Personal Cloud for iPad

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by RAC, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    Note: The frowning face in the title got there by accident and there doesn't seem to be any way to remove it.

    I assume that part of the justification for the lack of access to the file system on the iPad is that it is intended to be a Cloud device.

    Partly by intent and partly by accident I seem to be overcoming many of the perceived shortcomings by setting up my own, personal Cloud.

    I have a 1TB NAS (WD "White Light") and have loaded up some apps on the iPad that allow me to manage files locally pretty much as you would with a PC or Mac.

    The applications are FileBrowser, iSSH and, to some extent, WD Photo.

    An example of what I can do, is to plug an SD card into my HP (ePrint) printer and copy files from there to a public NAS folder using FileBrowser. WB Photo can be used to SELECTIVELY copy photos from there to the Camera Roll.

    Now I have easy access to the 25 GB of images on the file server (using FileBrowser or WD Photo) and can move selected photos onto the iPad and view them in Photos.

    FileBrowser is a bit slow at copying folders and that's where iSSH comes in.

    Firstly the WD NAS allows you to enable SSH (Linux scripting). Originally this was an unofficial hack, now it can be done through the WD web based management tool.

    With iSSH I can use Linux commands to copy files around the the network, bypassing the iPad, hopefully achieving greater speed. I haven't actually managed to mount the SD card (in the printer) from SSH yet, but if FileBrowser can see it, it must be possible. A bonus is that I can use file specs (e.g. *.jpg) to be more selective as to which files are copied, copying jpg files to one folder and raw files to another folder, for example.

    Also, WD supplies web based copy manager that can do bulk background copies at reasonable speed.

    One minor annoyance is that part of the WD NAS initial set up is Flash based :(, but I have only had to use that once so far.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
  2. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    Took care of it for you. No charge!
  3. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    Thanks.
  4. wrecklass
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    wrecklass iPad Enthusiast

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    I dont think the OP premise is correct. The iPad has gigabytes of storage to allow users to keep thousands of songs and dozens of videos on it. The reason there is no standard fille system management is to encourage the average user to use iTunes to buy content for the iPad.

    Steve Jobs put a storage device in your iPad so that HE could fill it up ;)
  5. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    But why then is document sharing with a host computer authorized? Having a computer on at all time is a bad idea, better to have a NAS "on" especially the WD MyBook World. It's touted to be energy frugal and I like mine. All the computers on my network have access to it including my iPad via FileBrowser.

    Actually Apple wants to sell us cloud rental, that's what...
  6. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I agree on both iTunes and Cloud rental (that's MobileMe in AppleSpeak right?).

    I am beginning to think that the NAS approach is looking quite viable. the main benefits are not having to fire up the notebook, not having to use iTunes :) and being free to copy what I want where I want.

    Perhaps we should keep quiet about it in case someone decides to put a stop to it. Actually if that happened my next tablet would not be an iPad.
  7. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    I've set up iTunes on my host computer to access files directly from my NAS, so I've freed 175GB of space on that laptop. The NAS even shows up in iTunes like any iPod/iPad or other Apple "iPlayToy" devices. That means it is authorized by Apple, no scares there.
  8. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I have that partially set up, the NAS is available in iTunes as you say, but no content seems to be available. I definitely have iTunes "turned on" on the NAS.

    My main aim to to minimise the use of iTunes anyway so I haven't made much of an effort to find out why.
  9. Politenessman
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    Politenessman iPF Novice

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    Good reader is supposed to let you connect to local servers but so far I've not been able to get it to see my local shared 1TB drive ( the rest of my network has no trouble connecting, reading and writing to it).

    I have a thread about that somewhere.
  10. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    I've tried the same, GoodReader does not want to see the NAS.
  11. TJK
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    Very interesting idea on using the NAS drive as a personal cloud. My netgear server will allow me to set up a personal FTP site linked to my WD 1TB NAS drive......hmmm.

    In the meantime I have been using DropBox for cloud file storage and MobileMe for photos. With our MobileMe "family plan" we got 25GB of storage.

    I have never had any issues with storage and managing of files since I use DropBox for everything and this keeps files in sync across ALL devices. No worries with different versions of docs on different devices. Throw in iDisk and Evernote and I have everything I need at my fingertips with no worries about sync or copying files.
  12. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    Same here, the only thing that can't see my NAS is GoodReader. FileBrowser is a reasonable stopgap for most purposes.
  13. Politenessman
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    Politenessman iPF Novice

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    I've requested tech support from Goodiware on this issue - via web submission (twice), via email (twice) and finally via twitter - no response at all.

    Doesn't look good for Goodreader.
  14. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    After quite a few failed attempts, I eventually got GoodReader to connect via FTP. I have no idea what made it suddenly work.
  15. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    Could you give more explanation?
    I've tried it but nothing I've entered in the FTP settings made any difference...
  16. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I created a new FTP connection under "Connect to Servers"
    URL: ftp://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:21 (IP address, port 21). I also supplied the WD admin user name and password.

    I am not sure whether this is relevant but it started working after I turned "uPnP for Web Access and FTP" off in the WD configuration utility.

    I have read only access at the moment but read/write should be possible.
  17. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    Thank you. I'll get to that when I get the chance.
  18. Politenessman
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    Politenessman iPF Novice

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    I finally got a response from the Goodreader folks.
    Apparently their app only looks for WebDav shares, and it won't see anything else.

    That all seems pretty useless to me, so I guess I need to find another solution.
  19. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    FileBrowser is a pretty good alternative. It sees my NAS, no problems.

    Also, I was able to get GoodReader to see my NAS as an FTP server as described above. I have Read Only at the moment (the default) but I assume that Read Write is also possible.

    There is a hack to make the WD MBWE support WebDAV but I have no plans to try it.

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