TonidoPlug with ICY DOCK Harddisk enclosure

TonidoPlug converts a hard-disk drive to an advanced NAS device. Users will not only be able to access the disk over the internet, but also can access the data using the powerful Tonido application suite. The only way to attach storage to TonidoPlug is using a USB 2.0 enabled external disk. Standard  3.5” or 2.5” disks can be attached to TonidoPlug using specialized enclosures.

Recently we got a chance to try out the the ICY DOCK  MB561US-4S-1 enclosure with TonidoPlug. ICY DOCK is one of the top disk drive enclosure manufacturers and they specialize in providing  a full spectrum of enclosures utilizing various interface technologies such as eSATA, USB 2.0 etc.

Initial impressions

The ICY DOCK enclosure was extremely well packaged and comes with power cable, 1 eSATA cable, 1 USB 2.0 cable and some screws to attach the hard disk. The device looks very good with the aluminum and white plastic body. The enclosure can support upto four 3.5” SATA I/II diskdrives. The drive bays are easy to remove and attaching hard disk is a snap. The ICY DOCK sports a detachable 80mm  multi-speed fan to keep the disk drives cool. This enclosure support  USB 2.0 and the much faster eSATA interface to connect to the host computer.

http://www.icydock.com/product/images/mb561series_hi2.jpg

Test setup

At this time TonidoPlug only supports USB 2.0 interface and therefore we will be testing the ICY DOCK with only the USB 2.0 interface.

Two disks tested with ICY DOCK. The first disk is the 1 TB Western Digital’s Caviar Black Edition (7200 RPM, 32MB cache) and the second disk is 1 TB Hitachi Deskstar (7200 RPM, 32MB cache). Both disks were formatted to ext3 filesystem.

We began our testing by attaching the Western Digital disk to the top bay and the rest of  drive bays were left empty. The ICY DOCK enclosure was attached to TonidoPlug using the supplied USB 2.0 cable. The drive was detected by the enclosure and TonidoPlug detected the disk and mounted it on /media/disk1part1 directory without any problem.

We then proceeded to test the hot plug  functions. We attached the Hitachi Deskstar disk to the second bay. This resulted in TonidoPlug detecting USB unplug event followed by a USB plug event and both the disks were mounted as expected in /media/disk1part1 and /media/disk2part1 directories.

We tested various configurations with the disk and the ICY DOCK performed flawlessly in all configurations.

A quick test using the hdparm utility indicated a healthy 30 MB/s for disk reads on both the disks which is great for a embedded processor based system like TonidoPlug. Both the disks were relatively warm when the fan speed was set to Auto. Once the fan speed was set to high, the disk temperature was brought down closer to the ambient temperature.

Final Take

ICY DOCK delivers its promise on providing a simple, easy to use, multi drive enclosures that supports hotswapping of harddisks. The supplied eSATA interface makes it future proof as well since it can be connected to computers equipped with the much faster eSATA port (supports hot swapping) as well. Its ease of use combined with the good looks makes it a great addition to any Tonido warrior’s arsenal!

We would like to thank ICY DOCK for providing us with the enclosure to test.

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How many clicks does it require to share a file or folder?

With Tonido 1-Click-Share, It is just ONE CLICK.

File Sharing can’t get any simpler than that. Unless you magically transport files using telepathy.

See the Video below to see Tonido 1-Click-Share in action:

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New Tonido Release 0.8.0.11501 Highlights

A new release is now available. Here are the major highlights:

Backup Update

Tonido Backup has been fully revamped.  This is backwards incompatible. So note that existing Backup Records will all disappear and you will need to recreate them from scratch.

  • Support for local folder backup: Now you can backup all your files & folders locally in addition to remote backup.
  • Significantly faster in detecting changed files to perform backup (For example, in my system, file changes in a folder containing 55000 files is detected in about 2 minutes)
  • Ability to stop backup activity (and restart will resume backup from the point where the backup was stopped)
  • Simplified backup record creation
  • Improved details of the backup activity displayed in UI (File being transferred, size remaining, number of files remaining etc)

Expanded Music Format Support for Jukebox

Tonido Jukebox now adds support for the following formats FLAC, AAC, M4A, OGG, WMA in addition to existing mp3s.

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If you have already added an collection, simply “Resync” to get  files with these extensions to show up.

iPhone playback support for Jukebox Playlists

This is big. It is now possible to stream your playlist songs to your iPhone. Simply visit the iPhone/Mobile UI and you will now see an additional ‘Jukebox’ section and selecting that will list available playlists for you to start playing. You can even change your streaming music quality.  Depending upon your upload bandwidth, this might or might not play smoothly.

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jukebox_music_playlists_iphone

jukebox_music_playlists_iphone_songs

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Unified Guest View

Simplify sharing by providing a single URL to guest users. http://john.tonidoid.com/guest will allow your guests to login and see all the content shared with them.

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Default Mount as Local Drive

You can now mount your computer’s file system as a local drive without needing to setup a share first in WebsharePro. You still need WebsharePro if you want to provide guest users access to specific parts of your filesystem. But for your own access, you just set up a local drive by using your

  1. URL (http://john.tonidoid.com/)
  2. Tonido Username (john) and
  3. Tonido Password

It is pretty simple to set it up.

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tonido_mount_drive_full

Sharing Links now separated in Launch View

To make things easier to grok, the sharing related links are now separated out from the main sections. There is also a new link to share your music.

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Password Recovery

It is now possible to recover your Tonido Password securely in case you forget it. To avail this feature, you need to set a valid password in your profile settings and when you create a new account, your email is now required. If you forget your password, simply click on “Forgot Password” and your password is reset and a new password is emailed to you the email address provided. Login with this password and change your password to what you want. Please note that your password is still not stored anywhere else other than locally and only *YOU* have access to your Tonido instance. Only the password reset email is sent via our servers.

tonido_forgot_password

XML RPC Support for Thots

Tonido Thots is now even more powerful. You can now easily post to your Thots not just using the browser UI, but through any UI interface supporting MetaWeblog  XML-RPC API. For example, you can use Windows w.Bloggar app to post to thots or even use many of the iPhone apps to post to your Thots. For example, see screenshots using BlogWrite Lite App (Free).

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Simplified Webshare User Permissions

It is much simpler to set permissions for File shares.

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Shortcuts for Mobile Access

If you browse to your Tonido server using an iPhone/iPod/iPad you should automatically get the iPhone/Mobile UI. But you can also get a shortcut to that interface from a normal browser by just using http://john.tonidoid.com/mobile url.

Other Changes

  • Webshare Files, Folders, Photos are now sorted explicitly. Previously, they were not sorted under some conditions.
  • There is now a way to “Activate All Apps” in TonidoAdmin->Apps
  • A default group is now created on Tonido Account creation to make things easier
  • Quickly log out of Tonido using the “Log Out” button in Tonido Admin.
  • There are a few more changes too minor to list.

Please see release notes for complete set of changes.

Thanks for your continuing support and let us know by comments below your feedback!

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New, Revolutionary Offering from CodeLathe – Tonido hosted on Cloud

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Tonido will soon be offered as a cloud service.

Tonido can now reside on a server away from your home. You will be still having your own private, secured and personal Tonido, however on a much faster network and much better availability.

Why Tonido on Cloud?
There may be several reasons why you might want to run your own personal Tonido on Cloud in addition to the one you have at home:

  • You want a backup of your important data on a reliable server away from home.
  • You want a decent amount of online space to store/consume your personal data.
  • You are not able to stream music fast enough from your home connection to a browser or iPhone at a remote location.
  • Your home network connection is not fast enough to make use of the WebFolders feature offered by Tonido
  • You don’t want to run your PC 24×7 but still want uninterrupted access to your files, folders, photos and/or music. You want uninterrupted access to files and folders not only for yourself but also for your friends and family who you have shared files with.

If you were already facing some of the above inconveniences then Tonido Cloud service is the right answer for you.

What do you get with Tonido on Cloud

  • Tonido
  • Free authority signed SSL certificate for yourname.tonidoid.com
  • Online storage space
  • Fast and reliable network connection.

For more details including pricing and to sign up for a email notification when this service launches, click here. We will offer the service at a huge discount to the people who sign up in the mailing list .

BTW, let us know your reason (that is not listed above) to have Tonido on Cloud. We would love to hear your thoughts.The best innovative reason will get 6 months of cloud service completely free.

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Tonido Backup Update Preview

Tonido applications are continuously improved based on user requirements and it is Tonido Backup’s turn to be on the block.

The next version of Tonido is going to contain significant changes to the Tonido Backup application.

The highlights are

  • Support for local backup. Now you can backup all your files & folders to an external USB disk connected to your computer or to a different hard disk or to a network drive as well as backing up to remote computer.
  • Significantly faster in detecting changed files to perform backup (For example, in my system, file changes in a folder containing 55000 files is detected in about 2 minutes)
  • Ability to stop backup activity (and restart will resume backup from the point where the backup was stopped)
  • Simplified backup record creation
  • Details of the backup activity displayed in UI (File being transferred, size remaining, number of files remaining etc)

Here is a screen-shot showing the details of a Backup in progress. Note that these can change by the time this goes live.

Tonido Backup UI

Tonido Backup UI

Backup Details UI

Backup Details UI

Unfortunately, the new Tonido Backup application is not backwards compatible. This has the following two effects

  • The old Tonido’s Backup records will be lost. New backup records must be created :(
  • For Remote Backups, Tonido Backup would require the remote Tonido Peer to be also at the new version

As always, we highly value your opinions, constructive comments. Please let us know via comments, forum posts or feedback.

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Customer Voice (2) – Why I run Tonido/TonidoPlug 24/7?

A Tonido would allow our nonprofit team of champions (volunteers, staff, Board, advisory, consultants) to easily share key information and collaborate on JUST the project documents they need to be involved with.

We use WinLive to synchronize docs on at least six different computers which is a lot of waste and over redundancy.
But we’re not in a place to be setting up and maintaining blade servers. The Tonido brings that power but with the (needed) simplicity of an appliance.

Our kids and families would love being able to view photos of the most recent camp or event/gathering. And our team would love not having to edit and upload to our web site or an external sharing site.

- A Happy Tonido User

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Preview: Guest Login and Launch Page

One of the trends you might notice as we constantly work on new releases is making things much more intuitive and easier in every iteration. And largely, most of these improvements are from your feedback so keep these comments coming.

Many users had commented that it was hard to remember and use all these different URLs for guest shares. Well, we went back to the drawing board and made some underlying changes to the login system and made it incredibly easier (or atleast, that is what we think. :-))

First of all, your guest users don’t have to remember any new URLs anymore. If they use your URL say, http://johndoe.tonidoid.com they will get a prompt to “Login as Guest”.

owner_login

If they click that link they are whisked to a separate login page where they enter their username and password. They can also get to this page directly by using http://johndoe.tonidoid.com/guest.

guest_login

Once logged in, they see a list of all the content shared with them via Tonido and it is a simple matter of just clicking these links to start viewing, listening or downloading.

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We believe this makes content sharing via Tonido much much simpler.

We would love to hear what you think. Let us know.

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Customer Voice (1) – Why I run Tonido/TonidoPlug 24/7?

My reason for running Tonido 24×7 is because the TonidoPlug allows me to have a robust personal cloud available at an extremely low energy footprint.

I love using Thots on a regular basis (for bookmarks and other interesting tidbits… it’s a quick and easy online notebook, which I love). I enjoy the ability to manage torrents remotely, it is a godsend for me when I’m on my college campus behind firewalls and such.

Money is a great recent addition, helping me manage my finances when I don’t always have my checkbook available. And workspace is indispensable to me–I use it to organize my life! I jot down assignments in class into workspace, and use it for time management.

Tonido is a wonderful product, and I highly recommend it.

- A Happy Tonido User

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Synchronize Passwords across machines using Tonido WebsharePro

Every website/software/service these days requires some type of registration or login and a password. And every password has some security requirements. Some require atleast 8 characters, some need numbers in them, some need numbers and capital text. The variations are endless. And remembering all those passwords can be quite hard unless you have a system.

Here’s one neat way to store all your passwords securely without having them stored in another third-party service.

Step 1: Download KeePass. KeePass is a nice password storage manager that requires you to remember only one master password.

Step 2: Map a websharepro share as a network drive.

Step 3: Run KeePass, create a new Database and store the database in that network drive.

keeppass_sync_passwords

Step 4: Repeat as needed from other machines you need access to that network drive.

Step 5: There is no step 5!

Any time you edit or create a new password on one computer, it’ll automatically be available from other machines wherever they might be.  There’s a small catch here: KeePass doesn’t automatically update your passwords when it’s open, so if you make a change on one computer and save it, you want to make sure to re-open the database from a different machine before making further changes.

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Mounting Tonido Shares as Local Drives

Tonido software allows you map your folders on remote machines as local drives allowing full drag-and-drop download, upload, in-place edit, rename, copy, paste, move and delete functionality.

This is a great way to manage content and is accomplished by Tonido’s Mount as Local Drive (WebDAV) support. WebDAV is a way to manage files over HTTP, an extension to the normal protocol of the World wide web. You can think of it as something in-between FTP and a network share on your local network.

Enabling Mount as Local Drive in Tonido

Requirements: WebsharePro application on Tonido

  1. Create a normal folder share in WebsharePro and assign users with upload permissions.
  2. After the entry shows up in the shares list, you will see an entry that says “Mount as Local Drive”.
  3. That is it.

Mounting as Local Drive in Windows

Windows’s WebDAV support is spotty and non-conforming, therefore we recommend you use one of the free WebDAV clients to mount your Tonido share as a local drive.

Using NetDrive (Freeware)

  • Download NetDrive from http://www.netdrive.net. Install it

  • Start NetDrive and in the Window, click on “New Site
  • Enter any name for the Site
  • Enter the full name of the folder share shared via WebsharePro. Note: Make sure you add the trailing ‘/’ at the end. Otherwise it won’t work.
  • Set port as 80
  • Set Server Type as WebDAV
  • Choose the drive letter
  • In the account, enter the user name who has access to this drive and his password and hit “Save“. The connection is now saved as a new site.
  • Hit “Connect“, a new Windows Explorer window opens with that drive letter mapped to your Tonido WebsharePro share
  • Start using your drive

Windows WebDAV Client Alternatives: BitKinex (Free), WebDrive (Paid)

Mounting as Local Drive in MacOSX

Unlike Windows, MacOSX has great support for WebDAV. So you can just connect to your Tonido without using any third-party software.

  • Click Finder or on the desktop. From the Finder menu, select Go -> Connect to Server.

  • This will bring up prompt for your server address. Fill in the URL (add the trailing slash at the end). Press the ‘+’ button to save it as a favorite. Hit connect.

  • Next fill out the prompt for your username and password. You can choose to save the password.

  • That is it. A Finder window will appear with your Tonido Webshare Folder mounted.

Mounting as Local Drive in Linux

You can either use Nautilus or DavFS to mount your share as a drive.

There seems to be a bug in Nautilus which effects the creation and renaming of any files within a WebDAV share. If you attempt to create a file or folder with a name other than the default name, or if you rename a file/folder you may get an error like this:

The item could not be renamed.

Sorry could not rename “untitled folder” to “New name”: Bad Request.

After clicking ‘OK’, if you refresh the window by clicking on the ‘Reload’ button… You will see that the renaming/creation did actually take place.  As annoying as this bug is, it won’t actually stop you from using the WebDav share, just ‘Reload’ after any file or folder activity.

Mounting as Local Drive in iPhone

iPhone has a OneDisk app (Paid) that can access any WebDAV share and cache documents once they are accessed for faster access next time. Choose the “Other Server” option to connect to Tonido.

For more details on this, you can read our documentation.

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