Q: I have been waiting for this moment since I heard you talking about it. Can I get Photostovis now?
A: Yes, you actually can. There are still few things missing, but Photostovis is usable and you can get one now if you want. And do not worry, it updates automatically to the latest version, so you gain nothing by waiting. So if you want one, please contact me.
Q: Getting one now sounds nice, but what exactly is Photostovis?
A: Photostovis is a solution that allows you to keep your personal photos and videos at home, under your control. At the moment it comes in the form of a small device, or an even smaller device:
(the pen on top is just for size comparison)
Q: So I install the box at home. Then what?
A: Then you can connect to it, upload your photos and see them from a computer, tablet or phone.
When connecting from your home (local network) you will not need a password. Clicking the image below opens a connection to a real Photostovis device, so you can have the same type of experience as with your own server:
Photos will most likely load faster and have better quality when you connect to your own Photostovis from your own network. That is because the network speed will most likely be faster.
You will also be able to connect to your Photostovis from outside your home, if you want so, but you should protect it with a password. It works like this (username & password: demo):
Q: Is it for me? Why should I get and use Photostovis?
A: If you care about your privacy or you want to have full control over your own photos and videos, then yes, you should get and use Photostovis.
Q: Why should I care about my privacy?
A: In short, because having no privacy severely limits your behaviour. If you have 20 minutes to spare I highly recommend watching Glenn Greenwald TED talk "Why privacy matters" (subtitles in various languages available).
In particular, when it comes to our own photos and videos, I see two major reasons to care about privacy:
Q: I have seen such things before. What makes Photostovis special?
A: The user experience: Photostovis was designed to be fast and minimise the waiting time. In an ideal world with infinite bandwidth and computing power, a photo will be transferred instantly and rendering it will be instant. In the real world, things are not so. Most of the time when connecting from outside the local network, the bandwidth is the limiting factor, and an original photo would take tens of seconds to transfer. Photostovis measures the bandwidth and the average time you look at each photo and rescales each photo in real time so that it transfers faster. Thus, while you are watching the current photo, the next photo is transferring and the one after that is rescaled.
Q: What about security? I would expect Photostovis to have https.
A: https is coming around October 2015.
Q: Is the smaller Photostovis device a Raspberry Pi?
A: Yes it is. And now that you have asked, the bigger device is a Cubietruck.
Q: How much storage is available for each Photostovis device?
A: The smaller device (the Raspberry Pi) has a 64GB microSD card, so about 55GB would be available for your photos and videos. The bigger device has a hard-drive (2.5") inside, which can be up to 2TB. Most popular choices are 1TB and 2TB.
Q: Can I use an external hard-drive with Photostovis?
A: Yes, you can, but at the moment there is no built-in support for it. You will need to mount the hard-drive yourself, via ssh, and keep it mounted while Photostovis runs. Better support is coming towards the end of 2015.
Q: I already have the hardware, I would just need the Photostovis software. Can I have it, running on my own hardware?
A: It depends, but generally yes. Please contact me.
Q: I have another question that is not listed here.
A: Please send me an email or call me. My contact information below.