it's comparable you don't understand DropBox and shouldn't be commenting.

If security is a concern, don't use DropBox. Instead use a service that does the encryption client side, e.g. SpiderOak, Wuala, etc.

ownCloud is good, of course, but not everyone can or will self host.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What about...
by galvanash on Tue 24th Apr 2012 19:09 in reply to "RE: What about..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

A cheap NAS is no where near DropBox and it would be difficult to make it that way even with a layer of easy-to-install-and-configure software on top.


I realize dropbox has lots of features that would be difficult to next-to-impossible to replicate. I know what dropbox does.

The point is if you reduce it down to "have a local folder on your device (whatever device it may be) that is automatically synchronized with a central storage location (the NAS)", well then it is rather simple.

The rest is just additional features - some people will care about certain of those missing features, some won't. But the central function of the software is folder synchronization - everything else is just noise.

That is how software development works - you start with the basics, build a good foundation, and grow the features set from there. If you don't understand that maybe you shouldn't be commenting.

ownCloud is good, of course, but not everyone can or will self host.


This is for people who ONLY want to self host - that is the entire point... And if ownCloud is good, why couldn't it potentially be used on a Raspberry Pi? Im not saying it wouldn't be some work - the point though is to have a plug-and-play piece of hardware, not to recreate the entire featureset of dropbox.

The killer feature of dropbox is that is just fricken works. THAT is what you need to replicate, not the entire feature set. It didn't start out as a swiss army knife you know - originally it was pretty much just folder sync...

Edited 2012-04-24 19:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: What about...
by jal_ on Wed 25th Apr 2012 08:02 in reply to "What about..."
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

A Raspberry Pi seems huge overkill for network attached storage, plus it is not yet available for the masses. I'd take a simple Arduino board with uIP, even cheaper than a Pi and taking even less energy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: What about...
by galvanash on Wed 25th Apr 2012 21:40 in reply to "RE: What about..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

A Raspberry Pi seems huge overkill for network attached storage, plus it is not yet available for the masses. I'd take a simple Arduino board with uIP, even cheaper than a Pi and taking even less energy.


Maybe... I would be cheaper certainly. Personally I think what people would want is something that plugs into their network (i.e. has an ethernet jack) and automatically deals with their router (using uPNP). Maybe even wirelessly...

A Arduino with uIP does SLIP over the serial port doesn't it? I don't think that would be considered "plug and play" - you would have to connect it to a computer and then do all kinds of stuff to get it to play nicely with the computers firewall.

Also, it is really slow compared to a Raspberry Pi, like a few orders of magnitude slower. That and the only mass storage solution I know of for it uses SD Cards (using a shield) - but it only handles FAT16. On a Raspberry Pi you can use EXT2 or at least FAT32. You need long file name support at the least.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: What about...
by Luke McCarthy on Wed 25th Apr 2012 22:33 in reply to "RE: What about..."
Luke McCarthy Member since:
2005-07-06

Overkill, really? I though it would be a bit underpowered. And lacking connectivity (no SATA, only USB 2). I guess you'll recoil in horror to learn my NAS is an x86 PC (although not a super powerful one - AMD E350 mini ITX board).

Edited 2012-04-25 22:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: What about...
by bnolsen on Thu 26th Apr 2012 00:01 in reply to "What about..."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Pogoplug on sale for cheaper ($25 or less) with gigabit and 4 usb ports. Install arch linux arm, install owncloud and be on your way.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What about...
by galvanash on Thu 26th Apr 2012 18:56 in reply to "RE: What about..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I had never heard of pogoplug... That does look interesting to be honest. The marketing material for it makes it sound like it already offers remote storage built in - does it do synchronization out of the box? Is it OSS? I can't tell from the website...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: What about...
by Soulbender on Thu 26th Apr 2012 10:50 in reply to "What about..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

A cheap network attachable device with exapndable storage that could replace dropbox


There are some glaring problems with this though.
For one, I doubt your residential DSL has anywhere near the reliability that Google and Dropbox can offer.
Secondly, unless you set up a local SAN (and really,few people want to do that) your single NAS device is a single point of failure.
I'm not saying this kind of solution isn't useful, i'm sure it is, but it's not a replacement for DropBox/SkyDrive/etc.

Reply Parent Score: 2