I’ve been having a play with MediaGoblin and this software looks very promising.  If like me you feel uncomfortable with the amount of data you are sharing with 3rd parties e.g. Flickr, Dropbox, YouTube etc. then MediaGoblin like ownCloud could be a way forward.

I will admit that installing and getting MediaGoblin working isn’t straight forward but it’s not too hard.  I like the idea of sharing my media with friends, family and others without having to also share it with Google, Facebook and Dropbox etc. and of course without all of the advertisements that come along with that.

I’m using the most basic DigitalOcean droplet (512MB memory, 1 core, 20GB SSD) to host my MediaGoblin instance. For the Operating System I’m using Debian 8.

I used the following guides to install and get MediaGoblin working. The official MediaGoblin documentation is very good.

I didn’t install PostgreSQL as suggested in the documentation, I’ve stuck with the default SQLite database.

Here are some live MediaGoblin sites to give you some ideas.

This is my MediaGoblin site:

Register with Goblin Refuge and start using MediaGoblin without having to install your own instance.


I’ve just finished watching a pretty scary documentary called Terms and Conditions May Apply.  It doesn’t necessary tell me something I didn’t already know or at the very least suspected but it still made me feel pretty sick.

I had already begun the process of deleting my data from my social networking accounts and closing them down.  After watching this documentary it’s made me more determined to head down this path.  The scary thing is my data probably won’t actually be deleted from these companies servers (who knows how long they will retain it for).

This is a must see – I definitely recommend this documentary to everyone.

ownCloud 7

I have an updated article regarding ownCloud – ownCloud 9

05/08/2014 – I’ve just upgraded to version 7.0.1

Access, sync and share your data on across all of your devices. This is a great piece of open source software. I’m currently running ownCloud 7 on my own server. I can upload documents, video, photos and music and then get access to it anywhere. I can also upload my contacts, website bookmarks, calendar appointments and task lists. Because it’s running on my own server and the software is free (as in freedom ) I don’t have any privacy concerns.

Official website –

If you are installing on Ubuntu just follow these instructions:

Here is a list of the some useful Apps I’ve installed with ownCloud:

Tasks Enhanced

If you don’t want to run your own server there are ownCloud providers.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Dropbox, Flickr, Google etc. that is Open Source and totally free software give ownCloud a try.

My home server

Rather than throw out an old computer I’ve decided to put it to some good use.  I’ve turned it into a server.  I’m primarily using it to play around with ownCloud (

The specs of the computer are as follows:

Compaq Presario SR1915AN
AMD Sempron Processor 3400+ 1.8GHZ
80GB 7200 RPM Hard Disk

Other details regarding the server:

OS – Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Webserver – Apache 2.4.7
PHP version 5.5.9
MySQL 5.5.37
ownCloud 6

Home server back
View from the back
Side view - nice and open
Side view – nice and open
Top view
Top view
Server on floor
Server and Modem sitting on the floor
Server and Modem
Server and Modem


Use a free (free as in freedom) office suite i.e. word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database etc.  Create documents using an open standard, the OpenDocument Format (ODF).  Works on multiple operating systems, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, MS Windows.

My entire family is using LibreOffice – no MS Office in this house.

LibreOffice website
Compare LibreOffice and Microsoft Office