use your gmail as a virtual harddrive

Using a 2 GIG GMail account as a harddrive or disk device always sounded quite appealing to me. GMail drive for Windows using IE to achieve this (a reason not to use it already?), but it’s unfortunately impossible in the current version to store files larger than the GMail file size limit for attachment of 10 MB.
So storing that 100MB 128kpbs live DJ set this way is not an option… dang!

So I thought about writing something myself in some cool and hip programming language such as Python using libgmail and bypass the 10 MB attachment limit by splitting the file up into smaller parts. But a while ago I came across something that does this for me so I don’t need to bother… wheeee.

xmailharddrive.com is a PHP driven website you can use to connect to a GMail account and store files in it, of any size. Well, maybe not any size. Currently the maximum filesize is limited to 20MB, as it’s still in beta, and as soon as they get more sponsors for the project, they say they’ll lift the upload limit, and allow for huge files to be uploaded. This is all on the about page btw.
The encrypted and compressed files with a .xmhd extention are neatly archived and tagged with an xmailharddrive.com label in your mailbox, so they don’t clutter your inbox.
Basically the idea is killer. A simple web interface allows it to be used on any system and browser, anywhere in the world, without having to install a single extra application.

Another cool feature in xmailharddrive is that you can send any file stored using the service to users with a gmail account in your address book using the “FlingIt” button. Now that definitely sounds like a fast way to share *couch* legal files among friends, without wasting your own bandwidth more than once.
Sweet innit!
the copper inside of a harddrive
Some improvements could still be made though. One thing I’d like to see is more differences in the different views of your stored files. I’m thinking a view like the Windows explorers detailed view with file date and size would be sweet.

Security is another thing. I’m using one of my gmail test accounts to fool around with it, because I simply don’t feel like giving any third party full access to my emails (duh!). Coming to think of it, using https instead of plain http would not be a bad idea either.

They’ve also just released their own notifier app, but besides looking a bit fancier, and supporting multiple gmail accounts, it’s not very different from the one Google supplies.

The RSS interface they are talking about in the news section to allow developers to access XMHD from other application is far more interesting, but we’ll have to wait and see I guess.

Give it a try if you like, and if you need an extra account for security reasons, let me know, I still have plenty of invites left.

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