Dropbox offers a simple solution to backup some files outside of your computer. It even offers the possibility to synchronize between different computers and the Dropbox server. The tool is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Your documents are saved encrypted. Documents in the public folder can also be made available to others by sending them the public URL. Additionally you can share documents within your account with other dropbox users. Dropbox offers you 2GB of free space. Additionally there are different payed packages to increase your space. When you register via my Dropbox link you get an additional 250 MB for your account (and so do I).
Virtualbox is a nice little program. It allows you to use from within your main operating system (for me this would be Ubuntu) other operating systems (like Windows, Mac OS, etc.).
My notebook Fujitus-Siemens Amilo si1520 came with a Windows Vista Home Premium licence. I hardly use it. Most programs I need run under Ubuntu (or I could a decent equivalent). So I hardly boot Windows, but it is still occupying 20 Gigabyte of my hard disk. I have hardly anything installed so I am wondering why it needs 20 Gigabyte, but this is an other story, I guess.
However, I had installed Virtualbox installed quite a while ago, but I did not really get how to install Windows (I tried to use my dualboot windows, which did not work).
No I thought I'd give it another try. So I took my Vista recovery DVD and installed it within Virtualbox. The process was quite straight forward. I had to create a virtual hard disk first, then could install Vista and it runs. With the older version from the Ubuntu repositories I had some trouble with the network. I found the blog of Jan Beier, who had similar problems with using the network in Virtualbox. He gave me the tip to install the newest version from the Virtualbox website. And now it works smoothly. However, the network seems pretty slow to me. I will see if I will find a fix for that too.
I might soon be able to format the partition on my hard disk where Windows Vista is installed and free some 20GB of space. Nice!
Tine 2.0 is project that derived from Egroupware, an open source groupware package based on PHP and MySQL. While Egroupware looks good and is already used in many projects, the Tine 2.0 development looks very promising.
You can see an early demo of Tine 2.0 on the website. What makes Tine 2.0 especially attraktive is the nice user interface. While it could still be improved in some aspects, it looks better than any other GUI of any other project in this direction I have seen so far.
The guys of the Tine 2.0 team seem to have made their homework as well. Whenever something occures to me that could be implemented, they probably have already thought about it and it is documented somewhere on the website.
Tine not only is a pure groupware application, but it also brings things like CRM and simple ERP into the software. I think it makes a lot of sense to include those things into the application because they share important data like addresses, contacts, communications, dates, etc.
Applications planned for Tine 2.0:
- Group Address Book (already in the demo)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (already in the demo)
- Task Manager (already in the demo)
- Integration of ip telephony (connection with asterisks telephone server)
- Offline support via something like Google Gears, Adobe Air, etc.
- PDF export
Especially the offline support can be the "killer feature" over other web based groupware/crm tools. Because while your on the road it can be nesessary to access addresses, the record of a client/lead, etc. This is where desktop applications are better than a web based approach. But with offline features like the one's already available for Google Docs or Reader this problem of a web based approach can be overcome.
I am really looking forward to the first beta which should be available in September.