An interesting development from Elesar, the makers of the Titanium board, is the recent release of CloudFS, a network filing system designed to enable RISC OS computers to access cloud-based storage in an easy-to-use way. It is based on OmniClient, which is included with RISC OS and enables networking with external file servers.
When running, the remote cloud-storage server appears on the left side of the RISC OS icon bar next to the Hard Drive and RAM icons. This allows for a user to double click on the icon and drag file in and from the remote server just as if you were interacting with a second hard-drive.
An interesting addition to this is CloudFS allows for the use of star commands so that filer operations can be carried out at the command line.
Cloud storage providers often provide client applications for mainstream operating systems such as Windows and OS X, but the majority of these focus on synchronising files you already have saved locally on your system with the cloud. CloudFS doesn’t do this, instead it’s essentially constantly on standby for you to drop in files from your local system onto your cloud storage location.
You could implement synchronisation to the cloud storage DirSync or SyncDiscs. Alternatively, if you have terminal access to a remote server you wish to synchronise with you could use Rsync, a command line tool available for RISC OS and Unix/Linux systems that allows for the synchronisation of directories and even entire drives between multiple systems (providing both systems run Rsync).
pCloud’s price plans at the moment are reasonable. 10GB of space is provided free of charge, you can increase that 20GB by inviting others to sign up for the services. Larger plans are available for a monthly fee, this includes 500GB and TB storage space.
CloudFS doesn’t include any encryption options itself, but that doesn’t mean using it will mean your data is unsecure. The traffic being sent from your RISC OS machine using CloudFS to the remote cloud storage server can be encrypted providing the cloud service provider you’re connecting to offers SSL/TLS – this is true in pCloud’s case. The files won’t be encrypted on CloudFS’ servers, this is available as an upgrade option through their Crypto service but it won’t be compatible with RISC OS as it requires their software to be installed on the client machine. Nothing is stopping you from encrypting your files on RISC OS before sending to the cloud however – gpg would be good for this.
Launched as a commercial product, CloudFS is priced at £28.80 including VAT, plus postage. The option to sign up for a free 10GB pCloud account is available at checkout on Elesar’s website. It is compatible with any computer running RISC OS 3.70 – version 5+ of the Internet module is required.