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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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 Hackweek – Day 1- People, Cloud, Vision, Documentation, Pizza, Beer

Yesterday I started my trip to Germany for attending the hackweek at Nextcloud headquarters in Stuttgart. The photo on top is taken where I started from. As you can imagine one has to be really motivated and curious to leave a place like this 😉
I arrived on time today in the morning, my phone noticed the right SSID but I didn’t found the entrance to the office.

Where is the Nextcloud hackweek?

Luckily I was not the only one (@oparoz was lost too) and finally @nickvergessen picked us up.

Buero

The day started with a discussion about the agenda.
At 11am we had a kind of plan:

Schedule Stuttgart August 2016
Schedule Stuttgart August 2016

As often at events like this WiFi wasn’t working. Same here, if more than 10 people tried to connect. Finally we found a few cables and adapters to provide everyone with internet.

Bjoern and Lukas played around with the theming feature …

Frank talked about the vision, goals and idea of the Nextcloud company. That’s the vision:

Furthermore, the goal is to make the world a better place. It sounds initially maybe a bit old fashioned, but in my opinion it is a very nice goal!

I was then researching what I could do and joined Andreas, Philip and Daniel on a talk about Nextcloud Partner models. After that I decided to help out with missing documentation.

Unfortunately, I’m not perfect with git commands. Julius helped me and I actually managed to commit a small documentation for anonymous uploading of files created (File Upload via Public Link).

I missed the discussion about the new planned features in the contact and calendar app (have to ask tomorrow).

Did you know that Jos has a dog named popcorn who is attending the hackweek too?

In the evening we had Pizza …

Pizza

… and finally a beer at Palast der Republik.

Palast der Republik

On the way back to the hotel I learn a lot about PokemonGo 🙂

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