Friday, April 12, 2019

a project i have been working on

Personal data is always generated and stored somewhere, either on your devices, your external hard drive, a flash drive, or even a memory card that you have stored in a camera. This data can also be stored in the cloud so you can access it anywhere. These days, everyone uses their cell phone to take a picture. This picture is then stored on the phone and if you have enabled it, in the cloud as well. But what if one day, the cloud is unreachable, or if your account has been hijacked, or even if the cloud provider decides to stop operations?

A couple weeks ago, I decided to do a backup of all of my personal data. Locally, this is not an issue. But because Google Photos automatically backs up each picture taken to Google drive, I have to manually download every file in that folder and save those to my NAS. I ended up downloading about 27 zip files containing 55 GB of photos and videos for the past two years. The problem is is that extracting each of the zip files is time consuming, as I then have to move all the pictures to my NAS manually. I wondered if there was a better way to automate the process of downloading all of my Google photos to a hard drive. 

I came up with this idea to use an old raspberry pi board with a connected hard drive and use that as a NAS. I also installed rclone so it downloads any new photos that were uploaded from my phone.

I ended up soldering the USB to SATA bridge directly to the Pi to avoid any plugs sticking out, and to avoid anyone unplugging the drive. I thought it turned out pretty good.