Friday, July 11, 2008

Gspace firefox extension - Gmail as your storage device

After series of wild click stream,I found myself on firefox addons page and like every time I was wondering/gaping at the versatility of the firefox platform. The plugins architecture, means to build those et al.Anyways I found Gspace which helps you convert your gmail account into a online file system,now I knew of such utilities on windows but I seldom use windows and hence moved on.Being able to do so from a browser truly is Web 2.0 and pwnage of Desktop as platform.You'll need to install the add on like any other add on and restart your firefox upon which you see the status pop up window icon in the status bar. You can register your gmail accounts with Gspace from manage accounts and create directories (This does not actually create a directory on gmail server, rather its a internal way to simulate filesystem using subject field of the emails). After dealing with account registration you move on to Tools->Gspace which should open a new Window (can also be reached by typing chrome://gspace/content/gspaceWindow.xul on ff2) here you can upload files to the simulated directories which after complete transfer appear in your gmail account as a mail from yourself, Its best to filter these mails and apply a label to it.
Other cool features include ability to stream music from your gmail account right into browser using the google flash player, also you can view photos. This you choose in File Transfer Mode in tools->Gspace.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Do not upload more than 500 files a day, may result in temporary ban from google, which can be upto 24 hrs
  • Its best to create a new gmail account to keep all your files at one place, also in case you DO suffer a ban, it doesn't block your daily mails and primary gmail id
  • I have already mentioned filtering Gspace Mails eh ?
  • Do not even try to store files weighing more than 20 megs, you are wasting your bandwidth, google bounce mails with attachment over 20 mbs
  • Share account with trusted friends to save network resources (like in case of music)

Disclaimer : Its not supported/endoresed by google but a individual innovative hack and hence do mind the 24 hrs block and check your daily transfer to google.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Google Appengine

Google launched a application engine for web application developers to take advantage of the "Google" Infrastructure. This would mean that application programmers can now write engaging applications without worrying about hosting, responsiveness and all other maintenance related issues, Ah but there is a catch!! you qualify as a developer if you can read and write python, which is a interesting and fun to learn language but it also means that you are supposed to throw all that PHP, Perl, Java experience in trash and come unto Lord's feet. Appengine comes preloaded with django 0.96 which is a powerful python web framework quite popular for its clean implementation of MVC, but you can also upload and use a different framework best suited for your application. Appengine comes with a admin panel for each application where it shows many statistics about data transfer, url's visited, popular url's etc. Google Appengine is an attempt to answer Amazon's EC2 and S3 if at all its an attempt to answer anything. Amazon webservices on the contrary are not free but support any framework/language, where S3 is more like a data grid independent of EC2.
Some Facts and Figures About Google Appengine:

  • 3 Apps per developer
  • limit of 1000 files each being maximum of 1 mb although limit on overall application storage is 500 megs :P
  • In and out Data transfer of 10,000 megs each per day
  • 2000 e mails per day
  • 650,000 Http Requests per day
  • CPU limit of 200,000,000 Mega Cycles per day
  • GQL (read SQL for Google data store) is used which do not use joins, hence is the structure of Big Table (Google Technology to store data in database) but you can do all you would want to do with joins and also get the performance which SQL joins suck out of your applications.
  • User System is based only on Google Accounts, which means if someone needs to access a user specific feature, then he/she needs to authenticate with his/her google account.
  • Type of Content hosted/served is bounded by Terms of Service
  • Not all python libraries are supported, A full list can be found out here
So all get started mrgreen . Well not all, but those of you who can talk python razz. There has been demand in past that google provide hosting on its reliable and bleeding edge infrastructure, but this was not what we expected neutral.