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Ask Slashdot: Syncing Files With Remote Server While On the Road?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the hard-ways-is-best-ways dept.

Data Storage 239

An anonymous reader writes "Here's a scenario: you are on a vacation trip for a couple of weeks — on the road. Lots of pictures — 2-300 per day. Maybe some text files with short notes etc. You have a camera with Eye-Fi, a PC, and a phone with WiFi and 3G. Files ends up on the PC (mobile storage), phone provides Internet connectivity. Now, if you wanted to upload all files pretty much as you go — given spotty access to Internet over G3 and WiFi — what would be the best way to do that automatically; set-it-and-forget-it style? I would like them to end up on my own server. rsync script? ownCloud? Some BitTorrent setup? Other? I'm thinking of interrupted file transfers due to no network, re-starts etc. And I would not want to lose any files; including scenarios where files gets deleted locally — that should not result in files getting automatically deleted on the server as well. Sure; I could perhaps use something like Dropbox but that would take the fun out of it."

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Fun? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203035)

You say you don't want to take all the fun out of it, but you're trying to foist this idiocy off on a public forum? Save the fun for yourself, and make a blog post about your solution.

So having us piece something together for you (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203039)

Leaves the fun in it? Either take the suggestions that work, ie Dropbox, or figure it out yourself.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (2, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40203141)

Dropbox probably isn't going to work.

Just buy MORE INTERNAL STORAGE. Beef up your devices so that they can store as much stuff as you are going to generate while you are traveling.

That way you avoid all of the Cloud nonsense and it's limitations.

The simplest solution is to avoid the problem. I did the same thing with my own devices recently to avoid this very sort of problem and it worked out very well.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (3, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#40203197)

Ehm, no, that is not backup. As a matter of fact, you might get robbed and then all your precious storage is gone. What about accidental damage (water damage: bag falls in water). No, the the best way is network backup, and I'd do it with rsync. What you suggest is not avoiding the problem: it's thinking that you avoid the problem.

For me, when I'm on travels: my devices need to be completely destroyable, losable and robable.... without losing much (max one day).

Re:So having us piece something together for you (3, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | about 2 years ago | (#40203425)

Multiple copies. One on your person and one with your luggage at the hotel/hostel.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203633)

Unless the extra storage is flash drives that you mail home to yourself periodically. You can get 2GB micro-SD cards for $2/ea in bulk which shouldn't add much weight to you baggage and should be pretty cheap to mail. You'd want to work out a duplication strategy to account for some of the mail being undelivered, but it's entirely doable.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40203261)

Dropbox probably isn't going to work.

Yes it will. Perfectly, actually, in my experience.

And it won't delete photos when you delete them from the camera upload directory.

Check it out here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/288 [dropbox.com]

Further, it will chew on each image file till it gets a successful upload.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203815)

I haven't tried it lately as I got scared off - does dropbox actually handle a file that you're using for a truecrypt container rationally yet?

Last I tried using dropbox it claimed to be able to handle partial files just fine - but it never worked in practice. My latest fly by night tests seem to indicate that this has been resolved - but I'm still leery of it since it's spectacularly failed so many times in the past.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40203529)

That's a terrible idea, and frankly I'm a little surprised someone with a 4-digit UID would say this. As the other posters have already probably said, there's good reasons for uploading your data to "the cloud" (but your own cloud, not just any cloud) when you're mobile and have valuable data: your mobile devices can easily be lost, stolen, or damaged. Making redundant copies and then keeping them with you doesn't solve that problem at all.

The solution seems fairly simple to me, but it would take a little time to build and test: you just need some sort of script that uploads the photos to your central server whenever you have WiFi connectivity. It's not hard. rsync makes no sense to me, because of the requirement that file deletions on the mobile device should not be repeated remotely, which is exactly what rsync normally does. Basically, the asker wants to be able to dump everything automatically and never lose any data. This calls for a simple script to continuously run on the mobile computer, look for WiFi connectivity, then look for connectivity to the home server, then if it finds it, start uploading files there. It'd need some way of making sure files with the same name don't overwrite existing files (many cameras reuse the file names after the counter rolls over), perhaps by putting them in a separate directory based on the date. It'd also need to be able to recover if connectivity is lost, and pick up where it left off. Every time a file is uploaded, it should do a md5sum on both the local and remote file, and verify they're the same, and then delete the local copy to free up space. It can keep a log of files transferred, and if a connection is lost, it can check the log to see what the last file transferred was, delete the remote copy, and re-upload it.

This seems like a fairly simple task to write in a bash script or even Perl, and it can be made to run in the background all the time by putting it in the startup scripts in /etc/init.d/rc5.d. It absolutely should be thoroughly tested before relying on it, however.

Re:So having us piece something together for you (4, Informative)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#40203723)

rsync makes no sense to me, because of the requirement that file deletions on the mobile device should not be repeated remotely, which is exactly what rsync normally does.

It doesn't delete files unless you specify --delete

Let me be the first one to say (4, Insightful)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | about 2 years ago | (#40203043)

use something like Dropbox. It works fine, does exactly what you want, what's the point in reinventing the wheel?

Re:Let me be the first one to say (3, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | about 2 years ago | (#40203159)

Why use cloud service like dropbox when you can do what real men do and build your own using unison -

http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ [upenn.edu]

Re:Let me be the first one to say (2)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#40203443)

unison is really cool, it's two-way sync, so it's better than rsync when you make changes on both copies. There are no limitations of file size or transfer rate, of course. And it can use SSH for security. As for the negatives, it gets messy if you sync more than three copies, and (relevant to the OP) it seems to crap .unisonXXX files over the filesystem if the sync gets aborted. Maybe I'm doing something wrong there though.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (2)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | about 2 years ago | (#40203547)

Wow, messy when you sync 3 copies? I sync 5 machines (3 servers, laptop and home desktop) all using unison. Messy? Just make sure you always run unison from one particular machine (in my case my laptop) and you're good. I even sync only parts of my directory tree to some machines and that works smoothly, too. I've never seen .unisonXXX files either, but perhaps that's because I'm usually on a decent network. Although I have to say, I have had syncs aborted, so I'd think that I should have seen them by now.

However, for the needs of this guy, I'd think Dropbox/Owncloud would be better solutions, as they restart uploading as soon as you're online again, etc.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40203673)

Unison IS really cool if you need to synchronize two directories on two different machines and may make changes on either one. However, I don't see how it'd be useful in this case; unless I'm missing something, the asker doesn't need to keep copies locally once they're safely uploaded to the remote server (it'll take too much space), plus he doesn't want the remote copy deleted if the local copy is, and unison and rsync both do that by default. It's not "synchronizing" if you don't mirror ALL changes to the remote system, and that includes deletions. What the asker needs is just a simple file dump, but with an automatic script to do the dumping and to make sure the files got there safely before deleting them locally.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#40203801)

Good points, unison is probably not the way to go. I just wanted to sneak in a semi-on-topic plug, because I use it all the time (seems there was no need, so many people are suggesting it).

It seems stupid to delete the local copies though. Unless the laptop has an SSD, there will be enough space for all the pictures, and that's the only backup the submitter will have. Sure, he/she can set up timestamped backups at the home server, but there's no way to know for sure that a bug didn't sneak in to the scripts (or that someone robs their home, etc). This goes for cloud services as well, the provider could decide that he/she violates their TOS and close the account, they could have a disaster, or even a lawyer attack like MegaUpload.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203181)

What a useless comment. The original poster is already aware of DropBox, and discarded it from consideration.

Dropbox requires an account with a for-profit company who does god-knows-what with your data once it's uploaded. Some of us like to roll our own solutions that don't rely on company's with cryptic EULAs hosted in countries with lax privacy laws.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40203195)

So sync into a truecrypt file locally. Or use SpiderOak instead.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203867)

I'll admit - spideroak has it's crap together technically from what I can tell.

But they're still farking slow and the smartphone solutions just aren't useful yet.

I just let my couple year sub expire hoping that they'd fix it.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40203299)

What a useless comment. The original poster is already aware of DropBox, and discarded it from consideration

He discarded it for no valid reason. That is what the GP is pointing out.

It is by far the cheapest most reliable solution to this problem, and it even allows leaving the laptop at home and simply uploading camera pictures to your smartphone where they can automatically be loaded to dropbox.

If the OP is unwilling to consider dropbox, where the solution is handed to him on a silver platter, then why should we waste our time to spec out his system for him?

Re:Let me be the first one to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203831)

Because dropbox has failed on partial/edge cases for years.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (4, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 2 years ago | (#40203215)

use something like Dropbox. It works fine, does exactly what you want, what's the point in reinventing the wheel?

I think, "that would take the fun out of it" pretty much covers it. Sounds like he's interested in the process of rolling out his own solution and putting it to the text. There's a lot of pride that goes with using something you've built yourself.

Your answer, given that he already says he's aware such solutions exist, is a bit like telling a guy rebuilding a car in his garage to just buy one new, because it'd be simpler and cheaper. Yes, it would, but that's not the point.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (4, Interesting)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | about 2 years ago | (#40203341)

I don't think the guy was actually interested in finding a solution. If he had, he'd have some kind of a proposal set up and would have had us evaluate it, or give him a better suggestion. The whole post sounds like a damn troll to be honest, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Using dropbox, or one of the tens of other services (google drive, ubuntu one, microsoft's whatevertheycallit) is pretty much a solution explicitely designed to solve this problem. I have no idea why finding a more difficult way of doing things is better. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's just stupid.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40203439)

The alternative is your much more sophisticated networking solutions that would require enterprise level remote syncing.

If you're talking about 20 or 30 GB of data per day that might need to be synced in whole or in part, rather than 2-300 MB of files, then you would want something like a VPN solution or enterprise cloud services. Which is basically dropbox that you pay a lot of money for.

If this is windows I would think synctoy could be configured to do what the OP wants, but... why?

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 2 years ago | (#40203479)

Hear hear. Some of these "ask Slashdot" posts are getting ludicrously complex for such simple problems. To he extent that I, like you, think it's just trolling.

If you want a complex solution, don't ask Slashdot, figure it out yourself. If you want a simple elegant solution, then it has been suggested already.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203895)

Using a simple elegant solution that has been suggested already? Dropbox? Really?!

Dropbox actively lied about who can access dropbox files. Repeatedly. Maybe someone doesn't want some random 3rd party using their photos as advertising!?

They want their own solution - is that so tough to understand and recommend something for?

Re:Let me be the first one to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203263)

Use Picasa instead of Dropbox because it's made for photos and includes nice features like face recognition and photo albums. It's free for up to 8 GB I think and will sync on its own.

One caveat: Picasa doesn't let you transfer Picasa albums locally from one PC to another, so it'll be a PIA if you save them to a laptop but decide afterwards, like me, that you want to move and edit them on a desktop before uploading.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (-1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40203265)

use something like Dropbox. It works fine, does exactly what you want, what's the point in reinventing the wheel?

Thousands of IT workers ask that question every day -- when they show up at work and exciting new technology can't be used because of copyright and patent law.

Re:Let me be the first one to say (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | about 2 years ago | (#40203355)

You lost me. What in the name of the mighty Zeus does copyright and patent law have to do with this? I mean I know this is slashdot and all, but please, spare us the drama.

git-annex - "The Nomad" use case (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203045)


use case: The Nomad

Alice is always on the move, often with her trusty netbook and a small handheld terabyte USB drive, or a smaller USB keydrive. She has a server out there on the net. She stores data, encrypted in the Cloud.

All these things can have different files on them, but Alice no longer has to deal with the tedious process of keeping them manually in sync, or remembering where she put a file. git-annex manages all these data sources as if they were git remotes.

When she has 1 bar on her cell, Alice queues up interesting files on her server for later. At a coffee shop, she has git-annex download them to her USB drive. High in the sky or in a remote cabin, she catches up on podcasts, videos, and games, first letting git-annex copy them from her USB drive to the netbook (this saves battery power).

When she's done, she tells git-annex which to keep and which to remove. They're all removed from her netbook to save space, and Alice knows that next time she syncs up to the net, her changes will be synced back to her server.

Re:git-annex - "The Nomad" use case (5, Informative)

palmer.dabbelt (1801614) | about 2 years ago | (#40203189)

I've been using git-annex for this kind of synchronization for a while and have found it works quite well. It supports interrupted file transfers (via rsync), automatically keeps hashes of all your content, and lets you work offline effecively. git-annex is particularly good at synchronizing file renames between two machines: it actually tracks the renames so you won't have to re-upload anything like you would with rsync. It also supports more than one machine, if you want to make backups.

I would definately recommend trying it.

Re:git-annex - "The Nomad" use case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203327)

Thanks I'll check it out!

Re:git-annex - "The Nomad" use case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203273)


rsync to your own server if you have a clue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203057)

...a "cloud" service for more expensive options offering less control if you don't.

This is the answer to so many questions.

Take fewer pictures (4, Insightful)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about 2 years ago | (#40203059)

2-300 pictures a day is a lot. I don't know about everybody else, but I actually try to enjoy myself on vacations. I'd rather not consume my time taking pictures every couple of minutes. Once you scale it back a bit, I think you will find that you don't need some complex setup.

Re:Take fewer pictures (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40203103)

Oh, any unreasonable photographer will do that in a nice place.

That said, uploading to the Internet is kinda dumb. Just take a pair of cheap hard drives, download it to both, keep a copy on the laptop. If you're going through customs, give one to someone else in the unlikely event you're mistaken for a terrorist. You can also mail a drive back.

Forget the Internet for a while. You'll be healthier and happier.

Re:Take fewer pictures (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40203183)

If you are someplace where there's something worth looking at, 300 pictures is nothing. Also, you take more than you are going to keep to better ensure that you end up with results that are worth keeping.

Current tech makes it easy. Makes it easy to take them, to accumulate them, and to cull them later.

Also, there is nothing "burdensome" about taking in a place well enough to take some good pictures of it.

Re:Take fewer pictures (1)

SilverJets (131916) | about 2 years ago | (#40203235)

You don't have to be taking pictures every couple of minutes to accumulate that many over the course of the day. When I take pictures on vacation I take a few of each shot I'm trying to get. Maybe I don't see that part of it is out of focus on that tiny 3" screen on the back of the camera. Or maybe I want some shots from different angles. I decide once I am home which are worth saving and which are not.

Re:Take fewer pictures (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#40203493)

especially if you use things like exposure bracketing (to later do HDR), or continuous shots (for something that's moving and you want just the right part of the stride/take-off etc).

My phone can kick-out 20 shots in 5 seconds or so if I hold the shutter button (and it will do it indefinitely, except I've set it to stop at 20).

Re:Take fewer pictures (1, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 2 years ago | (#40203411)

These people are from a different generation. People my age that were into photography learned to compose our shots and consider proper exposure prior to taking the shot because each roll of film only had so many exposures. When I traveled, I MIGHT shoot 3 rolls a day.

Kids these days just spam the button on their DSLRs, relying on quantity to provide them with a good shot after the fact.

Re:Take fewer pictures (2)

sdoca (1225022) | about 2 years ago | (#40203473)

When I took a photography course back in university (pre-digital, all film), we were told the first trick to getting a good picture is to take lots of pictures. You better your odds. Of course the expense of film and developing it naturally limited the number of photos one took compared to digital. But the principle remains the same. And when you're still learning, you need to take a lot of pictures to learn what the proper exposure is for a certain shot and how to compose it. And if you're somewhere where you're not likely to get to again, I would err on the side of taking too many photos versus not enough.

Re:Take fewer pictures (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40203725)

Yes, and that shows that you weren't really that much into photography. A serious photographer back then (like the guys who worked for National Geographic) would go through dozens of rolls of film a day. Sure, it's expensive, but if you're not willing to develop hundreds of shots a day and throw most of them away, and pay the price that entailed, then you're not a serious photographer.

These days, you don't have to have a big budget to shoot the way a serious photographer did in the film days; you can be just like them, and the only cost is the camera itself and a few inexpensive memory cards. Take 300 shots a day, and throw away 290.

Re:Take fewer pictures (2)

j2.718ff (2441884) | about 2 years ago | (#40203417)

The important thing is that he not share ALL of the pictures he takes. Unless you're an exceptionally good photographer, if you take 300 pictures, you'll probably end up with at least 290 bad ones, but if you're lucky, you'll have 10 that are great. Only share the good ones, and your friends will think you're a talented photographer.

So I hope you're uploading those for archive purposes, to be sorted later. If you're sharing all of them, your audience will likely get bored fast.

Re:Take fewer pictures (1)

ddyer-bennet (222311) | about 2 years ago | (#40203445)

I definitely prefer to enjoy myself on vacation. Usually, I do that by taking pictures, which is one of the things I enjoy most, and often the reason I picked a particular place to go on vacation (the other is to see people I know who live there; I often take pictures of the people, too).

300 pictures in a day is off the bottom of the scale for me on vacation. I mean, I might have taken that many on film 20 years ago. Today it's more likely to see 3000 on an interesting vacation trip.

This also affects what backup schemes work on the road. Uploading 30 GB at 3G speeds (and plan limits) is generally not a winning strategy. Since tech gear is high-risk for theft, I really need to get the backup copies into something innocuous, or else into the cloud.

(If you don't enjoy taking pictures, by all means, don't, then!)

Re:Take fewer pictures (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#40203463)

Also, that's 8-1200 MB/day for a modest camera, that's going to be brutal on any data plan (on the upper limit).

Re:Take fewer pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203499)

I shoot RAW

BitTorrent (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#40203061)

One drawback of BitTorrent is that it is meant for static, large files. RSS integration into bittorrent clients can help, but it's still not a good publishing mechanism. Plus you need quite a few people (or a dedicated seed box) to get it going. For your case it wouldn't be better than pushing to a web server.

The answer also depends on who you want it to view it, and how the access should be. rsync script is probably easiest.

Unless you are Rich forget 3G (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203069)

Unless you are rich, forget the 3G connection, especially as an automatic upload. One, you can go over your data plan limit and get whacked, two, you can be in the wrong area and be roaming and really get whacked! Stick to wi-fi only and only manually delete files after you verify they have been saved on your server, or why even delete them till you get home, backups are a good thing!

Sparkleshare (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203077)

Dropbox alternative, all you have to have is git and ssh, cross-platform and open source.


Synology Diskstation (or other NAS) (1)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | about 2 years ago | (#40203093)

I'm not sure but you maybe want to make this a challenge for yourself? I would personally go for the easiest route which you just set up and takes care of itself without complex problems. Dropbox (if you have enough storage) is the ideal answer as it will sync away in the background so freeing you to do things for yourself. Certainly the last dropbox update seemed to ask me if I want dropbox when I plug in a camera rather than using iphoto.

However I suggest getting a good NAS and my suggestion is a Synology Diskstation of some type (no financial interest, just very satisfied customer). You have your own server without the power overheads. Plus you can set it up for remote access and they have even released their "cloudstation" solution which is like having your own personal dropbox syncing, so would satisfy having pictures on your own server. Would go to http://www.synology.com/ [synology.com] and check it out. I'm sure you could set it up to backup things if you accidentally deleted locally. By the by if you're travelling abroad please do not data roam, it will beexpensive and very regrettable. Either switch off data roaming or get a local sim.

Fish-Sync (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203099)

There is an open source tool for just this kind of situation. It is called Fish-Sync and can be found here: http://fishsync.sourceforge.net/

It basically works like Dropbox or other sync services, but it syncs files between computers you have access to, rather than a third-party server. Fish-Sync is basically a combination of rsync + OpenSSH + Dropbox's LAN sync with an optional pretty graphical interface. (It also works on headless serves if you don't want the GUI.

Why do you need fun? (-1)

Lilo-x (93462) | about 2 years ago | (#40203123)

you are going on Holiday? your photos should be important and not add to the stress of a holiday

Take a backup of your photos as you travel, store them on your laptop and also on an external disk. Practice good physical security and keep them separate where possible, (if you leave the laptop in the hotel, take the disk with you)

Use Dropbox, it will do exactly what you want, but bear in mind that you will be uploading 1.5GB of photos a day (5MB per photo assumed), so that is a lot of data to send on sketchy wifi links and you may end up not being able to send them all back in this manner.

An effective way to make sure they are all sent home, is to burn to DVD every few days and post them home. It will probably be a lot more cost effective, easier and quicker than sending 20GB of data back to your PC.

If you are using a DSLR and Raw, you may have up to 210GB of photos at the end of your vacation. (50MB a photo assumed)

Dropbox plus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203127)

Here is what I would do...
Set up dropbox on the laptop
Copy your files to your dropbox directory
On your server, rsync the dropbox dir to another file store.

USPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203129)

you could mail it

Unison (4, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#40203131)

I am a recent convert to Unison. I discovered this because I was trying out Google Drive, which I found worked well, but I don't want to keep more of my data in someone else's cloud if I have to. So far I have been using the Mac OS UI. With a solution with Unison you will need your own server with ssh access to the Internet. The downside is that you have to worry about backups or uptime, though you don't have to worry about some government taking the service offline permanently (or while they spends years trying to establish possible guilt).

The advantages with solutions like Drop Box or Google Drive is that you not have to worry about the server side. Depending on the amount of data you want to store you will have to choose between the basic paid access or the paid access, which gives you more storage.

BitTorrent is probably the worst solution here, since it only works well when the data is massively distributed. If you only ever have one peer, then you are better off with one of the solutions mentioned above.

Re:Unison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203295)

Yes, i also use Unison with SSH+Certificates and a Cronjob. Works fine to sync all my machines. Can only recommend it!

Re:Unison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203347)

Thanks, look nice!

Is this an Ad for eye.fi Premium? (1)

clinko (232501) | about 2 years ago | (#40203145)

You mentioned you have a eye-fi card already. You're describing the eye-fi premium upgrade:

http://www.eye.fi/how-it-works/eyefiview#premium [www.eye.fi]
"Eye-Fi Premium: no limits.
With Eye-Fi Premium, photos & videos sent directly from your camera to your Eye-Fi View are available for as long as you like. Enjoy unlimited storage and the flexibility to access, share and download your media in full resolution anytime. Whether you’re at home on a second computer, on your iPhone on the go or on an iPad on vacation, your photo & video history is always just a few clicks away. Get unlimited access with Eye-Fi Premium for only $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Buy Eye-Fi Premium (Monthly) or save $10 with Eye-Fi Premium (Annual)"

To get the pics on your server, install the eye-fi app, which you already did to use the card, and turn on the computer, it'll then sync.

In summary:

1. Upgrade here: http://www.eye.fi/how-it-works/eyefiview#premium [www.eye.fi]
2. Turn on your computer.

why reinvent wheel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203157)

rsync is actually made this this. Just add a launchd, (cron job for linux users,) running every 5 minutes or so, which checks to make sure itself is not already running, then syncs the whole directory one way, (to the remote server,) and is set to NEVER remove files, only add and modify them.

The correct question should have been... (2)

chepati (220147) | about 2 years ago | (#40203163)

... to ask yourself "Am I a journalist, or a blogger where I need to report every day and send my photos to the mothership???" If the answer is 'no' why go through this elaborate setup? Have some consideration for the people whose open wifi hotspots you'll be leeching off of in order to send hundreds of megabytes over; think of the outrageous charges you'll be incurring for sending that much volume over 3G (and overloading the system for all the other users while you're at it). What's your big rush to send in the photos? Just keep a copy on your laptop, and if you're that paranoid, bring a big enough external harddrive. If you absolutely must, upload to facebook select few photos.

Was that so difficult?

Three hundred?! (4, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 2 years ago | (#40203177)

Dude! I think I just heard everyone you know cry out in horror at the merest thought of being invited to your post-holiday slideshow.

Re:Three hundred?! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40203237)

300? I think my sister shoots that while they're eating breakfast. A typical day for her is probably north of 1000. Kids these days.

*geezer mode* Why I remember when I went to Europe for three weeks as a teen, and shot nearly a dozen rolls of film - nearly 300 pictures in all. I though I'd go broke developing all the film. */geezer mode*

Why? (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about 2 years ago | (#40203203)

Why would you even consider trying to do this? You know up front that your data connectivity will be poor, and that you'll have a lot of files to upload. Save yourself the frustration. Bring along an external hard drive and make backups as necessary.

User your phone as file server (2)

nastav (2611511) | about 2 years ago | (#40203207)

This is so simple.

1. Call up your phone provider, and shell out $500 or so for a static IP address
2. Hack your phone to run an FTP server.

There,it's done. Your files are not on your own file server, available from anywhere.

or just go use dropbox and stop looking for convoluted solutions.

Ugh. Why worry about it? (1)

SilverJets (131916) | about 2 years ago | (#40203211)

You're on vacation. Just get a couple 16 gig SD cards (or whatever your camera takes). Unless you are shooting in RAW you are not going to fill those cards. Then just dump them to the laptop you have with you. Worry about transferring everything when you get back. You are on vacation, enjoy it.

Re:Ugh. Why worry about it? (1)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#40203533)

that's what i was thinking. then for a 'backup', copy the pictures to extra blank cards or usb stick and ship home (or to office, parents, whatever).

there is no need to upload up to 20 gigs (or more.. an estimate: our own camera would be about 20 gigs for 4000 photos) of photos over the two weeks over the internet... none at all: would take forever and a day on mobile (if your plan could even survive that volume without insane surcharges); you'd be lucky to get necessary bandwidth at hotels (every one we've been at has had horrendously slow net access) to do it in a reasonable time; and you probably won't ever be at any one free hotspot (restaurant, coffee shop, truck stop, etc) long enough to put a dent in your transfer queue (free hotspots are not normally known for their blazing speed either.. most are on cable or dsl which usually means asymmetrical speeds, much slower upstream than down. here, they're about 512k up at best, which would take about 24 hours to upload 5 gigs)...

just because there are geeky ways to do things (which often become more expensive and/or complicated than when first dreamt up), doesn't mean they are necessarily the best ways.. sometimes, simple is better.

Why Sync at all? (1)

webdog314 (960286) | about 2 years ago | (#40203221)

For $150 bucks you can easily get an external 2-3 terabyte USB hard drive. Dump everything to that and deal with it when you get back home. Unless there's some reason why you want/need those photos and files at home before you get there...

Re:Why Sync at all? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40203749)

And what happens when you drop your USB hard drive in the hotel room and it won't work again, losing ALL the photos you took that vacation? Then you'll be wishing you had uploaded them to the much more reliable drives on your home server.

The ovbious (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40203229)

Don't come here and dismiss the obvious solution, (Dropbox) for which which many newer phones support automatic uploading of both phone pictures and photos transferred to the phone from an external camera. (And deletes are not mirrored). You can transfer picture so the phone via Samba server on your phone (at least with Android you can) or bluetooth or cable. From then on you forget it. It will take care of it. It will re-try till it succeeds without you having to do anything.

And when you get home, Dropbox will have all your pictures on your desktop machine waiting for you.

There is also Picasa if you transfer to your pictures either from computer or your Android phone. Flicker, Photobucket, and about 20 other such services are also available. Anything you lash up with your home computer is bound to be flaky, more trouble than its worth, and bound to fail the minute you drive away from the house.

If you insist on rolling your own, and If you carry a computer and transfer all photos to that, you can of course use any number of sync solutions that work in "contribution" mode (local deletes are not replicated on the server), I've used Unison in this mode, or SyncCenter (windows) SyncToy (windows), rsync, etc.

But all of these require leaving a computer on at home, hoping it won't reboot due to any number of reasons, and assuming you can get wifi access from anywhere.

There is little point in building your own these days.

Re:The ovbious (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#40203311)

"There is little point in building your own these days."

What about privacy? Maybe OP is a spy. You would not want trade secrets on dropbox's servers, now do you?

Re:The ovbious (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40203363)

Yup, spys always post for solutions on Slashdot.
Sorry, I forgot about that.

Presumably all that gear, big camera, laptop, cell phone, all fits in the heel of his shoe and nobody would suspect a thing.

Re:The ovbious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203381)

Don't come here and dismiss the obvious solution, (Dropbox)

There is little point in building your own these days.

Perhaps he mistook this for a tech-related site where he might run into a nerd or two.

If you post a question on Facebook, the answer you get, should be to buy something.

If you post a question on a tech site, the answer you get, should be to build something. i.e. how do you make the things that the Facebook users are buying?

So now the question is: what kind of site would we prefer Slashdot be? You have voted that it needs to be more like Facebook; Slashdot is currently too techie for your taste and you'd rather people not ask questions starting with the word "How." Ok, I will record your vote.

Anyone else want to vote? Or did all the nerds already leave?

Crashplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203243)

One word: Crashplan.

Re:Crashplan (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 2 years ago | (#40203571)

I'm trying out CrashPlan now. Prices are reasonable, seems to work well (if slowly) and has little overhead.

This should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203253)

Here is a new site that launched that offers what you need. https://portal.bitcasa.com/invited/586bcbc373f34afbbb9ea73ad7d413ef/ I think you would need a computer to first upload the files but it syncs it between all the devices.

rsync should do what you want (1)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#40203315)

It will continue when your connection is lost.

The issue might not be so much how, but rather how much.
If they are high-quality images, 2-300 can be pretty large.

Also the time you will be on the road and where you go to will make perhaps going for just one option less interesting.

e.g. if you go on a trip around the world for a year, then other options should be included as well. e.g. making a copy on blueray and fedexing it once a week. Some countries do not have affordable connections to send home that amount of data.

Apple PhotoStream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203329)


Sparkleshare? (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 2 years ago | (#40203335)

Can anyone who has used Sparkleshare say if it would work in this situation? I'm looking at building a Sparkleshare server, which is described as an open source version of dropbox, but where you control the server. On some level, it doesn't look that hard to set up, but there are parts of it that still aren't explained well at the website.

But if you search for open source dropbox alternative, Sparkleshare shows up on a lot of lists.

http://sparkleshare.org/ [sparkleshare.org]

some hotel / free wifi block ports 3g nated at tim (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40203351)

some hotel / free wifi block ports some times the 3g is nated.

Don't count on having all the ports that you do have at home.

Re:some hotel / free wifi block ports 3g nated at (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203403)

Ah, thanks!

A few questions (1)

chenjeru (916013) | about 2 years ago | (#40203383)

The primary question is: why are you trying to do this? Is it to make sure you have an off-site backup in case all of your electronics gear gets stolen? Redundancy can be best covered with extra hard drives.

Another consideration is what kind of photos you are taking. If you're shooting RAW with a modern DSLR, you're going to have images of 20-30MB each. At 300 pictures per day, you could be looking at a data footprint of up to 9GB per day. I don't know what kind of coverage or data plan you have, but in my opinion that's a lot of upload data for a mobile connection. In this case, you may want to consider batch processing the images to a lower resolution before uploading, just to have some record of the images online.

Android Phone + Ubuntu One for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203397)

If you have the phone already with internet connection, move/take your photos to/with the smart phone, create Ubuntu One account for free with 5GB of space,install Ubuntu One app on phone and let it autoupload/sync to the server.

Try CrashPlan (4, Informative)

AaronW (33736) | about 2 years ago | (#40203483)

I've been running CrashPlan as an online backup solution for my Linux system to back up all of my photos. It also has a feature allowing you to back up to another PC over the Internet. It's easy to set up so you can back up to your home PC and it's free (unless you buy the cloud backup service). See http://www.crashplan.com/ [crashplan.com]


Rsync; better yet: datamover (3, Informative)

Apogee (134480) | about 2 years ago | (#40203495)

I think rsync pretty much provides all you need in one tiny command-line to get data from A to B.

But if you want to increase your resilience against failing network connectivity, and make sure you don't delete anything that hasn't been properly copied to your server, I suggest you take a look at datamover: http://www.cisd.ethz.ch/software/Data_Mover [cisd.ethz.ch]

Essentially, it's a daemon written in Java that monitors an outgoing directory. Everythings that is written in there gets safely copied over to a central storage drive. Behind the scenes, they use rsync to do the copying, but it's wrapped in tons of features that improve the reliability of the moving process, like a quiet period before a file gets moved (good for applications that write their output incrementally and sporadically into files), multiple retries on network time-outs, high-water marks, data transformation (e.g. compression) during the move process, etc. It also is very anal about sending you emails for anything that could possibly be a data integrity problem.

We rely on it to store the raw data from scientific experiments. With the proper configuration, your holiday pictures should be just fine.

Wow ... missing vacation by saving it! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203497)

Sigh ... this is really, really sad. The original poster is willing to "miss out" on the true vacation by trying to save a digital copy! Am I the only one here thinking ... relax! ... enjoy your loved ones! ... live in the now! What, exactly, is the point of "saving" something that you were never really with 100% in reality?

Re:Wow ... missing vacation by saving it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203823)

Yeah, a bit sad.

Re:Wow ... missing vacation by saving it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40203851)

Sigh ... this is really, really sad. The original poster is willing to "miss out" on the true vacation by trying to save a digital copy! Am I the only one here thinking ... relax! ... enjoy your loved ones! ... live in the now! What, exactly, is the point of "saving" something that you were never really with 100% in reality?

Sigh ... this is really, really sad. The original poster is willing to "miss out" on the true vacation by trying to save a digital copy! Am I the only one here thinking ... relax! ... enjoy your loved ones! ... live in the now! What, exactly, is the point of "saving" something that you were never really with 100% in reality?

Facebook --- or it did not happen syndrome???

On the road? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#40203561)

Is there a circle of hell reserved for distracted drivers who kill/injure others?
(Maybe in Nivens Inferno rather than Dante's

Seriously (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40203631)

If you are taking 300 pictures a day, every day, you're not having "fun" anyway. Put the fucking camera away, dude.

Mail yourself CDs. (1)

RKBA (622932) | about 2 years ago | (#40203663)

Each time you want to "upload" more files, burn them onto a cheap CD (they're so cheap they're practically free these days) and mail them to your home address. Each update is only the cost of a postage stamp and if you want unattended operation, have your wife or kids do it. :P

Why not leave the junk at home and have a holiday? (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | about 2 years ago | (#40203689)

I'm sure that whoever you're going with would appreciate you paying them a little more attention and not spending quite *all* of your time fiddling with gadgets.

Or is it not allowed to let the real world intrude into Planet Slashdot?

Kids these days and their 'problems' (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40203697)

Get off my lawn.

When i was a kid we put the spent film in our pocket ( and then suitcase ) and waited until we got back to see the pictures.

USB Drive in backpack; netbook in hotel/car (3, Insightful)

KeithH (15061) | about 2 years ago | (#40203703)

My experience is that hotel/internet-cafe access is too slow and/or flaky and/or expensive for the purpose you describe. Pay-as-you-go HSPA cell access is very expensive (in Europe and even more-so in North America). I guess if you're only taking 300 small jpegs per day, you might be able to afford the Internet access charges but my experience, even in Europe, is that your best bet is to make your own local backups as you go. My strategy is to travel with a small netbook and a USB drive. Each evening, I offload my SD cards onto both devices and then keep the netbook in the hotel safe or car and the USB drive with my camera. For example, I just returned from two weeks in Tuscany and am currently importing 34GB of photos into a new Lightroom catalog. There's no way that I could have transferred that data over the Internet while on the road without wasting a lot of valuable travel time. Heck, it's taking 20 minutes just to copy the photos off the USB drive at 30MB/s! How much time can you spend drinking espresso waiting for uploads?

Synkron (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#40203705)

I used to use cloud sync, but I found that none of them were robust enough for my abusive ways. Most required periodic manual merges.

I switched to Synkron syncing to a network drive (VPNed when I'm on the road) and I've been happy ever since.

iCloud (1)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#40203743)

Err.. wouldn't Apple's iCloud be the best, since that's what it was designed to do? Sync photos, set and forget style?

Amazing coincidence... (1)

ZeroPly (881915) | about 2 years ago | (#40203771)

Not to threadjack, but I have an eerily similar situation:

I'm going on vacation around the US next month. I need a vehicle that has 4 wheels, and can seat 4 people. It needs to be completely enclosed and be capable of being driven in the rain. Also, it must run on gasoline, preferably on unleaded gasoline. Oh, and this is critical - it must have multiple mirrors so that I can see what's behind me as I operate it. I thought about getting a "car", but that would take all the fun out of it. Does anyone have any suggestions for an IT hipster like myself?

my experience (2)

hey (83763) | about 2 years ago | (#40203853)

I am on holiday now and am currently uploading the day's photos with SugarSync. Its cheaper per byte than DropBox and has more options. I think some people might find the many options confusing but not Slashdotters. eg you can sync multiple folders. When I was in a remote place with a slow connection (Laos)
I found a problem .... the smallest transaction was a file. So it might labor away for an 30 minutes to almost send a 3M file then the connection would drop and resume and it would start again with the same file - ouch.

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