WordPress and Drupal TonidoPlug Images Released

The TonidoPlug was a great little device with great software. It ran Linux and let you customize it every step of the way. Then came the LAMP image – a simple way to run a full LAMP stack on the inexpensive computer. It was meant for easy, instant access to a fully-configured web suite.

Well, today, we’re proud to announce 2 more members in the TonidoPlug custom image family – the TonidoPlug WordPress image and the TonidoPlug Drupal image!

Both of these images contain the entire LAMP stack (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Webmin, and Tonido), but also include ready-to-use Drupal or WordPress installations. There is absolutely no configuration or installation (besides extracting the image to a USB drive 1GB or larger). Just plug in the USB drive to your TonidoPlug and you’ve got a fully-customizable content management system at your fingertips and in single-digit watt usage.

Check out the images at the Tonido Store and read our custom image wiki page here.

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Convenience is mother of all transforming inventions

A few months back, I was explaining to someone in a mixer event about TonidoPlug and the convenience that it offers to consumers. The person (may be a self proclaimed tech guru), whom I was explaining to, said “people don’t care about convenience. You should focus on a fist pounding need.”. His conviction started make me believe what he said might be correct. However, when I got back home, I realized how wrong he was.

Let us take an example. One night in 1949, when Frank McNamara finished his dinner in a restaurant, he realized that he didn’t have enough money to pay the bill. He starting thinking ‘is there a simpler way to carry cash?’ and went on to invent Diner card, which was the first step towards credit cards. In 1940s, no one complained about carrying cash and no one was pounding their fist to find an alternative for money.

Credit card was born out of convenience. Would commerce have grown across globe without credit cards? I doubt ecommerce would have been possible without invention of credit cards. In 1950s and 60s, no one would have imagined how credit cards will revolutionize shopping and will enable consumers to buy things without actually visiting stores.

I’m pretty sure that when wheels were invented, not everyone in the tribe was working feverishly on the problem of solving for a wheel. Probably, a smart lazy guy thought “why should I carry all these things? How can I make my life easier? Can’t I push things by placing them on top of logs?” thus wheels were invented. Wheels were born out of convenience and unknowingly pushed human race ahead.

Inventions that are born out of necessity fill a small immediate need and can’t be transformational. On the other hand, inventions driven by convenience revolutionize the world and opens doors for possibilities that can’t be imagined currently. If I extend this argument one step further, laziness drives people look for ways to make things convenient. Hence we owe all the growth not to people who were aggressive and zealous but to people who were lazy and were trying to make their life easier.

Similar to Dos Equis commercial, my comments are “Stay lazy, my friends. Unknowingly we are changing the world!!”

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How to share photos without uploading to photo sharing sites

With Tonido it is very simple. You can share photos with your friends and family directly from your desktop without worrying about your privacy and online freedom.

See the video below to know more:

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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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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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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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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