Decentralize your services unchain your data…

Regarding my article : Apple silently removed calendar and contact sync in Mavericks from the recent past I have decided that I want to move my data away from cloud services as much as possible. Therefore I thought about possible solutions and found out the following:

owncloud is the alternative for me regarding iCloud sync for files, calendar and contacts because own cloud support calDAV and cardDAV as proposed by apple to use instead of the missing SyncServices. owncloud provides client apps for iOS and Android so it can be used like dropbox or google drive and also has a quite comfortable webinterface.

The problem arising was where to install that to because I do not have server hardware at the ready at home. A short google later I was sure I had to by a rasperry pi B model because raspbian (OS) got good remarks and owncloud was available there. For a mere contact, calendar and a little filesharing my 16GB 95MB/s SD card seemed more than enough and I can tell you it is.

A few hours later I was ready to install the rasperry pi following the instructions on the links below to put an image on the sd card, boot the system, configure the system, overclock the system (on your own risk) and install and test the owncloud package:

  1. How to flash an SD card for rasperry pi
  2. Install owncloud on the raspberry pi (german)

I tested afterwards how this works out if I connect the rasperry to my NAS (Gigabit LAN for NAS but not for rasperry) and found out that this method is too slow for owncloud to work properly. Use at least a directly connected USB hard drive/stick or a fast SD card (SDHC 95MB/s was used here). Uploads are suprisingly fast using the iOS client (I had no opportuniy yet to test the Android client). So far I was able to test the file sharing options. Therefore I recommend to create a folder for each user which is then marked as shared for the users you want to share the folder and put your data (images, videos…) in there you want to show the others on your cloud (this can be your parents, children, friends, it is up to you).

So if you follow the above links it would be easy to get your own cloud up and running at nearly no time.

Cost:

  • Rasperry Pi Model B 38 €
  • Rasperry Pi compatibel power adapter 9,99 €
  • Rasperry Pi compatible casing 6,99 €
  • Sony SDHC 16GB 95MB/s 16€

So if you believe it or not you can have your own little linux server spending not much more than 75 €. You can spend a little more if you need bluetooth or a camera module but for a cloud server the list above is sufficient.

In the near future you should keep an eye on arkOS where Jacob Cook is working on a distribution containing all of the above in one with a piece of software for configuration and setup which will fit also simple users to setup their own cloud. So stay tuned.

Next steps I have to report about in the near future:

  • backup of the entire system to a NAS or external storage
  • connecting the cloud to the internet so the data are accessible also from the outside

 

Apple silently removed calendar and contact sync in Mavericks

According to Adam Wilt from MacInTouch .

So, it’s confirmed: under 10.9 you can no longer sync Contacts & Calendars over USB:
„If you use OS X Mavericks v.10.9 or later, your contacts, calendars, and other info are updated on your computers and iOS devices via iCloud. “
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12117

I’ve tested this myself using 10.9 and an iPhone 4 running 7.0.2.
How do folks feel about the privacy & security implications of this?

See also this german article for details on this issue.

For me this is a security issue and security savy people should send input to apple so they can react. Goto Apple feedback page and tell them to put back in syncservices. Do it now.

Mehrere Dropbox Accounts

Eine gute Beschreibung für mehrere Dropbox Accounts auf einem Rechner findet ihr hier. Schwerpunkt bei der Beschreibung liegt zwar am Apple aber das Konzept ist unter Unix so ziemlich überall das Gleiche. Initial Dropbox app mit unterschiedlichen Arbeitsverzeichznissen starten: .dropbox-1 oder .dropbox-2, dann der Vorgehensweise des Artikels folgen.