Thursday, 27 October 2011

Google+ Is Finally Available For Google Apps Users

Hi guys,

If any of you are like me then you use Google Apps, those of you that aren't on it then let me give you a bit on information about Google Apps. Google Apps comes in 2 versions, standard and premium this is basically a customised gmail environment that allows you to have your own domain (e.g. The company I work for actually use google apps for their business and it's very good.

The standard version allows you to have up to 10 mailboxes for free with 8GB of storage each and the paid for premium version gives you 25GB of storage per mailbox and is not limited to the number of users you can have. This costs $33 per year per mailbox. You also get a tool that allows you to sync you mail contacts and calendars seamlessly to outlook with the premium version so it works like exchange. You can also share contacts and calendars etc...

You can find out more at

Anyway, I am sure you are all aware of Google+. This is basically Googles version of Facebook. It's still in its infancy but has over 50 million users worldwide. Unfortunately, until today, none of those users where google apps user but now this feature can be turned on in google apps. To do this first of all log on to your google apps control panel and go to Organisation & Users then click on the services button. From there scroll down until you see the Google+ icon which should be set to off by default. Turn it to on and hey presto! You have Google+ for your domain. You can log in to google plus by going to

I hope you enjoy Google+ and Google Apps :)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ubuntu One Has Come to Windows

For those of you that don't know, Ubuntu One is a tool that syncs your files and folders to the Ubuntu Cloud so they can by seamlessly synced between computers & mobile devices. I'm sure you've all heard of Dropbox, well, this is basically Ubuntu's take on Dropbox.

Ubuntu One seamlessly integrates with Ubuntu but now a Windows version of the application has been released that will allow Windows users to take advantage of the 5GB of free space that Ubuntu offer with every One account. You can also by extra storage in 20GB increments.

The beta version of the Windows application has been about for a while now, I used to use Ubuntu One but I have since switched to Dropbox. Too see why take a look at my blog post HERE.

If you want to know more or even register for a free Ubuntu One account and claim your 5GB of storage then head on over to

Ubuntu One or Dropbox?

Ubuntu One, Dropbox, Sugarsync, Windows Live Mesh, Wuala ect etc etc. The list of cloud storage providers is extensive but by far the 2 biggest names in the Linux world for cloud file syncing are Dropbox & Ubuntu One. In this article I will explain the advantages and disadvantages to each of these services and explain some of the reasons why I use one over the other. So then, let's get started...

When I first started using Ubuntu around 2 years ago, I was a dropbox user. I had a free 2GB account and used it to sync all my work files between multiple computers (my personal files tend to be on Google Docs). So finding out that Dropbox also had a Linux version was brilliant for me!

Being the geek that I am, I started playing around with Ubuntu a lot and soon found this thing called 'Ubuntu One'. It worked brilliantly with Ubuntu and means I could sync any file from any location on my hard drive using the Ubuntu One (UO) integrated application. Unfortunately Dropbox (DB) didn't have this functionality, I could only sync the specific DB folder. So, I moved over.

One day I accidentally deleted an important folder from my Documents folder in Ubuntu. I thought to myself, "no worries, Ill just hop on the the UO site and recover my folder". BIG MISTAKE! DB offers the functionality of being both a file sync and backup tool. So if you delete a folder or make a change to it that you didn't want, you can go onto the DB website and recover previous versions of files or restore deleted ones...UO doesn't have this functionality! Lucky for me I always keep a local backup as well, just in case so I was able to get my folder back.

Straight after this I moved back to DB and I now have a 50GB paid for account and sync all of my music, pictures & documents to it (whilst still keeping my local backup of course). Ok then, what actually are the advantages and disadvantages of UO & DB? Let's find out...

I've used both services so I think I am in a good position to blog about them.....

As you can see, both have there good and bad points, the main ones being that UO is cheaper but DB offers backup functionality. In my opinion, the extra money is a very small price to pay for the extra protection of the backup system on DB so that's why I use DB over UO. Many people use and love UO and if they ever implement backup tools then I will definitely consider switching back but for the time being, for me, it has to be dropbox.

EDIT - 13th May 2012
It's been a while since I wrote this article and in that time other alternatives have popped up (Google Drive for instance), Ubuntu One has also matured - a lot. So I wanted to update you guys with my more current opinion as it has changed.

With Ubuntu One (U1) maturing in the way that it has, both on Windows and on Ubuntu, coupled with the fact that it is cheaper and integrates with both Windows and Ubuntu better than Dropbox does (you can sync any folder in U1, whereas you can only sync the 'Dropbox' folder in Dropbox) I have actually migrated over to U1 and have been a very happy user for around 3 months now.

The 25GB (you get 5GB for free) of storage I get with U1 is enough for me as I actually only sync around 70% of that. I also upgraded my account to the music streaming account, with this you get 20GB of storage and the ability to stream all of the music in your account from their website or on your mobile device so you can have your music collection anywhere...all for $39.99/year (or $3.99/month).

There is one caveat to using U1 over Dropbox though - there are NO backups. U1 will of course sync all of your files between computers and if you delete a file/folder off computer A, it won't completely remove it of computer B, it will put any deleted items in the recycle bin once the sync finishes. So accidentally deleted files can easily be recovered. With the lack of a backup system this also means that there is no versioning so you can't revert your files back to earlier versions. If you do want to use U1, I would recommend a secondary, manual backup every now and then. I personally do this once a week to a 1TB USB hard drive.

So in summary, for me, U1 is cheaper, better integrated and provides more services than Dropbox, the lack of versioning and ability to restore files in the same way as Dropbox is a small price to pay. For me, it's U1 every single time. Thanks guys :)