Roll your own secure Dropbox alternative

Dropbox is a great software that I have been using for almost 10 years. It has helped me a lot during university, sharing project files, backing up my thesis and much more. It is a great service, but it also comes with a lot of problems regarding security and transparency (I will not get in-depth here). You can check for example, this article, or this one (there are many more if you look for it).

With this security issue in my mind, I decided to roll my own Dropbox-like service. The main difference is that I will know where all files are and that I am the only one with access to the unencrypted files. After building my own simple infrastructure, I decided to write a quick tutorial showing my solution and how you can create your own! Let’s get started…

The main software that we are going to use is called Resilio Sync (previously BitTorrent Sync). It takes care of all the syncronization between computer, mobile and server, just like Dropbox.

Continue reading

Automating screenshot sharing on Windows

One thing that I really liked about mac was how easy it was to generate a screenshot from my screen and share with people. Now that I am pretty much a full-time windows user (besides all the time I spend on a Linux terminal), I needed to find an easy and fast way to share screenshots. And that is where Greenshot comes in handy!

The plan:
A keyboard shortcut to select a region of my screen, automatically generate the image, upload it to my server on a specific FTP folder (can also be done with rsync) and copy the shareable URL to the clipboard.

Step 1: Download Greenshot at and install it.

Step 2: Download and install NCFTP from (NcFTP Client 3.2.6 for Microsoft Windows). After installing it, the ncftp executable files are going to reside on C:\Windows

Step 3: Create a .bat file with the automating code below (changing yourdomain, ftp user and password).

Step 4: Configure greenshot:

Change the path where you save your screenshots on your computer, but the important thing is to change the “Filename pattern” to:


and uncheck “Copy file path to clipboard every time an image is saved“, this part is important!

Go to Plugins tab, click in “External command Plugin” and “Configure“.

Create a name for your automation. On command, link to the .bat file you created and make sure the “Argument” is


Done, now whenever you take a screenshot, it will automatically upload to your server and copy the URL to the clipboard automatically, making it super fast and easy to share anything on your screen 🙂

Mounting a Filesystem via SSH on OSX Mavericks

fuse SSH’ing to a server and doing all the configuration through terminal is easy and very fast, but when you want to edit files and set a remote development environment on your local machine, mounting a remote filesystem over ssh and editing them as the files were in your computer is the way to go.

Right now I’m using the just released OSX Mavericks (OSX 10.9), so for mounting a remote system you will need to do some tricks and tweaks to have it working. I will try to explain step-by-step on how to do it.

Continue reading

BarTop Mame Cabinet (under dev)

Who hasn’t spend a lot of money and time on arcades during childhood? What about build one and play all those games again?

Mame Cabinet

Browsing the web I found that a lot of people are building their own machines, building over a pc running a MAME emulator with a cool front-end. If you google images for ‘arcade cabinet‘ you will be amazed by what people are doing!!

I decided then to build my own, trying to use as much used stuff as possible, like a old computer, old screen and two usb game controllers that were broken but with the electronics hardware in perfect conditions. The cabinet will stay on the hackerspace from my town, TARRAFA HACKERSPACE, so we can set some championships, it will be fun for sure!!!

On this post, I will be giving updates on the progress (not much will be done during university semester, I hope to finish this project on holidays).

Continue reading

Incremental Backups using RSYNC and SSH

I was studying last semester in Politecnico di Milano, a great university in Milan, Italy. Anyway, I am taking lots and lots of pictures here (Italy is a beautiful country).

I am saving my pictures on my computer, but WHAT IF something goes wrong with my computer?
So what I am doing is backing up my pictures (also other things as work files) to my NAS SERVER in Brazil during the night, using RSYNC via SSH (Of course it’s an incremental backup, as I have more then 300GB of photos).

On my server I don’t run SSH on the regular port 22. I use, for example the port 223.

rsync -av --update --delete -e 'ssh -p 223' /Users/dansku/MyDocs/Fotografias 
[email protected]:/home/daniel/SERVER/Backups/

Where /Users/dansku/MyDocs/Fotografias is the local dir, and /daniel/SERVER/Backups is the remote dir.

This way, even if my computer is stolen, I know my data is backed up!


Back in 2003, I used to connect my computer on the my old 32′ TV, those huge and heavy TVs, to watch stuff from the internet, at that time, eMule was ruling the p2p community (can’t talk about USENET right? :} ). Then in 2008 I decided to build a better HTPC (Home Theater PC), a full dedicated computer connected to my TV, with good MotherBoard/VGA/SoundBoard, well, a good computer, with gaming capacities. It was good while it lasted, but you know, it was huge black box below my TV, bit noisy, but it did the job.

Continue reading