Monday, 30 November 2009

* Photo Sharing with Opera Unite

I have a 0ne year old grandson called Jack. Now Jack, like many of his age in this digital world in which we live, has probably been photographed more times than there are blades of grass on my lawn.  He's been snapped by his mum, his dad, his grandparents, his uncles, his aunts, etc, etc., get the picture.  Excuse the unintended pun.

Of course the whole family wants to see these photos and share them so we don't miss a moment.  So when my daughter had asked me for the latest batch we had taken at his birthday party (yes, he had one complete with balloons, cake, candles, etc., although he would be the only one who didn't realise that it was a birthday party), I thought there must be an easier way than putting them on a flashdrive and passing them to and fro between us as we had done before.  I never seem to know whether my daughter has copied some of them already and there is always stuff on the flashdrive I don't want to delete.  So I thought I would upload the lot onto my largely unused free "Adrive" cloud storage account so she (and others in our extended family) could take what they want when they wanted.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wrong !.  First it wouldn't accept more than 1000 photos at a time. Ok, I know it's a lot but you get 50GB of storage free and I did tell you there were a lot of photos !. So I cut it down to 700+ and started uploading. Couple of hours later, ....still uploading. After 600+ and nearly 4 hours.......failure.  Some kind of connection problem I think.  Back to square one.

Then I thought of Opera Unite.  Now Opera v10.10 had just been released which was the new Opera Browser which included Opera Unite. I run PCLinuxOS2009 so I checked my repositories and there it was, newly included. A few minutes later and it was installed and running.

Now Opera Unite is a web server that is included with the browser which in effect allows you to host files for sharing through the internet. The bits I like best about it are >

  • You don't need to know anything about setting up a web server at all; zero, zilch.
  • You enable access to only the file areas you choose
  • Access is password protected so if you give the passwords only to those you trust, only they can look at those areas
  • Photos, files and movies each require a separate module to be installed on your computer, each having a separate password
  • You can run the browser with Opera Unite (the server) enabled or disabled. If it's disabled, no-one can access your files
  • It takes only a minute or two to set this up. It's a doddle.

So I set it up so my daughter could access all of 2009 photos and videos.  Now she can pick and choose what she wants, when she wants.  If the PC isn't on or Opera Unite isn't enabled, all she has to do is text me and it's sorted.

My previous post on this blog concerned cloud computing and trusting others with your data. Well my Opera Unite is my family's "cloud", i'm responsible for security and I trust myself to secure my PC and ensure I have back-ups of all my data. 

Opera10.10 the browser is faster in my experience than Firefox 3.5.5 and the "turbo" mode can help greatly with some sluggish sites. The only thing that lets it down is lack of support for extensions and add-ons like Add-Block, LastPass, etc.  Opera Unite however is an excellent application which works faultlessly and makes up for these shortfalls and I can recommend it to anyone who needs to securely share personal files as regularly as I do.  

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