Monthly Archives: July 2012

when ssh is not available

As a web developer, I often encounter clients who have a hosting package that is limited, or ‘secured’ by the hosting provider.  That means I sometimes am forced to use the dreaded FTP for file transfers rather than SCP.

This is ok when it’s just a few files here or there.  In fact, using the GUI can sometimes be convenient.  However, if I’m doing large scale development, I’d rather copy the site over to my development server rather than work locally and fill up my hard drive.

If the client’s hosting provider does not allow SSH access, then you can use FTP from the commandline 🙂

ftp will get you there.  Then depending upon your flavor of linux, you can use MGET to pull files.  Sometimes you are even offered the awesomeness of RECURSIVE MGET *.

When you are not afforded that goodness, I’ve discovered that WGET does the trick even better 🙂

wget -r “ftp://user:[email protected]/somedirectory”

That’ll recursively get it all for you 🙂  Better yet…mirror

wget -m “ftp://user:[email protected]/somedirectory”

That initiates recursive and gives you infinite depths on directories…and…gives you the same timestamps as exists on the remote server.

Nice stuff.


The Benefits of webmail and another pitch for gmail or google apps

Today I discovered a great reason to utilize webmail rather than some local client like Outlook or Thunderbird.

You see, I recently switch all my emails over to Google Apps, and have been using Mailplane to access my emails.  Mailplane is pretty much a glorified desktop client that is really just an interface to gmail.  Essentially, when I turn on Mailplane, it’s as if I’m turning on Safari and logging into gmail.  All emails and attached files are sitting on Googles servers, and not on my computer.

When I switched over to Google Apps and Mailplane, I thought that was cool and all…until today.  Today, I realized how INCREDIBLY cool it is.

Today, I was digging around on my hard drive, wondering why the heck it was so full and trying to recapture some of that space.  I downloaded a nifty little application, Disk Inventory X, which shows you, visually, what’s actually on your hard drive.  Sounds silly, but when you are hunting around for what’s eating up your hard drive, and you don’t feel like hitting the command line and DFing everything, this little utility comes in handy.  Today it showed me some serious old file storage that did not need to be there.

As it happens, I was using Thunderbird as a mail client before.  It’s kept all my emails that were on google apps or gmail to the tune of 50G.  Seriously.  All that data is on Google’s servers AND my computer.  Now that I don’t use Thunderbird anymore, WHAM, 50G freed up!  Whoot!

Can you imagine what Outlook is doing to folks?

Another thing it showed me was how DropBox retains a copy of something if you unsynch it.  I’d unsynched about 8 gigs of data today, but it didn’t seem to be gone.  Then I found the Dropbox cache…8 Gigs.  WHAM, 8 Gigs freed up.

Sweet, now I’m about 60 Gigs lighter.  If only I could do that to my waist 😉