Copy on Linux: A Howto August 12, 2013

The world of cloud storage has a new player: Copy from Barracuda Networks. Copy works on a similar premise to DropBox, but at the time of this writing, they’re offering 15GB of space for free versus DropBox’s 2GB, and handing out 5GB upgrades for referring new users to the service. I’m not going to give a review of the service. You can read all about it on their website, and if you use this link to sign up, you’ll help me get more space.  Here’s the link:

I signed up and installed the app on my Windows 7 laptop, and then downloaded the Linux client and followed their instructions for installing it on my netbook running Ubuntu.  This is where things started to go wrong.  I could put files into the Copy folder on Windows and they would sync to the cloud, but they didn’t sync to the Linux netbook.  The same thing happened to files I put into the Copy folder on the netbook:  They would sync to the cloud but not to my laptop.  The whole time both machines showed that all files were up to date.

I started digging around for an answer and found it on the support forums for Copy.  The Linux app comes with 3 executable files: a GUI app, a command-line app, and another command-line app for controlling various aspects of the service.  Since the GUI app doesn’t seem to work correctly I thought I’d follow the instructions for setting up the command-line app.  With the answers I found I was able to get the command-line app running automatically at boot and syncing all the files added from either machine.  The only downside is there isn’t a nice Copy icon on the menu bar to show me whether everything is synced or not.

To get everything up and running on Linux (even on a headless box) do the following:

cd ~
tar zxf Copy.tgz
rm Copy.tgz
mv copy .copy
mkdir Copy
cd .copy/x86 # if you're using 64-bit change x86 to x86_64
cp * ..
cd ..
./CopyConsole -username=ACCOUNT@EMAIL.COM -root=/home/USERNAME/Copy
# You can quit once you authenticate successfully

Now that you’ve gotten copy to run, the next step is to make it start automatically when the computer boots up.  To do that you’ll need to set up an init script for Copy so that it will start up with the rest of the daemons running on the machine.  Paste the following code into /etc/init.d/copyconsole

# CopyConsole (Copy cloud storage by Barracuda) service

COPY_USERS="user1 user2"


start() {
echo "Starting CopyConsole..."
for ccuser in $COPY_USERS; do
HOMEDIR=`getent passwd $ccuser | cut -d: -f6`
if [ -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON ]; then
HOME="$HOMEDIR" start-stop-daemon -b -o -c $ccuser -S -u $ccuser -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON -- -daemon

stop() {
echo "Stopping CopyConsole..."
for ccuser in $COPY_USERS; do
HOMEDIR=`getent passwd $ccuser | cut -d: -f6`
if [ -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON ]; then
start-stop-daemon -o -c $ccuser -K -u $ccuser -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON

status() {
for ccuser in $COPY_USERS; do
dbpid=`pgrep -u $ccuser CopyConsole`
if [ -z $dbpid ] ; then
echo "CopyConsole for USER $USER: not running."
echo "CopyConsole for USER $USER: running (pid $dbpid)"

case "$1" in

echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/copyconsole {start|stop|reload|force-reload|restart|status}"
exit 1


exit 0

Now you’ll need to make the script executable and add it to the system startup:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/copyconsole
sudo update-rc.d copyconsole defaults

At this point you’re finished and you can start and stop the daemon just as you would any other daemon running on the system, and it will start up automatically whenever you boot up the system.

This howto has been created based on 3 different howtos:  — downloading and initial install  — This helped me get going on the init script — final init script is a modified version of the one DropBox uses for running on a headless Linux system.


On a semi-related note, I also installed the Android app on my phone with the promise that it would sync any photos I take the same way the DropBox app does, but so far that hasn’t proved to be true.  At this point the only explanation other than the app being broken is that the DropBox and Copy apps are conflicting with each other for upload capabilities.


UPDATE – 9/5/2013:

I have discovered 2 things while running Copy.

  1. The Android app only seems to sync photos that are taken with the phone and stored on the phone’s internal memory, while the default location for photos taken on my phone is the SD card.  I discovered this when I accidentally snapped a photo with the Instagram app, which refuses to use the SD card for storage, for original or tweaked photos.  I only use the Instagram app for processing photos I’ve already taken, and Copy doesn’t sync those photos, so that feature is pretty much useless to me.
  2. The CopyConsole command was eating up all my CPU time on the Linux server, so I stopped running it for a while.  When I tried running it again it wouldn’t run, and when I tried starting it manually, I got this error: “The open file ulimit level is too low, please increase it otherwise changes will not be detected properly”  I found the fixes for the CPU usage and ulimit errors on the support forums, and have changed the init script in this post to reflect the CPU usage fix.  Strangely enough, this hasn’t been an issue on my Linux netbook, just on my file server.
3 Comments on Copy on Linux: A Howto

World Backup Day – Taking It A Step Farther March 31, 2013

Now that we’ve covered backing up all of your digital photos, what about all those old prints, slides, and negatives you’ve got piled up in boxes down in the basement?  If you’re like me and come from a long line of shutterbugs, you may have hundreds of thousands of old photos that haven’t seen the light of day in a decade or five.  How are you going to protect them from being lost if something ever happens to your home?  How will you protect all the other important documents you have stashed away in various places around the house?

The simple answer is to scan them.  In the case of legal documents, you most likely won’t be able to use a scanned copy in place of the original, but it will at least help to provide the information needed to obtain a certified copy if the original is destroyed, and serve as a reference when you need information off of it but don’t want to dig through the pile of papers in your fireproof safe.  As for the other documents and photos, a scanned copy can pretty easily replace the original.  If you’re just scanning documents, any scanner that can scan at 300 dpi or better and is big enough to hold the documents will work.

For scanning photos, there are a couple of different routes you can take.  The easiest route for scanning your photos is to send them off to a photo scanning service, such as Scan Cafe.  Since you’re paying someone else to do the work, this is the more expensive option, but it includes professional scanning and color correction on all the slides you send in.

The other route is to purchase your own photo scanner and do the scanning yourself.  The upside is that if you have a lot of old photos to scan you’ll spend significantly less money.  The downside is that to get the best digital photos out of your old slides and negatives, you’ll spend a lot of time scanning at high resolution and then color correcting with photo editing software.  The other downside is that even the smallest specks of dust and tiniest hairs and fibers will show up in the scanned photo and will require editing software to remove from the digital image.

In dealing with bringing the massive library of photos my grandfather shot over his lifetime, my dad and I considered using a scanning service, but in the end my dad decided to purchase a photo scanner and do the scanning at home.  My dad went with an Epson scanner that had very good reviews for scanning slides and negatives.  The scanner will scan up to four slides at a time, which takes anywhere from ten to twenty minutes.  Then I run each photo through Adobe Photoshop Elements to remove dust spots and do color correction to make thirty-plus year old photos look brand new again.  It’s a long and tedious process, but I’ve found it fascinating to see what my grandfather found interesting in his travels.

If I ever find myself independently wealthy I’ll send off the thousands of slides and negatives I’ve got backlogged to scan off to the professionals to scan, but right now a lot of patience and a meticulous attention to detail are yielding acceptable quality results and protecting the photos from ever being lost.

In case you’re interested in what sort of quality you can get from scanning old slides at high resolutions, I set up a Flickr account to display all of my grandfather’s photos that my dad and I have scanned.

1 Comment on World Backup Day – Taking It A Step Farther
Categories: Data Retention

World Backup Day

Most of the world knows that today is Easter Sunday, but a lot fewer people know that today is also World Backup Day, a day set aside to make sure that all of your important files are backed up.  It’s a good day to review your backup system, and if you don’t have one, it’s a good day to set one up.

No Comments on World Backup Day
Categories: Data Retention

Baby Registries February 24, 2013

As you probably already know, Bailey and I are expecting our first child in a couple months.  We’re getting excited about welcoming our new addition to our family.  We’re also waiting to find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl until the child is born, so for now our child is just called Jellybean.

In preparing for our new arrival, and to help our friends and family know what items we will be needing for our child, Bailey set up baby registries at several different stores, but there really hasn’t been a good way for people to find all the items from all the registries without knowing which stores we’re registered at.  So I’ve written this post so I can provide links to each registry from one central location.  So, without further ado, here are the links to the registries.  Each link will open in a new window/tab, so you won’t lose your place on this page.



No Comments on Baby Registries
Categories: Family

Netbook Router July 1, 2012

Tux Wi-Fi

A while back, I had a brilliant idea: turn a netbook computer into a wireless router.  I thought it would work great for photo shoots, as we could use an Eye-Fi card to transfer photos in real-time to a computer for review.  Add a 4G adapter and we could have internet most anywhere we happen to travel, accessible via laptop computer or iPod Touch.

Before settling on using a netbook for this project, I considered a travel router, but every one I could find required an external power source, usually a standard 110 volt outlet, to operate.  I settled on the netbook idea because of the extensive abilities of the Linux operating system as well as the netbook’s ability to operate for long periods of time on battery power.

After posting about the project idea on Google+, a friend offered his Asus Eee PC 1008HA, which he had replaced with an Android-based tablet.  I gladly accepted the offer and immediately installed the latest desktop version of Ubuntu (11.10 at the time) on the little computer.  I also set up Samba and AFP sharing to allow usage of the 250GB hard drive as a network server when away from home.

I’ve set up Linux-based routers before, using desktop hardware to share an internet connection with a wired network, but setting up a wireless router was a new endeavor for me, and proved to be much more difficult to set up than I originally thought it would be.  I spent a lot of time searching and trying one tutorial after another, none of them working completely, until I finally had a friend help me with it.  He wasn’t able to get it working either, but his help gave me the push to search some more, as well as some ideas about what was causing it to not completely work.  That’s when I finally found my answer.

The answer I found was in this tutorial, and so far it seems to be working perfectly.  The tutorial uses HostAPD and ISC DHCP Server, which I had already been unsuccessfully using to power the router functions, so I cleared my configs for both and replaced them with the information I found in the tutorial.  Then I set about modifying the tutorial to fit my specific needs.

While my netbook router is currently only configured to use eth0 for the internet connection, I intend to eventually be able to use a 4G card for the internet connection, so I renamed the file created in Step 6 to iptables.rules.eth0 and modified my /etc/network/interfaces file to reflect that change.

The other big change from the tutorial is that I don’t always want the netbook to be acting as a router.  I also use the netbook as a regular computer from time to time, so I didn’t want the router config to load automatically at boot.  I solved this by preventing HostAPD and ISC DHCP Server from starting at boot and instead using a shell script to start them.  Here’s how I did that:

  1. I went through the /etc/rc.d directories and removed all references to hostapd and isc-dhcp-server
  2. In Step 7 of the original tutorial, I made 2 copies of my interfaces file before I changed anything: interfaces.netbook and interfaces.router.  When I rework the script to use other internet interfaces besides eth0 I’ll have to make additional copies of the interfaces.router file, but for now this will suffice for my needs.
  3. I learned along the way that Ubuntu’s Network Manager interferes with the router’s functionality, so I wrote a script to automate stopping Network Manager and starting up the router functionality.  This script also has the ability to stop the router functionality and restart Network Manager when the router is no longer needed.  You can download the script here.  Just copy that file to your /usr/local/bin directory and enable execution by doing chmod +x on it and it should be good to go.  You may need to modify it if your wireless interface is something other than wlan0.

If you follow the steps listed in the tutorial I found with the modifications I added, you should have a fully-functional travel/emergency router that can just as easily be used as a standard netbook when router functions aren’t required.

No Comments on Netbook Router

Krissi October 2, 2011

Last Sunday I had the pleasure to do a photoshoot with a model I’d never worked with before, but had been interested in working with since I saw her at a group photoshoot a year or two ago.  Her name is Krissi, and she and her husband John are two of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time.  Here are a few of my favorite shots of Krissi:

Krissi & Ish
Krissi & Ish


This one is my absolute favorite from the whole shoot:
Krissi & Ish

You can see the whole set of photos on Flickr.


No Comments on Krissi
Categories: Photos

Greaserama 2011 September 29, 2011

Back during Labor Day weekend, Bailey and I went out to Kowtown Kustoms Greaserama at the Boulevard Drive-in in Kansas City, Kansas.  Of course we took our cameras with us.

Turkey's Pinstriping
Cycling Cowboy
Hot Rod Coffin
The Fall Down Drunks
Undead Army
Hellbomb Betty

You can see the rest of the photos on Flickr.




No Comments on Greaserama 2011
Categories: Photos

B-Side Studios August 11, 2011

For a while now I’ve been wanting to do some music recording, but a few things have kept me from doing it.  Mostly it’s been because I’m not that great of a musician, and I have a hard time finding other musicians to come play with me to do the recording.  Tonight I finally decided that I was going to see how well I could lay down some tracks, so I took my laptop downstairs and hooked up all the audio gear I’d need to get my guitar into the computer.  Here are the results of that.  The first was recorded with my Squier Stratocaster, which is in desperate need of new strings, so the tone is positively terrible.  The other two were recorded with Bailey’s Fender Stratacoustic, which recently received a new set of strings, so they sound much better.

B-Side 1

B-Side 2

Amazing Grace

No Comments on B-Side Studios
Categories: Recordings

Little Rock Express June 22, 2011

A couple Fridays ago my dad and I went out to photograph the Little Rock Express as it made its return trip to Kansas City.  The train was running a few days ahead of schedule to stay ahead of flooding on the Missouri River on the next leg of the journey home.

We decided to start our chase in Garnett, KS, because it was far enough out to allow some good chase opportunities, but still close enough to KC that we didn’t have to get started too early to start the chase.  When we got to Garnett we found a caboose.

Pretty soon we heard the familiar whistle of the 844 as it approached town, so we got our cameras out and got this shot as the train passed by our location.
Passing Through Garnett

US 169 highway runs parallel to the tracks for a while this side of Garnett, so I was able to grab a few shots while my dad paced the train on the highway.  Here’s the best one.
Rolling Down The Line

Next stop was Osawatamie, KS, where the train stopped for some maintenance.  There were a few folks out waiting to see the train, but naturally a larger crowd assembled once the train showed up.


The road out of Osawatamie runs parallel to the tracks, so I was able to grab a few more moving shots out of the side of the car before we parted ways and the train got ahead of us.
Leaving Osawatamie

Leaving Osawatamie

The train got ahead of us and we didn’t see any chance of catching up with it along the route it was taking, so we hit the major highways and headed for Union Station in KC, the train’s final destination for the day.  I picked a spot up on a bridge over the tracks to grab a few shots of the train pulling in.
Pulling In to Union Station

Union Station

Here’s one last shot I took before calling it a day and heading home.
No. 844

No Comments on Little Rock Express
Categories: Photos

Pin-Up Photoshoot June 21, 2011

A few weeks ago, the KC Strobist Flickr group got together for a pin-up style photoshoot.  We only had one model show up, though the hair stylist did some modeling, so the few photographers who showed up didn’t overwhelm our poor model.  Here’s the shots I got.

Reporting For Duty

Keep Calm  & Carry On

No Comments on Pin-Up Photoshoot
Categories: Photos