Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

It’s “the biography” about Elon Musk, his family and the story behind

  • PayPal (make banking easy)
  • Tesla Motors (about cars, super chargers, production plants and batteries)
  • SpaceX (about reusable rockets that can start AND land)
  • SolarCity (about creating electricity).

After being disappointed with so many dark dystopian Science Fiction stories he basically decided to make the future bright again, solve the worlds energy problem and colonise the planet Mars.

It’s an impressive story!

 

Ted Talk

National Geographic: Tesla Motors Documentary

(Almost) Every SpaceX Landing, In Order

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Geothermal Energy, Flower Plants, Wildlife & Disney in Naivasha

The Naivasha lake in Kenya was a kind of paradise for birds, fish, hippos, the cows of the Maasai people. The lake has an area of 15,600 ha at an altitude of 1884m asl. It is a fresh water lake with a catchment of 2,378 km2. The lake is on a tentative list for becoming UNESCO heritage since 1999. A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination. The quote is from the actual description of the UNESCO website.

The lake environment is fragile but dynamic and supports tourism and geothermal power generation from deep-rooted stream jets among other economic activities. Lake Naivasha’s biodiversity is critically threatened by human induced factors, including: habitat destruction, pollution (from pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers), sewage effluent, livestock feeding lots, acaricide, and water abstraction. … Current research findings show that the lake cannot sustain further development activities on the scale seen over the last fifteen years. (UNESCO Lake Naivasha)

What happened?

In the late 1970s–1980s Lake Naivasha was overrun with poachers and foreign creatures introduced into the lake to provide a possibility to start a fishing industry. The migratory paths along lake Naivasha were being destroyed by the local rose industry.

Flower farm in Naivasha

Flower farm in Naivasha with shops in the foreground

Next to Naivasha is the

Hell’s Gate National Park.

There is a wide variety of wildlife in the national park … lions, leopards, and cheetahs. However, the park has historically been an important home for the rare lammergeyer vultures. There are over 103 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. Hyraxes, African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, hyena, and baboons are also common. The park is also home to serval and small numbers of klipspringer antelope and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck (Wikipedia).

The team that produced the well known movie The Lion King traveled to Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya to research on the film’s setting and animals. The main setting of the film is heavily modeled after the park.

This is a poster for The Lion King. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to Walt Disney Pictures.
This is a poster for The Lion King. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to Walt Disney Pictures.
The landscape is truly impressive!

Hells Gate National Park

Inside the park are plenty of hot springs.

Geothermal Energy

The geothermal potential of the Kenya Rift Valley (which contains the Hell’s Gate Park) was recognized in the mid-1950s. In 1956, two wells were drilled at Olkaria about 10 km west of Longonot. With promising results the United Nations Development Program and the Kenya Power carried out an extensive exploration program in the Rift Valley in 1970. The Hell’s Gate National Park was established in 1984 through executive orders by annexation of land where the American Power Company Orpower was given concessions by the government to drill wells and generate power. Orpower developed the technology by building a steam pipeline from a natural well to the power station. If the well is empty the tubes stay on the ground and they connect the next well. In between the tubes with the hot steam one can see Giraffes, Zebras and Baboons (monkeys). In the center of this photo you can see a Giraffe, the tube is leaking and the steam is hot.

Find the Giraffe

An old well looks like this

Hells Gate National Park

The initial design of Olkaria I power plant and steam field had proposed a life of 25 years (Link to PDF).

The Kenyan Government describes the technology as a sustainable future and wants to develop every available place in Rift Valley (Kenya to tap into Rift Valley geothermal resources and strengthen private sector investment in renewable energy)

The Hell’s Gate Park is only 68 square kilometres, 32 of it are already used by the tubes and power plants.

Olkaria Geothermal Fields
Olkaria Geothermal Fields
DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH together with KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW Development Bank), provides Orpower 4 Inc. (Orpower), the owner and operator of the Olkaria III geothermal power plant in Kenya, with a long-term loan to the amount of 40 million US-dollars (DEG finanziert erstes privates Erdwärme-Kraftwerk in Kenia).
In 2012: Format Technologies Signs Long-Term Debt Financing for up to $310 Million for The Olkaria III Geothermal Power Complex in Kenya.

This cheap energy is used by flower farms and the Kenyan Government provide them free water too! This a quote from the Dutch Roses Company Van den Berg.

… the increasing labour and energy costs in the Netherlands put pressure on returns, there were more opportunities in Kenya. (Van den Berg History)

Because of a crisis in 2011 the workers were paid badly or nothing: Pain, misery as Karuturi flower workers unpaid for months.

In September 2016 Karuturi ex-workers clash with police.

The Future

The population of Naivasha City ist 15,000. Different sources speak of around 50,000-80,000 workers in the flower farms, and 300,000 people living now in the area. The prospection for 2019 is 1,000,000 people. The lake is considered as dead around 2030.

My private conclusion

For me it looks like the reason for creating the Hell’s Gate National Park was to protect the concession and development of Olkaria Geothermal Power Plants. It’s easy to sell the project as green, renewable and sustainable. After the introduction of foreign creatures into the lake to create a fishing industry, the Flower farms were like the next logical step and the conditions are still perfect. Free water, cheap energy, cheap labour, and no one complains about chemicals in the lake and poor working conditions.

  • Most partners in this setting earns a lot of money,
  • It’s possible to certify the flower farms as fair trade
  • Valentine roses are getting cheaper
  • There is a big demand to invest in “sustainable energy”

… only local people, Maasai people, the hippos and the other animals will loose everything. The ecosystem of Naivasha lake will be destroyed and will never become a UNESCO habitat! 

Links:

 

 

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Mobile Devices, Drupal, Composer and 217 km

Beside my Drupal work at artus.com I attended the Mobile Users FFM monthly meeting on Wednesday. The group exists since 13 years and it started as the “Palm user group, Frankfurt”. Do you remember Palm? During the last 13 years the world changed and it was interesting for me me to hear stories about different types of smartphones, smartwatches, phone contracts and gadget like the Yota Phone 2.

A member of the group (@android_oma) is developing an interesting Drupal/Android/open data project. The basic idea is to collect photos from German railway stations (bike stations, elevators, facilities inside and outside of railway stations). She pulls open data from the German Deutsche Bahn with longitude, latitude and unique id numbers of German railway stations. These data should be imported/synced to a Drupal site (http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de).

http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de
http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de

With an already existing Android App, people can see railway stations where photos are missing. So far the project is in early stage, the app is not in the app store but available via in this Google+ group.
Later on the app should post the photos directly to the Drupal website by using web services. So far people are just tweeting photos (it’s easy to participate 🙂 ) (https://twitter.com/hashtag/bahnhofsfotos. Railway fans are unique, so the project is getting attention and they are planning an international version starting with Switzerland.

A day later I attended the Drupal Meeting Frankfurt and learned a lot about Drupal and Composer (http://drupal-composer.org).

Bicycle

As you may know I commute with a bike and this week I drove 217 km.

Activities for Oct 10, 2016 - Oct 16, 2016 Aug 29, 2016 - Oct 10, 2016
Activities for Oct 10, 2016 – Oct 16, 2016 Aug 29, 2016 – Oct 10, 2016

 

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News! I’m working as a Drupal Developer in Germany

The summer was wonderful. We finished the restoration of a house in the middle of July and we wanted to enjoy some weeks at the beach. As you know, we are Germans and there seems to be some truth in all these stereotypes about Germans, they always make plans 😉 So we did, we made a list about how we wanted to spend our “free” time. The plan was to work a few hours on projects that should be finally finished, like the green roof project in the garden, the Cave in 22 Grand’ Rue, some “little” things in our house … and spend the rest of the time at beaches, in art galleries, antique markets, reading books, … well … it worked somehow – I was everyday at a beach for these 8 weeks and now I’m the mayor 🙂

Plage Naturiste
Plage Naturiste

Nextcloud appeared in June and I’m very interested in the project. I went to Stuttgart in August for a Hackweek and to Berlin in September for the first conference. I wrote some blog posts about Nextcloud box and other aspects of the project.

While working on our summer projects we discussed how we will earn money in the future. Usually we do that regularly at Dec 31th but this time we planned in July at the beach. We came to the conclusion that we renovated more or less enough houses for us (You can buy one btw.). There is still one house project left together with our daughter and her husband but I thought

May be I can work on a nice software project.

Something related to Nextcloud, RaspberryPi, internet of things, Drupal 8. All these “new” stuff hat appeared while I was renovating 🙂

I applied officially at certain companies (my first applications since nearly 20 years) and I learned a lot about LinkedIn, Xing, Monster, writing a good CV and all those things where I’m still not good in (Help me to become better). A company in Frankfurt hired me as a Drupal developer. It’s a “digital interactive agency” called artus.com and their mission is:

We plan, create, develop and implement anything digital that builds our clients brand and business.

“Anything digital” sounded good and I never worked in an agency like that! They are using Drupal 8 for bigger projects, e.g. worldvision.de. They are planning to use it in more projects. The only problem is that they wanted to have me in their office in Frankfurt, Germany. We agreed on a kind of testing for six weeks and then
– I hope to continue with remote work from Fitou and
– they hope that I will move to Frankfurt.
I’m curious how we’ll figure that out – stay tuned!
Living in Frankfurt is ridiculous expensive, so I tried to find a place via Twitter and Facebook.

To my own surprise I found something for 4 weeks in Bad Homburg and something for 2 weeks in Rödelheim :).
Thanks to Android_oma and 12schm34idt56hil78ke.

At the moment I live in Bad Homburg and commute with my bike to Frankfurt. Well, it’s actually not my bike, it’s a super posh electrical bike that I’m allowed the use (a blog post on that is coming soon). Each day I drive 40 km. I track the tours with an App, so if you want to follow me, become my friend on Strava. First week 200km!

First week
First week

I have no time anymore!

I start at 7:30am with my bike and I come back at 8pm with my bike. Additionally, this country is so cold, windy and mostly dark when I’m driving! It’s nice sometimes, you see 😉

Frankfurt

The work itself is interesting: The dev team works with PHPStorm, Vagrant, Bitbucket, Slack, several servers and is trying to organise everything as easy and smooth as possible. I’m curious to learn everything and it was for sure a good idea to be six weeks physically here! Last Friday, we had a so called Quarterly, followed by a workshop with all employees (37), very interesting! Later on there was a great dinner and we ended up with a little group in a kind of club in Frankfurt (Pik Dame).

The last days I heard so many opinions about work, controlling, planning, project management, creativity, brand management, mismanagement, open source software, closed source software, company culture, employee driven companies and the future in general that my daily commuting on the bike is a good way to reflect on that. Since that workshop I’m a proud member of a new team and I’m partly responsible for a handbook, that will help newbies like me to understand processes in this company.

Plan

I want to write about my experiences as often as possible but as I already said  in the headline – I have not that much time anymore 🙂

Save

Save

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More official Nextcloud Apps

As promised in the first blog post about the Nextcloud App Ecosystem, here comes the second one about all the official Nextcloud Apps that are disabled by default.

To understand the different types of apps better, I would categorize them as following so far:

  • Official Nextcloud app:
    A Nextcloud app is called official when it’s developed/maintained by Nextcloud GmbH and shipped in the Nextcloud server package. Some official apps are enabled.
  • Approved Nextcloud app
    A Nextcloud App is called approved when it comes from a third party entity and is shipped in the Nextcloud server package.
  • Apps from the Nextcloud app store.
    In Nextcloud version 11, an app store will be integrated. I don’t know yet how these apps will be called in the future.

This blog post covers official Nextcloud apps which are disabled by default:

  • Default encryption module
  • External sites
  • External storage support
  • External user support
  • File access control
  • Files automated tagging
  • Gallery
  • LDAP user and group backend
  • Retention
  • SAML authentication

If you just read the names and you are not familiar with the Nextcloud project you might struggling to understand what these apps are for, why they are not enabled and whether it is a good or a bad idea to enable them. I’ll go through these apps, provide a short description and, if possible a common use case and some screenshots.

Default encryption module

I’m not sure why this package is called a module, it should be called an app, an official app!

As you may assume this app is about security. After enabling the app and server-side encryption in the administration settings, all your new uploaded files will be encrypted based on AES 256 keys (How secure are AES-256 encrypted files?), the app won’t touch existing files.
Attention: It is not possible to disable the encryption again and switch back to an unencrypted system!
Please read the documentation to know all implications before you decide to enable server-side encryption.

Enable server-side encryption
Enable server-side encryption

External sites

This app allows an administrator to add links in the Nextcloud web interface apps menu that points to an external website. For a user, the external site appears in an iframe as if it’s part of the Nextcoud installation.

External Sites - Configuration
External Sites – Configuration
External website in an iframe
External website in an iframe

External storage support

The external storage support app enables administrators to configure connections to external storage providers (FTP , Amazon S3, SWIFT object stores, Google Drive, Dropbox, other Nextcloud servers, WebDAV servers, and more). Administrators can choose which types of storage to enable and can mount these storage locations for a user, a group, or the entire system. The screenshot shows an example with external storage via SFTP.

External Storage Configuration
External Storage Configuration

Users will see a new folder appearing in their root Nextcloud directory, which they can access and use it like any other Nextcloud folder.

External Storage in Files
External Storage in Files

External user support

This app authenticates user login against FTP, IMAP or SMB. Passwords are not stored locally and authentication always happens against the remote server. There is no graphical user interface for configuration. You have to add parameters to the configuration file config.php.
Have a look at the documentation.

File access control

This app controls the access to files. It can be used e.g. in relationship with the two factor authentication app (an approved app – TOTP TwoFactor (Google Authenticator)) because it’s necessary to protect the keys. I’ll cover this topic in a separate blog post.
Meanwhile, have a look at Joas blog post on Nextcloud.com – File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud.

Files automated tagging

The app automatically assigns tags to newly uploaded files based on conditions. Combined with Files Access Control App and Retention App it’s possible to create workflows like

  • converting document file types to PDF upon upload by members of a specified group
  • emailing files put in a specified folder with a given tag to a given mail address.

Have a look at https://nextcloud.com/workflow/.

Gallery

Hey, the Gallery app is the awesome photo gallery that you see, after you uploaded some images. It creates automatically mosaic pictures for folders and hopefully it’s soon possible to see EXIF Tags.

Gallery
Gallery

LDAP user and group backend

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) app allows LDAP users (including Microsoft Active Directory) to appear in your Nextcloud user listings!
Have a look at User Authentication with LDAP.

Retention

This is for automatic deletion of files after a given time. Files have to have a “delete” tag. It is configured in the administration area.

Retention App
Retention App

SAML authentication

The app authenticates users against a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) backend, such as Shibboleth which allows people to sign in using just one identity to various systems run by federations of different organisations or institutions.

Conclusion

The official but not enabled apps are often covering special use cases like the whole authentication and workflow handling. Even if these are not “main stream use cases” it’s important and crucial to know that these solutions exist for using Nextcloud efficiently in your company!


tl;dr: The Nextcloud 10 server package comes with several official apps that are not all enabled by default but awesome!

Save

Save

Save

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First setup of my Nextcloud Box

Last Saturday at Nextcloud conference in Berlin the Nextcloud Box was announced. Frank said it’s a part of his promise/desire to make the world a better place by bringing your data home.

How can the world be a better place with Nextcloud Box?

What is Nextcloud Box?

Nextcloud Box is a project between Western Digital Labs, Ubuntu/Canonical and Nextcloud GmbH. It gives you the possibility to store your data (files, documents, photos, calendars, notes, newsfeed, contacts, music files, video files and everything the can be stored in a file) in your own Nextcloud Box. There is no need anymore to upload your data to proprietary cloud services like Dropbox, Google Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, Apple Cloud, Amazon Cloud, and many other! It will be even possible in the next release to make encrypted phone calls via your Nextcloud Box.

The complete Nextcloud Box contains a hard disk, an operating system, and open source software:

  • a hard disk from Western Digital (1TB = a lot for me)
  • a Raspberry Pi computer (at the moment model 2).
    The Raspberry Pi is so far not included in the box you can buy.
  • a 4GB storage card with a preinstalled Linux System (Snappy Ubuntu Core)
  • the Nextcloud software (Version 9.53)
  • a software environment that connects the box automatically to your (local) network via ethernet cable and offers the Nextcloud services to all users.

A complete Nextcloud Box looks like this and costs 70 Euro in Europe (buy here).

Open Nextcloud Box
Open Nextcloud Box

Why is it sold without the Raspberry Pi?

Nextcloud box should be as open as possible so the partners decided for the start not to deliver the Raspberry Pi. If you already own one you can connect your Raspberry Pi 2 to the box. There is a screw driver, four screws, all necessary connection cables and a power supply in the box. If not, you have to buy it somewhere. Frank announced that there are working on a possibility to sell complete packages in the future.

All parts of Nextcloud Box
All parts of Nextcloud Box

Putting everything together is easy and doable for everyone. If you search for the card slot at the Raspberry Pi – It’s a bit hidden “below” it and luckily it’s not possible to insert the card in the wrong way.

Card Slot - Raspberry Pi
Card Slot – Raspberry Pi

This it how it looks if everything is connected

connected Nextcloud Box
connected Nextcloud Box

The last task is to close the box with the cover and your done.

How to install Nextcloud Box

Well, just connect it to your network, provide electricity and wait 8-10 minutes. Open your browser and point to http://ubuntu-standard.local. The start screen asks to set a user name and a password for the administrator account. Enter na nice name and secure password and click the Finish setup button.

Nextcloud Box - set administrator account
Nextcloud Box – create an administrator account

That’s it! Nextcloud Box is ready to use and lots like this:

Next steps

Depending on your goal and situation you can e.g.

connect Nextcloud Box to your clients

This is an example of the OS X Nextcloud client

Nextcloud OSX Client with Nextcloud Box folder
Nextcloud OSX Client with Nextcloud Box folder

It works of course too on iOS and Android devices.

Allow access from outside your home and become a cloud hoster

If you have a fairly fast internet connection at home and a possibility to configure your router, you can enable the access to your Nextcloud Box from outside of your home. E.g. here in France it’s possible to get your own IP-address for free (free.fr). As this IP-address is static it’s possible to connect it to a domain name (mydomainname.tld) and you suddenly become a cloud hosting entity.

Why is Nextcloud Box important?

It’s another try to help people to understand how easy it is to store your own data at home or in your own company in an environment as open as possible. Even the plan of the box is available for free, so that you are able to start your own project!

Remember …

There is no cloud, just other people’s computer!

The familiar you become with your own data, the better it will be for the world too!

At Nextcloud conference 50 Nextcloud boxes were available.

Links

https://nextcloud.com/box/


tl;dr: Nextcloud Box will make the world a better place and will bring you data home!

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Nextcloud Conference – Saturday

Today the contributor conference started. Yesterday was more business oriented, today the “get things done phase” starts.

Jos opened the conference with a few words, Frank, Joe and Jane repeated their announcements of the Nextcloud box and 50 boxes are available to buy here at the conference for 70 Euro. The missing RaspberryPi is provided for free. Frank said, that he’s looking for a possibility to sell Nextcloud Box as a complete package.

Lightning talks

Some lightning talks were held to introduce Nextcloud people, their responsibilities and offer possibilities to contribute (Lukas Reschke , Morris JobkeBjoern Schiessle). Bjoern did an additional and inspiring talk about “what’s special in Nextcloud”.

Beside Nextcloud employees

Lunch

… was served by a food truck and the burgers were delicious! The marketing department was working hard 🙂

 

Workshop Collabora – Michael Meeks

Michael Meeks gave answers to very detailed questions from the audience. I didn’t understood everything but the way collabora office suite works is now a bit clearer for me. There was a longer discussion how to integrate Collabora in Nextcloud in a “better, easier and faster” way.

Fair web services – Cornelius Schumacher

Fair web services was the last workshop I attend and the topic reminded me why I’m at this conference. Years ago I wanted to backup my photos on Flickr. Backup in the sense of keeping album structures and EXIF data. I tried OwnCloud but it didn’t work. I discovered that OwnCloud was a perfect solution for other projects of mine and so I used it until June. The Flickr backup problem is still unsolved. It’s possible to access my data via API but so far I found nothing that really works for me (may be time to write a Flickr import app for Nextcloud). Today there is also an additional “iTunes Cloud Match” problem. But back to the talk.

There are a number of attempts to solve the problems of freedom of web services. This is a list of relevant references.

None of the solutions is complete yet or has enough traction to serve as a widely accepted solution … The idea is to create criteria for a certification of services. The certification would allow providers to show that they respect the freedom of users and give users a guideline about what services to use.

I think it’s a good idea – have a look at http://fairwebservices.org.

Link tip:

I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that. https://tosdr.org

In the workshop I met Marcos Garcia Pedraza, Co-Founder of Patria Digitalis. He wants to offer “fair” services, so it starts and I have a good ok feeling!

At the airport

As I mentioned above I’m not able to attend the whole week, so meanwhile I’m at the airport Berlin Schoenefeld, my Laptop was scanned for drugs, I had to show every piece of my Nextcloud box to the border police. The boarding pass that I printed out in France had the wrong “format” and the plane has a delay. The good news is that Dennis and his friends will come next week to Fitou for a short vacation.

Now I have a little bit time to think about this project that started 6 years ago to make the world a better place.
So far it was an interesting journey!

Someone replied to that tweet that he didn’t get the idea because it already exists and it’s called NAS or Synology.

The journey will continue 🙂

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Nextcloud Conference – Business Day

I had no idea what to expect from this conference but something inside said to me

Go to Berlin, it’s important!

So I went to Berlin to attend at least two days of the conference at Technische Universität. The Berlin Technische Universität is one of the largest and most prestigious research and education institutions in Germany and for a whole week the center of the growing Nextcloud community.

Technische Universität Berlin
Technische Universität Berlin

The future of Nextcloud

In Frank Karlitscheks talk about the future of Nextcloud he also talked about sustainability and the way how Nextcloud will develop in the next 20! years:

During the talk, he showed Nextcloud 10 features und someone from the audience asked when this version with all these nice features will be released (easy answer, it was released a few weeks ago). In the meantime Klaas tweeted two feature request

Features requests via Twitter
Features requests via Twitter

Security Architecture

Lukas Reschke talked about Nextcloud security architecture. I liked the idea that the same developers who wrote the code are responsible for fixing their own bugs.

Federation

Bjoern Schiessle is working since four years on the federation subject and showed an overview of the ideas behind the concept and it’s future.

In Nextcloud, it’s possible to share your files with a remote user. A remote user is a user in another personal cloud installation that supports the federation concept (e.g. Nextcloud, OwnCloud, Pydio). To share a file you have to insert the cloud ID of that user [username]@[domain] and Nextcloud sends a notification to the remote user. The remote user can decide whether he wants to accept the share.
You find your own Cloud ID in your Nextcloud profile page. Share it!

MySql Database Scalability

Oli Sennhauser (FromDual) gave a talk about MySQL database scalability. The interesting thing for me was that he was not familiar with the Nextcloud software. So he asked users and developers in the audience questions how Nextcloud is handling this and that. Based on the answers he described possible problems and solutions.


After the lunch break I missed half of Artur Schiwons talk about User Management in Nextcloud. Nextcloud has a variety of authentication mechanisms needed to fit comfortably in the diverse enterprise authentication landscape. I learned some new abbreviations: LDAP, SAML, ODP, ….

Nextcloud Scalability with a concept design for 10.000 users

This talk was interesting too because Dennis Pennings (360ict.nl) is planning to set up a huge Nextcloud installation. He researched a lot about possible solutions and he had plenty of question that were discussed at the end together with Frank and the audience.

Slides, Videos

So far, no slides and videos are available online. I’ll update the blog post when I find them.

Surprise, Surprise

During the day I saw tweets about a mysterious Nextcloud box, even an article in the German Heise Ticker (Nextcloud Box soll die Cloud ins Heim bringen).

The Nextcloud Box

At 6pm the Nextcloud box was presented by Frank. I decided to install Periscope and tried to stream the event. After the third try it worked! Here are the exiting 20 minutes!

The box is real

Directly after the “surprise show” arrived with 50 Nextcloud Boxes and I bought one (70Euro).

The next guy in the queue was Guido Stepken and he bought seven!

While writing the blog post I saw that nearly the same box design exists since one year for the Open Source Media Center (OSMC PiDrive).

Conclusion

The day was super interesting an now I have to sleep. See you tomorrow!

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Join us in Berlin! Nextcloud Conference Sep 16-22

The Nextcloud community will be meeting at the TU Berlin from September 16 to 22 for a week of talks and coding around the next generation private cloud technology.

Finally I managed to be able to attend. Due to a lot of reasons only on Friday and Saturday, but hey – I’m happy to have these two days full of keynotes, workshops, lightning talks and discussions.

  • This amazing project empowers everyone (you too) to run a cloud infrastructure by yourself.
  • It’s easy to use and it works like a charm.

If you are in Berlin this weekend use the opportunity to join us (Straße des 17. Juni 135)! Don’t miss Friday 6pm – We’ll gather in the main room for the announcement of… well, a surprise!
After that: free drinks and snacks!

See you there!

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Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps …

So I installed Nextcloud Server and the Nextcloud iOS App and the OS X desktop client. I’m syncing my photos and other files and I’m so happy that everything works. I mean, not in the way “Yeah, it works somehow and I like it because it’s open source software and they are the good ones”. No, it’s more like

It works fine awesome, the data is were I need it! I don’t have to think about!

But the best thing is …

There is more to discover and there will be much more in the near future!

I discovered Nextcloud Apps! They are hidden behind the little + in this popup.

Nextcloud Apps
Nextcloud Apps

I didn’t know, that there is a whole ecosystem behind that little +. Beside the shipped apps there will be a whole new App Store created by Bernhard Posselt and many other contributors. As far as I know the Nextcloud App Store will be fully operational from the Nextcloud version 11 release (will be in 2016) on. The beta version is already online and it looks promising (https://apps.nextcloud.com/).

Nextcloud - App Store - Beta
Nextcloud – App Store – Beta

Shipped Apps

Before we talk about the future let’s have a look what is already available. The core nextcloud server package comes with official apps, which are developed by Nextcloud directly and with approved apps. Approved apps are developed and supported by the community and approved by Nextcloud as “so good” to ship them with the core package.

Official Apps – Enabled by Default

The following Apps are official and enabled. They are the real core package of your Nextcloud Server. Because they are necessary and simply working I didn’t pay a lot attention when I installed Nextcloud for the first time but it’s worth to have a look what the whole core system is about.

Activity

Activity is a kind of Facebook timeline. You can see, ordered by date, all your shares, comments, favourites, uploads and the activities of remote users who are connected to you via the federation system.

Nextcloud - Activity
Nextcloud – Activity

Auditing / Logging

Logging is necessary and in this case it’s about PHP. You can choose what to log and you can download the log file to look for the reason of the entries.

Nextcloud - Logging
Nextcloud – Logging

Collaborative tags

Every user can tag files. The tags are stored and offered to all the users. It’s a great feature for your personal cloud or for teams. If you run a bigger installation with plenty of users that didn’t know each other you should disable this app to avoid confusion.

Nextcloud - Collaborative Tags
Nextcloud – Collaborative Tags

Comments

Yeah, it’s possible to comment on files

Deleted files

This app enables users to restore files that were deleted from the system. Restoring a file also restores related file versions (versions app has to be enabled).

Nextcloud - Deleted Files
Nextcloud – Deleted Files

Federation

Federation allows you to connect with other trusted servers.

Nextcloud - Federation
Nextcloud – Federation
  • File sharing
    The file sharing app implements the whole process of sharing files within Nextcloud server.

    Nextcloud - File sharing
    Nextcloud – File sharing

First run wizard

This app enables the popup that appears when a user logs in for the first time.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Notifications

The app send notifications for example when you receive a remote share.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

Password policy

Manages the password policy on your Nextcloud Server. Common passwords are taken from https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists/tree/master/Passwords

Nextcloud - Password Policy
Nextcloud – Password Policy

PDF viewer

I uploaded most of my books to have enough to read …

Nextcloud - PDF Viewer
Nextcloud – PDF Viewer

Provisioning API

Enables external systems to communicate via API with Nextcloud. For example the url http://admin:secret@example.com/ocs/v1.php/cloud/users -d userid="joecool"-d password="secret" creates the user joecool with the password secret.

Server info

Information about current CPU load, memory usage and active users.

Nextcloud - Server Info
Nextcloud – Server Info

Text editor

Create a new file online and write something! The screenshot is a gif animation including a problem that is solved by Nextcloud itself … have a look!

Nextcloud - Text Editor
Nextcloud – Text Editor
  • Theming

    You are already wondering about the nice orange color on top of the screenshots?

    Nextcloud - Theming
    Nextcloud – Theming

    Have a look at my login page (https://cloud.cocoate.com) and upload a nice log in image to your personal cloud!

    Nextcloud - Individual Login Page
    Nextcloud – Individual Login Page

Update notification

It displays update notifications. I saw it for the contacts app but I was to slow to take a screenshot (next time).

  • Usage report

    Sends anonymized data to help to improve Nextcloud. You can disable it at any time.

    Nextcloud - Usage Report
    Nextcloud – Usage Report

Versions

This application automatically maintains older versions of files that are changed.

  • Video player

Yes, there is a video player in Nextcloud! Click the link (https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/By6txeI6Hws38B8) for my shared video of @maxilamps.

Nextcloud - Video Player
Nextcloud – Video Player

Have a short break …

My initial plan was to try out and describe the Nextcloud apps. What I described so far in this blog post is a short glimpse on the official apps which are enabled by default! There are more official apps you can enable at any time (Default encryption module, External sites, External storage support, External user support, File access control, Files automated tagging, Gallery, LDAP user and group backend, Mail template editor, Retention, SAML authentication) and there are also the approved apps which can be enabled by just one click (NewsBookmarksDocumentsTasksJavaScript XMPP ChatOwnBackupownNote – Notes ApplicationQOwnNotesAPI,Shorten).
May be now you get a better impression what the Nextcloud ecosystem is about and how interesting it already is!

Now I’ll start to play around with the “not enabled” official apps and will come back soon with a new blog post.


tl;dr: The Nextcloud ecosystem is an amazing collection of useful apps and it’s growing and improving every day. Have a look at it!

The post Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps … appeared first on Hagen Graf.