Driving DropBox – Linking External Directories in Windows

To get Dropbox to sync folders OUTSIDE of your [Drive:\ProgramPath]\My Dropbox\ directory, we need to use a symbolic link, something easily done in Linux*, but requiring a little more effort in Windows (though it is still a supported function).

dropboxI’ve been using Dropbox in it’s intended form for a while now - but recently, with the threat of a software rebuild of my company supplied laptop looming, I decided it was about time I had some of my other data synced via “The Cloud” (IT bloggers apparently get points every time they use the phrase “The Cloud” – ooh, 2 points in this article so far! 😉 )

After a little bit of searching, I discovered that no one has written a windows based guide for this process (okay, not one that was easy to find) so – here’s mine… (Google Juice – do your stuff!)

The Guide:

To get Dropbox to sync folders OUTSIDE of your [Drive:\ProgramPath]\My Dropbox\ directory, we need to use a symbolic link, something easily done in Linux*, but requiring a little more effort in Windows (though it is still a supported function).

  1. First up, lets grab the Windows Junction creator from here**
  2. Unzip the Junction.exe file and dropped it somewhere useful
  3. Open up a command window from Windows (Start, Run, CMD)
  4. Enter in the Junction command followed by the pointer link (your ‘fake’ directory path) then the  path to the directory you want linked into DropBox.

For me, the command looks a little like this:

D:\Robs Docs\My Dropbox>"D:\Program Files\junction.exe" -s "D:\Robs Docs\My Dropbox\Work-Firefox" "D:\Robs Docs\Rob-Firefox-Profile"

If the stars align and you’re wearing your lucky pants, you’ll see an output that looks like this:

Junction v1.05 - Windows junction creator and reparse point viewer
Copyright (C) 2000-2007 Mark Russinovich
Systems Internals - http://www.sysinternals.com
Created: D:\Robs Docs\My Dropbox\Work-Firefox
Targetted at: D:\Robs Docs\Rob-Firefox-Profile

That’s it – you’re done!

If you want to know how to move YOUR Firefox profile to a different location on your local machine like I have, check this link.

* In Linux, the command is:

ln -s /home/[MyUsername]/[OriginalDirectory] [Target]

Apparently, this command needs to be run FROM your DropBox directory, so be sure to cd /home/yourusername/Dropbox first!. Check this great article for more from a Linux HOWTO perspective. 

** You can also use the mklink command which has a slightly different syntax. If you’re using Windows XP (like most Corporates, still) you’ll need Junction as per my example.

Tanking Twimailer (and Trying Topify)

Dump TruckYesterday Alain E. posted the following comment on my Twimailer article

It is like Topify.com before less interesting. And in addition their twitter account is not even working. I personnally tried both and prefer Topify (first because their have a much nicer site) because their emails are better and allow follow back right from the message. In addition, I had too many down time with twimailer…

To be honest, I’ve not had any issues with the [Twimailer] service to date, but this comment sparked my interest – which peaked when I read this article on Read Write Web. It appears that Twimailer has been sold (for a somewhat paltry sum) to an unknown, who is in turn trying to flick off the service to another buyer less than a week after acquiring it.

As a result of this article, I have gone into my Twitter settings, changed my email back to the one used prior to the Twimailer service AND changed my password. I’d suggest that others do the same.

It may seem a little reactionary, but as I use my identity not only for my private tweets but also in support of my work, the potential threat of hijack is too high a price to pay for continued support for a service which has failed to inform its network of some pretty key changes in it’s organisation. Sorry Twimailer, it’s over between us, I’m moving on – and trying Topify

So my thanks once again to Alain for peaking my interest, and to the guys at RWW for keeping across these technologies – these are the reasons that you get my subscriptions to your Twitter and RSS feeds.

Photo Credit: USFarmer / Redman

Security Companies on Twitter

twittercathakzSince moving from the R&D field into the amorphous world of IT security, I’ve been trawling the web to find good resources to add to my list of feeds and help me learn more about what we do as a collective, and how those stories are sold to the non-security folk.

It was with some interest that I clicked the  link IT security vendors worth following on Twitter when today’s Network World security email arrived in my inbox. The article itself makes for some interesting reading, as does the Ãœber list of IT and Network companies using Twitter.

For myself, I’m currently struggling with the streams I already follow and, while applications such as TweetDeck allow me to create groups of twitterers, the sheer volume of tweets I deal with day to day has convinced me to cherry pick some of the selected “best of” tweeters for inclusion on my watchlist. They are as follows:

And of course, you can always follow me on Twitter as @NZRob