Working with both a laptop and desktop computer I like to be able to manage the same content on both machines. Using Dropbox and OneDrive helps a lot, but what if your for example your Adobe Lightroom catalog expects your content to be stored on the F:\ drive on your desktop, but the same content (using Dropbox or OneDrive) on your laptop is stored on another drive, lets say G:\. Then what? Luckily in Windows there’s a solution for that! Using subst.
In my Adobe Lightroom catalog example I want to have my photo’s stored in the X:\ drive, which doesn’t exist yet. Since I don’t want to re-partition my hard drive I can use subst to map a folder to a virtual drive letter.
To create a new mapping:
subst x: C:\Folder\Example
To remove a mapping:
subst x: /D
Now, simply do this on both systems and you’re set. To have the drive letter available when you launch your system you could add a scheduled task which executes the mapping command.
Credit goes to this StackOverflow post.
Not too long ago I talked about an alternative for my Rackspace Cloud Files Sync application.
Recently I moved my pictures and videos over to Microsoft OneDrive. I also use Dropbox but for my disk usage I found it to be a bit too expensive. With OneDrive I get 100GB for € 1.99 a month or 200GB for € 3.99. Which is already cheaper as what I was paying with Rackspace Cloud Files. An added benefit of using OneDrive is that you can choose not to download certain (big) files or folders.
After moving my stuff over to OneDrive I was in need of deleting the stored files in Rackspace Cloud Files. My application is supposed to be able to sync an empty folder to a filled container effectively cleaning it up. But as I never tested it with thousands of files it did not seem to work and the application simply crashed a few times as well.
Meet Cyberduck! It describes itself as Libre FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 & OpenStack Swift browser for Mac and Windows. It also supports Rackspace Cloud Files (which is now based on OpenStack as well if I’m not mistaken). With it you can browse your stored files, add or delete them and even synchronize folders just like you could do with my app. I highly recommend using Cyberduck if you were using Rackspace Cloud Files Sync before.
I’ve been using Rackspace Cloud Files Sync, a little piece of software I’ve written myself, for some years now. I use it to backup my photo’s and movies I’ve shot over the last decade or so. The thing I like about it is that it syncs your local folder with a Cloud Files container. When skipping content checksums it’s fairly fast to only process the changes. Aside from backing up files it can also restore them.
Whilst it still serves my need I get in trouble if or when Rackspace changes their Cloud Files API. Way back when I wrote the software I wrote it in BlitzMax with the MaxGUI module (using the excellent LogicGUI designer) and my own htbaapub.rackspacecloudfiles module. Sure, I can update my module that wraps the REST API but I no longer have an up to date BlitzMax with all the required modules set up on a PC. When I took Maximus offline the most convenient way to install BlitzMax modules and their dependencies disappeared. In short, it’ll be a big hassle to get a working setup again capable of compiling a new version of Rackspace Cloud Files Sync.
But today I found out about a software called Duplicati! Duplicati is backup software that can create and store backups to several kind of storage solutions such as Rackspace Cloud Files, Amazon S3, Windows Live SkyDrive, FTP, SSH and more. It can also encrypt your backups.
After a short test using Duplicati with Cloud Files I’ve at least found a nice alternative for when my Rackspace Cloud Files Sync stops working. The only thing I’m missing though is doing a full backup and then sync the changes like my software does, but it appears that this is already supported in the 2.0 preview release of Duplicati. So it’s likely that if or when my software stops working I can use the 2.0 release of Duplicati.
A couple of days ago I received an e-mail by Blitz Research Ltd offering me a nice discount on Monkey X Pro, which I took advantage of. To show some love towards BRL and Monkey X Pro I thought I would share the offer here.
Monkey X Pro is a programming language for creating games which can be deployed to several targets including, but not limited to, Android, iOS, HTML5, Desktop, XNA, Ouya and more.
When you buy Monkey X Pro simply enter the coupon code MONKEYX30 for a 30% discount.
Now go buy it and support BRL!
Note: this offer is only available for a limited time and is available until 2nd June.
Something I accidentally discovered is that in Windows 8.1 (and probably 8 as well – and Windows 7) you can use the Windows key + a number to open an application from your task bar!
So lets say you’ve got Google Chrome at position 1, Thunderbird at 2 and Visual Studio 2012 at position 3. To open Thunderbird simply press Windows key + 2. For the other applications use their position number.
Useful? I don’t know, but it’s nice to know this shortcut exists to keep your hand away from your mouse I guess.