How to enable Google Drive for Google Apps for your domain

At last! Google Drive is here! Just go to http://drive.google.com/start and you can enable it.

If you’re running Google Apps for your domain you might in the header see:
“Google Drive is not yet enabled for the yourdomain.com domain”

Well, your admin for your domain has to enable it like this:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/yourdomain.com
  2. Click Domain Settings tab
  3. Click General tab
     
  4. In New User Features, select Rapid Release, otherwise you will have to wait a littble bit longer before it’s released.
  5. In New Services, select Automatic to automatically enable new services.
  6. Click Save
I’ve noticed that simply reloading the page http://drive.google.com does not always help. I had to login with another account and then I got:

I selected to be notified:

Success – now I just have to wait:

Until I get an e-mail confirming it has been enabled I will see the following in the header:

How long will it take? Well, it depends…

Update: It took about 2 days before I received:

 

Tags: , ,

Comments (47)

Mediamaster – save your music online and stream anywhere

Mediamaster has an interesting service to save your music online.

  1. Sign-up and upload all your music. It’s stored and backed up
  2. Listen to your music collection anywhere on any computer using just your webbrowser
  3. Using the MediaMaster widget you can post your collection, playlists and radio stations to your blog

So far, there’s no limit, it’s free and totally legal.

Here’s a screencast of it:

Leave a Comment

Sharpcast – keep your photos online

Ok, I confess, not totally uninstalled but Sharpcast is still a pretty cool tool on the web. Most of us have hundreds of pictures stored on the local harddrive. What if it breaks. You have backups? Do you backup it up every day? Well, most of us don’t.

Sharpcast is a service that lets you have your pictures online. It makes sure to synchronize all your local pictures with the online store and whenever you make any changes, the changed photo will be uploaded automatically in the background.

You can create albums for you and your friends to look at and you can even send the pictures from your windows mobile to their site.

Anyway, if you’re into photos and have problems organizing them and want to have them backed up – check it out!

Comments (4)

Where to store all that data?

Fred made an interesting post a while back on where to store all your data you produce on the web. One of the biggest problems with the online sensation is that you have to store your data at the supplier – you uaually cannot choose to save it somewhere else. I’d also like to choose where to save it.

I prefer the option to save to a NAS device somewhere either on your internal network or in a hosted environment. This would be great for our Mini Fileserver we’re building.

Comments (8)

Why should it have to be slower just because you run it “over the web”?

Today I got an interesting comment on my popular post where I try to store 100+ GB on an online service. The comment reads:

“You say: The interfaces are too slow. If I would replace my local storage they have to be faster and more reliable.”
Why would anyone ever possibly think pulling and pushing data from online could be as fast as a local hard drive, much less faster?! How old are you?

SpeedometerFirst of all – thanks for commenting – I love these comments. I do understand the technical difficulty. Hey – I work with systems managing tens-of-thousands of users every day so I got a pretty good idea of the limitations (BTW: I just turned 29 this weekend).But as I’ve stated earlier – I see it from a user’s perspective (just as I do managing our users at the company I work). They shouldn’t have to care where their data is stored. Just like our users, they don’t store anything locally on their PC. They have everything stored on our servers and they would tear us apart if it would be too slow.

At home, I don’t store any files locally on my PC – I keep all my files on a fileserver stored away – and access everything using my 100 Mbit network and I don’t really notice much difference during my day-to-day usage.But then you probably think: “But the server is on the local LAN…“. Well, what is a LAN? Probably most common speed is 100 Mbit which means around (theoretically) 10 MByte/s. And 100 Mbit is not completely uncommon for people to be getting at home if they’re living in a newly built house with fibre connectivity.

But of course, you can’t expect the same fully-blown 100 Mbit dedicated speed to a server situated on the other side of the globe – both you and me know that! But that again – that’s just technology! Do you really need 100 Mbit dedicated except for when you’re copying the file to the server? Probably – no! Why do you even have to copy the files to the server? Why not simply download everything directly to it? I’m trying to draw out new ways of using the technology!

Why should we stop at 100 Mbit? A few years ago you couldn’t get more than 0,5 Mbit to your house – today you can get 100 Mbit. You even got 1 Gbit to some places in Sweden [swedish link] since they year of 2004.

So yes – today “speed” is a problem. But it’s just a matter of time before this can be solved and in a few years I think we’ll have “our second harddrive” on the net instead of moving around our external USB-stick or drive. And maybe in a few years we’ll just keep everything online.

But that’s why I have this blog… I try to get it to work by keeping everything online. I’ve run into numerous problems and found out “hey – this doesn’t work as I hoped…“. But everything improves – the speed – the usability – the security. So keep reading my blog and every month we’ll find new exiting services that will make our online life easier.

Comments (8)

Store 100 GB of files, music and video at an online storage provider and make it work!

On my home network I have a fileserver with all my documents, music and videos which is around 100 GB. Wouldn’t it be great if I just could put these files on some kind of online storage provider and access it as easily from anywhere and simply throw out my local harddrive(s)? Is it possible? Is it usable? Read on to see what my conclusions are.

If keeping everything online, I could access my music at work (working in a cubicle, you need to put your earphones in now and then to get some privacy) or my videos during business travelling (ever been to France and stayed at a hotel and trying to watch a movie? Don’t even think about it! Everything is dubbed) or even on the airplane (I would love to test streaming on my next long-haul flight). And my documents – I always want them available!

So this is my search for a service that provides me to put my 100 GB of documents/music/video online and access it from anywhere – anytime. Will any provider enable me to do this today or do I need to come back next year?

So let’s break down my requirements:

  • 100 GB of space – what’s the price? Since I guess noone offers this for free (yet)
  • Price reasonable and prize available on their webpage. When I mean reasonable it should be cheaper than setting up a server yourself and putting it in some co-location datacenter which can go for as low as around $400 a year for 1U
  • Must have free trial-period for testing
  • Reasonable transfer limits – 1 GB files should be allowed and reasonable transfer limits. Last thing I want is that I need a document and can’t download it because I just streamed some music.
  • Files easily accessable from my desktop. It shouldn’t take me much more time to access the files than it does today
  • Serious business – Last thing I want is my files stored on cheap IDE-disks without backup or slow Internet pipes or a funky businees handling my private files

Also, maybe this is a little bit too much to ask, but I would also like it accessible with SMB/SAMBA/CIFS, XBMSP or ReplayTV since that’s what XBMC supports.

When looking at the first requirement, it rules out most of the suppliers out there. When choosing which one to check, I used the Free Online Storage list on lights.com and Tech Crunch article. There’s an additional link to a list at my Online Storage-section.

Service Limit
avail.
Cost 100GB
/year
Comment
AllMyData 100 GB $120 Coming soon    
Biscu.com No limit $1800 Unreasonable price    
Data Deposit Box No limit $12000 Unreasonable price    
Diino 100 GB $960 Unreasonable price    
Dropsend 250 GB $912 Unreasonable price    
Elephantdrive No limit Free      
FilesAnywhere 100 GB $2140 Unreasonable price    
FlipDrive 100 GB $199      
GlobalDrive 100 GB $6800 Unreasonable price    
IBackup 200 GB $2000 Unreasonable price    
Mediamax 1 TB $60      
OmnistarDrive No limit $47880 Unreasonable price    
Strongspace 160 GB $2436 Unreasonable price  

If I’ve missed anyone – please comment on this post!

So this leaves only 3 competitors: Elephantdrive, FlipDrive and Mediamax. Not many considering the 50-80 suppliers I’ve checked. Let’s look at them a little bit closer:

Elephantdrive

Elephantdrive works so that you download and install a client called ElephantDesktop. You start the application and login. Then you either select to do a backup or upload a specific item. When backing up you select your whole drive or specific filetypes. These kind of jobs can also be run at specific intervals. When uploading a specific item you can simply do drag’n'drop.

Elephantdrive is more of a backup/restore application where you can backup files at a scheduled basis and restore if necessary. So it’s not meant for active day-to-day usuage. For backup/restore it does the job – and better off – it’s completely free with no limit (for now during the beta anyway)! So if you’re looking for backing up your data but only accessing it when something has gone wrong – check it out. For day-to-day usuage – you better look at some other service.

Elephantdrive Elephantdrive Elephantdrive Elephantdrive Elephantdrive
Flipdrive

Flipdrive features a webinterface which is quite nice and fast. You can browse directories in a tree just like Windows Explorer. When uploading you can select the basic uploading where you add file by file or a power upload (java) where you can select multiple files by holding down the shift. Both features a progress bar which gives you the KBs/time left.

You can search through your drive and you have a nice feature called “Photo Albums” where you can add pictures to different albums you create. You also have a simple personal Address Book and Calendar.

So how does it work if I would switch to Flipdrive for day-to-day usuage? Well firstly, it’s quite slow. Don’t get me wrong, the interface is fast but not as compared to using your local storage. When you click files you get the typical “Open With…” or “Save To…” when so you can choose to always open your media files with a Media Player. You can cut’n'paste files, rename files, delete files, send files (it will send a link via e-mail). With MP3′s you can mark the file and choose Play and it will play the file using the Flipdrive Player so you don’t have to download the file before playing. This doesn’t work for AVI’s though. If you want to watch an AVI you have to download the complete file first and then play it in your ordinary mediaplayer.

Flipdrive flipdrive2.png FlipdriveFlipdrive Flipdrive

Mediamax

MediaMax offers a similar file manager webinterface as Flipdrive. You can create folders, move files, edit, send files (either as a link or the actual files).

You also have some tabs with some specific feature:

  • Video Share and Photo Share enables you to create albums, view them, tag them and share with others
  • TV & Movie Locker enables you to upload videos and categorize them, create playlists, download and view
  • Music Locker enables you to upload music, play, create playlists and lists music by albums, genre and artists
  • Mail. You also have an e-mail address at Mediamax

Upload is pretty straightforward and there’s a java multi-file uploader featuring drag’n'drop from Explorer. You have a progressbar during upload. However, it can take some time from upload until the files are added to your directories.

So how does it work if I would switch to Mediamax for day-to-day usuage? The speed is much like Flipdrive, but I do get annoyed with the delay from upload until the files are actually published to your account.

The Video and Photo features are quite nice to organize your collection of videos and photos. It includes thumbnails and you can tag everything and create albums and add videos to certain albums and view them directly.

You can play music files directly from your online storage and it will stream rather than download using your locally installed player like Winamp but you can also download if you want. Using the Music Locker you can add music to playlists and stream certain playlists.

Mediamax Mediamax Mediamax Mediamax Mediamax

My conslusion of this study:

As of writing in September 2006 – I can make the following conclusions to my study: I wouldn’t say that any online storage provider would be able to replace my local storage. Why?

  • The interfaces are too slow. If I would replace my local storage they have to be faster and more reliable./li>
  • Not as easy as local storage to access your files. You have to go to your personal online storage, login and so on. There are solutions such as Omnidrive that lets you mount the drive in Explorer, but it’s not yet public and has no pricing on 100 GB
  • Usability compared to local storage is low. For example, you don’t have all drag’n'drop capabilites. For as with videofiles you can’t simply click them and the video starts within a few seconds. Often, you have to download them first.

I know all these demands are too much to ask for the services today but that’s what I want! That is what is needed to enable me to give up my local storage. And I guess I simply have to come back in 2007 and see if the services out there have evolved. I’m sure that some day I can throw my local harddrive out the window and just keep that bootable flash drive in my local PC.

If I had to decide on a winner I would say Mediamax – because of some nice exclusive features.

Comments (25)

OmniDrive – online storage beta

Omnidrive is a universal storage platform that keeps your files in one place on the web instead of many places on your desktop and devices. Omnidrive users enjoy all the benefits of web storage without losing the interfaces and performance of conventional local storage..

Still in beta it looks promising. Apparently it acts and behaves like any other drive, with high performance and minimal latency. According to their FAQ, there will be a free version with 1+GB storage and a cost for $70 per year for 10+GB. Also, they say there will be no confusing limit on bandwidth usuage – and that is something we like.

Omnidrive Online Storage omnidrive2.jpg Omnidrive Online Storage

Comments (10)