Family+Friends: het ideale gezins online tool

Als je een gezin hebt dan MOET je  Family+Friends gebruiken.

Althans, dat is mijn stelling. Ik ben al jaren lid hiervan en het geeft de backbone onder mijn gezin: van gezamelijke kalender en todolijst en adressenboek tot bankzaken, mailbox en archief.

Het bevat allerlei slimmigheden die je nergens anders terug vindt, bijvoorbeeld: er is niet zozeer een “simpel adressenboek” (zoals in gmail/hotmail/outlook/etc…) maar een uberslim adressenboek waar je  gescheiden gezinnen kunt bijhouden en daaraan gerelateerd de gezinsleden: de enige manier om e.g. etiketten uit te printen of om orde in de chaos te houden.

Eigenlijk bevat het allerlei handigheden die ik zelf ooit wel zou willen schrijven in een tool maar waar ik nooit aan toe kom. E.g. de verjaardagskalender heeft ook heel handig de leeftijd in haakjes achter de persoon staan, alles is met alles geintegreerd zodat je ook history van afspraken bij personen kunt zien enz.. enz…

Het vreemde is dat het heel onbekend is en dat ik vermoed dat het sinds 2010 al een beetje “uit development” is, en dat is jammer. Ik hoop echt dat de eigenaars er toch weer extra effort in gaan stoppen met nog meer functies en het in de markt zetten ervan.

Maar… om je toch te laten zien dat het veel meerwaarde kan bieden voor je gezin (puur omdat ik denk dat het een erg gaaf tool is / verder geen relatie met de makers) even een rondje functionaliteiten. Ik heb de screenshots bewerkt om zoveel mogelijk persoonlijke data eruit te laten.

Ik denk dat als je een gezin hebt dat je direct zegt : hmmm…. dit is handig (of zelfs onmisbaar). (Ik zou zelf niet lid blijven als ik zonder kon leven). Ik denk dat elk gezin het nodig heeft.

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Bitcasa Cloud Hosting and Sync

A while ago I considered some alternatieves for cloud hosting /syncing including running your own NAS.

Running your own NAS is ofcourse the cheapest but … you have the “pain” to maintain the machine and you have to have the strictness to make regular backups yourself. BUT … it is 62 times cheaper than running your data on e.g. a Dropbox account. However… for some small companies with little to no IT knowledge  this often not the handiest solution.

Back then Microsoft Skydrive was cheapest with 37 eurocent per gigabyte per year. However… I noticed it is often slow…. very slow (on my laptop but after reading the forums I noticed threads with the same impression). I was sort-of advising Skydrive to smaller companies so that they could (easy) click “save to” in office 2013 and (easy) click their skydrive. But… if it is slow … maybe this is not the best solution.

So… now I am reading some stuff about Bitcasa because I got several “inputs” on this solution. I had not seen this one before.

It costs $10 a month for infinite storage…  but as far as I can read they are still in beta. it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome.  But the Linux non GUI client seems to be not that advanced as the one from Dropbox (just reading up now on it)

You can assign any folders either as:

  1. “sync” – then it behave much like dropbox: everything in that assigned folder is synced to bitcasa and to all devices attached, so that from every device you will have access to that folder
  2. “backup” – then everything in that folder will be backed up and available to all other devices
  3. “infinite” – then everything in that specific folder will not reside on your local hd anymore but will exist in the cloud and will be streaming to the device you device you need it from

Which seems interesting:

  1. you would sync a folder that is really needed on your drive even if the Internet is down e.g. “important work documents that I need to reach from more places”
  2. you would backup a folder that you want to keep local e.g. “my personal photos” but which have a low sync rate because it is on some external disk
  3. you would infinite a folder that is not needed on your local system if the internet is down but which you want to keep available for other devices, e.g. I choose here the folder “downloads”


  1. you can “send” which lets you send any file to other people much alike the “justsendit” services, wich I do occasionally use (because it is faster than uploading it to my own ftp servers and people downloading it from there)
  2. you can “instant download” files from the web to bitcase e.g. in the case of /downloads you dont even have to cache the files on your local hd first, which seems pretty cool
  3. Everything is kept encrypted on their servers so even they can not access your data, which is different than e.g. dropbox.
  4. During the beta program you can have as much data as you want

You can probably download and install it because… it costs nothing currently and so you can try it out.

I’m now testing it out for files that are not 100% essential such as my download folder and I must say… It cleans up a lot of space on my local harddrive :). I will follow up on this later to share further insights on this.

On first sight: I like it!


link: bitcasa

New version DokuWiki: let’s upgrade

image DokuWiki is the wiki system that I have installed on my home Synology NAS to have a wiki for my household. I use it because it uses not so much resources and relies completely on text files (so that data portability and editing these files externally is extremely easy).

New dokuwiki

Today I saw that there was a new version of DokuWiki available, the wiki from Andreas Gohr, these are the changes:

Release Candidate 2010-10-07 “Lazy Sunday”

  • improved quick search algorithm

  • improved email subscriptions

    • :!: Template authors need to check if they implement the correct button

  • JavaScript based AccessKeys

  • permalinks for diff views

  • license clarification on various 3rd party libs

  • prefilled section names in summary when editing a section

  • license chooser in the installer

  • several IE7, IE8, Chrome fixes

  • Parameters can now be passed in internal links (useful for plugins)

  • some XMLRPC improvements

  • configurable filename encoding

  • support for custom section editors (plugins)

  • option dialog when inserting media

  • centralized library loading

  • lots of bug fixes and minor improvements

So I downloaded and upgraded the wiki system. I noticed that the authentication on the wiki disappeared after that. So a note to myself:

I added

$conf[‘useacl’]      = 1;               
$conf[‘superuser’]   = ‘admin';

to the /conf/local.php and the authentication was there again as well as access to the configuration system. (unfortunately from Windows Live Writer I can not use the colorcode tags for Geshi syntax highlightning so I just use blockquotes, must resolve this one day).

wysiwyg editor

While I was at it I also downloaded the fckg lite editor plugin from mr. Turner. Absolutely the greatest extension for Dokuwiki since it gives my household members "easy" editing of pages instead of a screen where wiki markup is needed (definitely a barrier for some people in my household).

Template for Dokuwiki

Because I was upgrading anyway I looked at some templates (which you can simply copy to /lib/tpl to get them working) but I will stick with the simple "sidebar" because that allows us to have a lot of text in the sidebar without messing up the design.

On my todolist

- the current theme does not provide a handy "print" button which only prints the contents of the current page. Other themes DO have that button but they have not enough space in the sidebar. So… I will have to change the code for this template. Must do this one day. Handy for making booklets.

- notifications are now sent to only one e-mail address. I have tried adding comma’s between the multiple e-mail addresses but it somehow does not support this. One day I will check how I can sent notifications to multiple e-mail addresses.

The best free diskspace analyzer and how to delete infinite directories

2 freeware tips:

One of my laptops had not really much space left.

So… I surfed to the best freeware diskspace analyzers and found again my all-time favorite "scanner" but also SpaceSniffer. (really handy to have one of these utilities nearby in your dropbox folder).

I ran SpaceSniffer (I don’t know which one of the two i like most) and saw … that 30 GB on my harddisk was 1 directory….

This directory (in the root) was of the type "endless". You can click through it in and for some reason it has endless copies in itself and therefore can not be deleted. Some time ago I think I blogged how to remove these kind of things but I could not find my blog entry any more.

The best solution is to download robocopy (free) as part of the free win 2003 resource kit (which includes lots more handy tools). I tried to install it but noticed it was already installed…

So the trick you now have to do is to copy-mirror 1 directory to the "infinite" directory. Robocopy will make the target directory exactly the same as the source directory and therefore it deletes all those directories in there.

so e.g. robocopy c:\temp c:\dirtodelete /MIR (or use /purge)

For me… it took more than an hour (!) with thousands or tens of thousands of lines flashing by before it finished!