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June 17, 2006

Getting started - creating your own personal cloud with NoteShare (Part 1 of 2)

In my last post, I wrote about turning a Mac Mini into a personal information server using NoteShare.  Since I leave the Mac Mini running non-stop, I always have access to my shared notebooks as do other team members.  It's truly my personal cloud and it allows me to work and collaborate anytime, anywhere.  Sure, you can easily leverage web-based services hosted by companies like Google or Yahoo! but then you're not in total control of your data or your security since their systems are hosting your data.    And because my particular requirement includes shared notebooks, it's a moot point anyway.   

Personal Cloud Checklist
If you want to create and use your own personal information server for home or office use like the one  I have running,  review the following "ingredients" list of what you'll need to get started (some of which is optional) depending upon your network configuration:

Hardware:
Mac Mini (or any other system capable of running OS X 10.3.9 or higher)
GigaSwitch hub (connected to ABS Extreme by Ethernet but this is optional)
Airport Base Station (connected to DSL modem or a cable modem)

Software:
NoteShare 1.1
Apple Remote Desktop (optional if running as a personal server in headless mode)
Firewall software (built into OS X already)

Some other considerations:
To simplify Internet access, I set-up a free account with DYNdns.org to assign a domain name to use with my DSL's dynamic IP addressing.  If my WAN IP address should change, I don't have to remember it. I simply use my domain name since it's "dynamically" updated to use my current WAN address.

For further reading about networking/configurations, checkout the Sharing Made Simple documentation that comes bundled free with NoteShare (registered and trial versions).  In my next article, we'll walk through the actual "NoteShare-based recipe" I used for setting up my personal cloud and making it operational within minutes.