Monday, March 31, 2008

Jungle Disk on Linux

I first heard about Jungle Disk on the Linux Action Show. It is a client that manages files on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). The client is cross-platform (Linux, Windows, Mac OS) and costs only a one-time fee of $20 plus $1 a month if you want the optional "extra" services including a web interface to your files.

With Jungle Disk, you pay as you go for file storage: 15 cents/gig/month for storage and a similar low fee for data transfer. You can use S3 as a virtual drive or "briefcase" with unlimited capacity, or you can use it as a backup location for automated or manual backups from various computers. I use it for both.

So far I've setup my Ubuntu desktop and Windows laptop from work as well as my Ubuntu desktop at home. I have backups configured for important files from each of those. From my eee PC, I passed on installing Jungle Disk and instead relied on the web interface that came with the Jungle Disk extras. I don't store any files on my eee, so I don't need a client to back anything up.

So far I'm very pleased with Jungle Disk. It will get pricey as I start to backup everything including the 50+ gigs of photos, videos, and music files I have. 50 gigs would be $90 a year. However, this is well worth it if I ever need to recover my precious files in the event of a fire or multi-hard drive crash. Photos and videos especially are irreplaceable.

I took some notes on setting up Jungle Disk on Ubuntu:

* Sign up for Amazon S3.

* Download and unzip Jungle Disk (jungledisk.tar.gz) in /opt.

* Run Jungle Disk Monitor:

* Install FUSE and davfs:
apt-get install fuse-utils
apt-get install davfs2

* Add your user to the fuse group:
sudo adduser kweiner fuse

Create and mount a directory to access Jungle Disk on the file system:
sudo mkdir /mnt/jungledisk sudo chgrp fuse /mnt/jungledisk sudo chmod g+w /mnt/jungledisk sudo mount.davfs http://localhost:2667 /mnt/jungledisk -o nolocks

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Walking L.A. #14 - Sunset Strip

My in-laws joined us for this 1 mile walk along Sunset Blvd and the adjacent residential neighborhood in West Hollywood. I have been to this part of the strip between Havenhurst Dr. and Olive Dr. many times. I've had drinks at Bar Marmont and a company holiday party at Sunset Beach. I've seen friends play jazz at the Argyle Hotel lounge and been to various concerts at the House of Blues (Buckshot LeFonque, Maceo Parker, etc.). Therefore, the first half of the walk wasn't that interesting.

The second half which circled back on De Longpre Ave and Harper Ave introduced us to the quiet residential life just south of the strip which included apartment buildings built in the 50s and 60s and a nice neighborhood dog park.

Instead of lingering in the area for lunch, we got back in the car and headed over to the Hollywood Farmers Market. I had been wanting to check out the presence of Theodore Payne at this market, and today I had the chance. It turned out to be a very nice farmers market with a lot of vendors and shoppers.

The next walk is West Hollywood.

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Twitter Is Killing My Blogging

I started twittering about 3 weeks ago just to see what all the hype was about. I have known about Twitter for over a year, but before now, I just didn't get what the appeal would be. I thought: Do I really want to tell the world what I'm doing every minute of the day?

In these last 3 weeks, I have twittered 72 updates, or "tweets" as they're also known. It turns out I am finding it fun and fulfilling to use Twitter and to follow a few friends and co-workers that are doing the same. It satisfies the urge I have to let people know about things I am doing or find interesting. Since each update is limited to just 140 characters, I don't have to spend much time writing as much as I normally do in a blog post. The amount of blog entries I've written has dwindled to just 2 or 3 in the last 3 weeks.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can find me at

You might also like to check out the many websites that do interesting things with Twitter data. This blog covers them all:

If you still don't get Twitter, check out this video from Common Craft:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Walking L.A. #13 - Laurel Canyon

This was one of the shortest walks in the book which was too bad because it was such a nice day in such a nice location nestled in the canyon.

The walk began and ended right in front of Jim Morrison's former residence at 8021 Rothdell Tr. This was apparently the "Love Street" in the song "Love Street" and the "store where the creatures meet" was the Canyon Country Store across the street.

The walk started up the Prospect Trail steps. At the top was a nice view of LA. It then continued through the brush behind the houses until a landmark Century Plant at which point it descended down more steps known as the Tavern Trail back to the starting point. It was challenging to carry a baby on this walk as the steps were steep and the trail was often passing through thick brush and sometimes cactus.

After a quick bagel at the "store where the creatures meet", we took the opportunity to drive up to one of my favorite lookout points in LA which sits at the end of a private road near the top of Wonderland Ave. It was a breathtaking view on a sunny day with clear skies. We could see downtown LA, the Santa Monica bay, Catalina Island, and even Long Beach all at the same time.

The next walk is Sunset Strip.

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Walking L.A. #12 - Studio City's Woodbridge Park

This walk was a nice, casual 1.5 miles. The walk began on Tujunga Ave just south of Mookpark St where a lot of nice neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and shops are located. This place had a nice energy to it. Many young people were pouring into places like the Aroma Cafe for breakfast. We stopped there too for some coffee before getting started.

This is the 2nd time I've been to this neighborhood. The first time was when my wife was overdue with our son, and we attempted to hasten the process by eating at the Caioti Pizza Cafe which is famous for its labor-inducing Maternity Salad. It didn't work, by the way, but it was a nice lunch.

Back to the walk... we headed off Tujunga Ave into the nice, quiet neighborhood called Woodbridge Park famous for its house at 11222 Dilling St. which was the house from the Brady Bunch TV show. It looks a little different now with new paint and a low wall around the front yard. Across the street, we met a nice lady who had lived in the neighborhood for many years. She reminisced about how annoying it was having all that Brady Bunch filming going on.

After the walk, we returned to the Aroma Cafe for lunch. I like the vibe of that place a lot. I think I could enjoy living in Studio City.

The next walk is Laurel Canyon.

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed