Thursday, August 28, 2014

Free Cloud Service as a mapped network drive: WebDAV

I have two computers sitting at one desk. They share a keyboard and monitor with a nifty $16 device that switches with a button. (I just checked. It went up to $19.99) Often, I'll be working on one and need to switch over to the other. Subconsciously, I want to use the clipboard, but I know better. I thought I'd just share a folder and pass text documents through it as a fairly simple work around. It would be better than emailing myself, and would allow me to pass images and other files easily as well.

One of them is running Windows 7 Home Premium. The other is running Windows 7 Professional. The Professional one is also joined to a domain, and that causes confusion when trying to do file shares with a homegroup. (This article will tell you how to convert / copy your domain profile to local) When I began to run into trouble getting this to work, I started looking at ways to map Google Drive as a network drive. I found a service that does exactly that, and supports other cloud services, but they charge a fee. I'm fine with someone making a buck, but I have a saying "If it's free, it's for me.", so I went looking for a free option.
In my searching up to this point, I learned an important vocabulary term "Web DAV".
From Wikipedia: Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that facilitates collaboration between users in editing and managing documents and files stored on World Wide Web servers

What I found was "Box" or "". (formerly You get a free account with 10G storage and 10G transfer.  Visit their site for premium options. (no affiliation and too soon to review)

Once I created and verified my account, I simply mapped a network drive. will provide you with the link to put in the "Folder" field.
In the dialog, I had to check the "Connect using different credentials" option.
Whatever email address you use to create your account will be the user name and your password will be used here as well.

My Home premium system shows the drive being nearly full, but my Professional one shows it much larger than my actual quota. If that's the worst problem with it, then it's functional enough for my immediate needs.


Amazing what happens when you take a day off from Facebook

So, I recently became unemployed. Instead of job hunting, which I hate, I'm starting my own web development company. Being home, alone, with no boss or supervisor has its own challenges: Facebook!

If it wasn't Facebook, it would have been something else like Pogo, Mindjolt or PopCap, but at this time in my life it's Facebook. Most recently, it has been Pool Arena. I can literally play it for hours on end. Then, when I think, "I better get off this game and get some stuff done", I check my feed "one more time" and scroll and scroll and scroll...

Today, I decided to take a day off from Facebook. I am considering an even longer fast, but let's start with just one day. (I even gave myself permission to go on tonight, to check for updates from my daughter.)

It's bizarre to me how strong the pull is to go log back in to Facebook. It's like a mild (or maybe not so mild) addiction. But, so far I haven't broken my goal to stay off for a day.

What have I accomplished?
1) I reviewed the art file for my new mascot / character. It's not ready, but getting closer.

2) I figured out how to use a free cloud hosting plan to make a shared drive between two windows machines that didn't want to talk to each other. I consider this more progress than it sounds like because first I had to realize that the two systems were not going to work together the way I wanted them to.

3) I added a post 2 posts to my blog which sits idle way too much. I hope to become more active in blogging now that I'm on my own time and not my boss's time. I'll probably do what I did a little bit before, and that's talk about my website clients, and any interesting programming bits I work on.

4) I developed an a la carte and packaged price-list for a subset of the services that will be offered by LLC

5) I actually cooked myself some food instead of just eating whatever I could grab out of the cupboards or 'fridge.

6) I did some housework. My wife usually does most of the housework, but unless I am swamped with customer requests, I might as well get some of it done during the day.

7) I read a little bit about a couple of other blogging platforms. I'm not ready to jump into them, but I'd like to have options.

8) I sent a proposal to a potential client who may host several sites with my new company.

I hope tomorrow is similarly productive.