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'[OT] Shared Workspace'
2004\09\13@112250 by Lawrence Lile

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Has anyone used any Shared Workspace system - that would easily allow remote users to work together without constantly emailing files to one another?

I am looking at a system called BSCW  for Basic Support for Cooperative Work

http://bscw.fit.fraunhofer.de/index.html

It purports to be free for projects under 10MB, which is a crippling limitation.  You can buy their software for your own server, which is like saying you can buy controls for their moon lander for all the good that does me, since I know absolutely nothing about servers.  How do other people handle remote projects?  

Currently I have done this through FTP:, which is not secure, has no way to "check out" files to prevent 2 file owners, and has a lot of other problems.  






-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com

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2004\09\13@114320 by Alex Harford

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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 10:18:05 -0500, Lawrence Lile <spam_OUTllileTakeThisOuTspamprojsolco.com> wrote:
> It purports to be free for projects under 10MB, which is a crippling limitation.  You can buy their software for your own server, which is like saying you can buy controls for their moon lander for all the good that does me, since I know absolutely nothing about servers.  How do other people handle remote projects?
>
> Currently I have done this through FTP:, which is not secure, has no way to "check out" files to prevent 2 file owners, and has a lot of other problems.

What kind of files are you dealing with?  If it's purely source code
control, look into a versioning system like CVS, Subversion, etc (but
please no MS SourceSafe).

If it's more complicated, what about having a VPN, and then using
Windows File Sharing (MS specific) or Samba (for Unix users)?

Alex
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2004\09\13@120537 by Bob Axtell

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This is a serious problem for us contractors that do business remotely.

The way I like best is to use open services, but ENCRYPT the actual
files, after sending the passcodes around by telephone. 7-ZIP (a free
program like WinZIP, but better) has an encryptor that actually works
properly and uses proper AES encryption. A better one is Silver Key;
it has an even better level of encryption and is only $20 USD.

An online Shared service that works well (it has a built-in secure Chat
Program) is cryptoheaven; I've used it on two different clients. The
client sets it up, pays according to how many users, but I believe with
3 users it was only $25 USD/month- VERY reasonable for the client.

The above is the good news. Now, the bad news: I did business in early
2002 with a client active in the Middle East (sells radio systems)
and something (US Homeland Security?) intercepted several msgs
containing SILVER KEY- ENCRYPTED messages, and held the
messages for varying times, from one week to 5 weeks, with the message
headers timedate-spoofed when finally forwarded. Alarmed both
myself and my client. Obviously, they were holding the messages until
their Cray system had cracked and read the contents. I now compromise
and ONLY sent encrypted files when moving CRITICAL client data, and when
I do, I send a tiny msg indicating that "if they will just CALL ME
with a proper credential, I'll GIVE them the password immediately so
please don't hold up my email". Its my opinion that security people are
collecting
a database of people who like to use encryption... Anyway, it works, and
the longest any encrypted message was held was approx 8 hrs thereafter.

Hope this helps

--Bob

Lawrence Lile wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\13@124825 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 13, 2004, at 8:18 AM, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> Has anyone used any Shared Workspace system - that would easily allow
> remote
> users to work together without constantly emailing files to one
> another?
>
> I am looking at a system called BSCW for Basic Support for Cooperative
> Work
> It purports to be free for projects under 10MB

How about Apple's "iDisk" service (part of .mac)  Of course, this is
aimed
at Mac users, but there is a windows utility as well.

BillW

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2004\09\13@131020 by Peter Johansson

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Lawrence Lile writes:

> Has anyone used any Shared Workspace system - that would easily
> allow remote users to work together without constantly emailing
> files to one another?

Would something like CVS (http://www.gnu.org/software/cvs/) work for
you?  I've been using it for many years and found it to work great for
milti-user projects.  The core is Unix command-line based, but there
are both Windows and web interfaces available that are layered on top
of the command line core.  The first of these Google pulls up is
http://www.wincvs.org/ which might be worth looking into.

This is a very popular system, the user base is HUGE, and there are a
large number of adjunct tools most of which are free.

-p.
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2004\09\13@134949 by Alex Harford

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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 13:10:19 -0400, Peter Johansson <peterspamKILLspamelemental.org> wrote:
> Lawrence Lile writes:
>
> > Has anyone used any Shared Workspace system - that would easily
> > allow remote users to work together without constantly emailing
> > files to one another?
>
> Would something like CVS (http://www.gnu.org/software/cvs/) work for
> you?

Peter's email reminded me that I should mention that cvs can work over
SSH tunnels quite nicely.

Alex
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2004\09\13@160150 by D. Jay Newman

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> > Would something like CVS (http://www.gnu.org/software/cvs/) work for
> > you?
>
> Peter's email reminded me that I should mention that cvs can work over
> SSH tunnels quite nicely.

I've been using CVS over ssh, however newer projects in my unit are using
Subversion (SVN) (http://subversion.tigris.org/) which is very similar
and also open source. I've been told it is much better than CVS.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
.....jayKILLspamspam.....sprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
http://enerd.ws/robots/ !
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2004\09\13@163133 by Randy Glenn

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TortoiseCVS - don't know the URL offhand, but a quick Google search
should turn it up - is a CVS client I've used in the past that works
FAR better than WinCVS IMHO. It integrates with Explorer, and thus can
be accessed from most any standard Open / Save dialog.


On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 13:10:19 -0400, Peter Johansson <EraseMEpeterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTelemental.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
-Randy Glenn
Computer Eng. and Mgt. Year IV, McMaster University
Chair, McMaster IEEE Student Branch

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2004\09\13@164951 by Lawrence Lile

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Now, I thought CVS was just a version control system..

The kinds of files we are sharing include Code, PDFs, autocad drawings, excel files, word files,  pretty much the works.  A good sized project will contain 220 megabytes.




-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com
573-443-7100 ext 221

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\13@170204 by cisco J. A. Ares

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Subversion does this, any kind of file (AFAIK - I'm trying to setup a
server to try subversion also)

Francisco


Lawrence Lile wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>>{Original Message removed}

2004\09\13@170930 by Alex Harford

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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 15:45:14 -0500, Lawrence Lile <llilespamspam_OUTprojsolco.com> wrote:
> Now, I thought CVS was just a version control system..
>
> The kinds of files we are sharing include Code, PDFs, autocad drawings, excel files, word files,  pretty much the works.  A good sized project will contain 220 megabytes.

CVS can handle any type of file, but it will only be intelligent about
changes in text files, ie you can't have two people updating a word
.doc file at the same time.  But it is able to store binary files just
fine.

Alex
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2004\09\13@175438 by Lawrence Lile

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This sounds interesting.  Where are the projects actually stored - on some server somewhere?  Can one install this without knowing much about how servers tick?



-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\13@183916 by Nate Duehr

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Lawrence Lile wrote:

>Now, I thought CVS was just a version control system..
>
>The kinds of files we are sharing include Code, PDFs, autocad drawings, excel files, word files,  pretty much the works.  A good sized project will contain 220 megabytes.
>  
>
It is, but it has a built in network server that anyone can connect to
with the proper credentials and retrieve files at will... so basically
it's also a shared filesystem.

The built in network server is completely unencrytped and insecure, but
it's used a lot still for so-called "anonymous CVS" where really the
anonymous CVS user is allowed to read various public portions of the tree.

Most folks use ssh to encrypt a tunnel to their CVS servers these days
if they're working on stuff remotely, and this works well.

Another tactic is to install one of the various web-to-cvs applications
on an apache server that can also "see" the CVS server and let the
webserver handle the authentication chores, possibly using https instead
of http for the transport.

I think if I were a really small shop and had at least one static IP
address, or a really solid connection and a dynamic DNS service, I would
forego the whole CVS thing (unless I had multiple people checking in
code and needed the source repository abilities) and load up an old PC
with something like IPCop and get the PPTP VPN stuff working -- so that
any client with a Windows machine could simply connect to my VPN and
then pull things from a fileshare.

The only difficulty there would be keeping the various customers out of
each other's directories on the shared filesystem... but that would be
easily fixed with the right authentication setup either on Windows or on
a Linux box running Samba.

Basically all you'd have to do is send them a pre-written up document
that would have some screenshots on how to use the built in "New Network
Connection" wizard in XP or whatever Windows flavors you wanted to
support to connect to your already-existing VPN.  IPCop's free, and
could also act as your firewall for anything else you're doing,
including NAT for all your other machines and a DMZ for any other pubic
servers like your webserver, etc...

--
Nate Duehr, @spam@nateKILLspamspamnatetech.com
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2004\09\13@205010 by T.C. Phelps

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I remember Jack Ganssle saying (in "The Art of
Designing Embedded Systems") to check your development
tools into CVS as well as code, documentation, etc so
that you would always be able to fix or update code --
even years later. That point was driven home when I
tried to recompile some of my old mid-90s era graphics
code in Visual C++. Literally hundreds of compile
errors, and my Borland C++ 3.0 disks (which I used to
write it in the first place) didn't work anymore.
Guess the only problem with this is that having a full
set of the development tools on CVS might cause a few
problems with copyrights...

- Todd.

--- Lawrence Lile <KILLspamllileKILLspamspamprojsolco.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2004\09\13@224348 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 13, 2004, at 5:50 PM, T.C. Phelps wrote:

> I remember Jack Ganssle saying (in "The Art of
> Designing Embedded Systems") to check your development
> tools into CVS as well as code, documentation, etc so
> that you would always be able to fix or update code --
> even years later.

Yes, that's certainly a good idea.  Also be careful to update your
media.  A perfectly fine backup on 8 inch floppies just isn't as
useful as it used to be (or DECTape, or 9-track 1/2 inch tape.  Sigh.)
Every time I've upgraded a computer, the entire hard disk contents of
the old computer has fit into a small fraction of the new computer's
diskspace, so this isn't as bad as you might think.


> Guess the only problem with this is that having a full
> set of the development tools on CVS might cause a few
> problems with copyrights...

They don't have to be in the same place, or have the same availability,
as the project source code itself.  You can also get around the
requirement
by making sure that your old code works with each new toolset.

And re-writing for a new tool set isn't always a bad idea.  I have some
mid-80s C code.  It still compiles, although it generates lots of
warnings.
Some of those warnings are real bugs!  And looking through the source, I
find that standards of "goodness" for C code (both personal and
societal)
have changed quite a bit.  UGLY stuff is there!

BillW

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2004\09\13@225006 by hilip Stortz

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that depends on who you talk to.  under the fair use doctrine you would
be allowed to have as many copies as you wanted as long as you never ran
more than one copy at a time and had the original media somewhere.  of
course the software companies feel differently, or at lest their lawyers
do.  i'm not aware of it being enforced any where though i suspect
they've tried and occasionally won (that's the wonderful thing about the
court system, sometimes something is wrong sometimes it isn't for no
apparent reason).  any one know of any law relating to binding some one
to a contract just because they open an envelope they don't even sign? how about their employees who are just handed the disk to reinstall and
haven't seen the envelope?  it's one of those areas where a clear law
would be nice, but i suspect that corporate lawyers are aware of the
fact they will make more money if it stays unresolved or at least some
what unresolved.  it certainly doesn't violate the spirit of the copy
right laws.

"T.C. Phelps" wrote:
> -------.
> Guess the only problem with this is that having a full
> set of the development tools on CVS might cause a few
> problems with copyrights...
------------

-- Philip Stortz--"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a
Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (German Lutheran Pastor), on the Nazi
Holocaust, Congressional Record 14th October 1968 p31636.

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2004\09\14@013244 by Peter Johansson

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William Chops Westfield writes:

> Yes, that's certainly a good idea.  Also be careful to update your
> media.  A perfectly fine backup on 8 inch floppies just isn't as
> useful as it used to be


Funny you should mention that -- one of my PIC projects is to
interface an Apple Disk ][ drive directly to high-speed serial port.
I have a *lot* of disks that I want to archive before the media goes
completely belly-up and I'll need direct access for maximum error
recovery.  That, and speed -- disks that are still sound should be
read in about 17 seconds.  Then I'll burn them all onto cdrom and an
SD card, so I can carry the complete archive arround for use in an
emulator on my Palm.  ;-)

-p.
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2004\09\14@030456 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Every time I've upgraded a computer, the entire hard disk contents of
> the old computer has fit into a small fraction of the new computer's
> diskspace, so this isn't as bad as you might think.

I do the same. In a small corner of my HD is a copy of a copy of a copy
of my first HD :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


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2004\09\14@062948 by Howard Winter

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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 20:51:57 -0600, Philip Stortz wrote:

>  any one know of any law relating to binding some one
> to a contract just because they open an envelope they
don't even sign?

Under English law, it would not be a valid contract, for
a whole series of reasons, one of which being the fact
that it hasn't been "executed" - opening an envelope
certainly does not execute a contract.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\14@150439 by Peter L. Peres

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On Tue, 14 Sep 2004, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Every time I've upgraded a computer, the entire hard disk contents of
>> the old computer has fit into a small fraction of the new computer's
>> diskspace, so this isn't as bad as you might think.
>
> I do the same. In a small corner of my HD is a copy of a copy of a copy
> of my first HD :)

I'm at the point where the previous windows installation contains the
previous previous windows installation which contains the previous
previous previous dos installation and that in turn contains some stuff
that was written on a pc xt and transferred by 3.5" diskettes. And I have
two cp/m floppies somewhere which cannot be read. All this lives in a
unmounted partition under linux or whatever I'm running now. And I lost a
lot of stuff in previous crashes and system changes, when media was not so
easy to copy.

Peter
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