At home I have a Buffalo Linkstation NAS (network attached storage) box which has a backup of my iTunes library on it. It shares this music library locally using its built in media server (mt.daap) and it always shows up in iTunes on my laptops, and on my O2 Joggler.I wondered if it would be possible to access this resource from anywhere on the internet (as the networked drive is always powered on). The answer was yes, and this is how you do it over an encrypted ssh tunnel (it was quite simple once I had the right software). It does rely on you having a device running openssh (you can add this to older versions of the Linkstation, or on a separate machine). I haven’t exposed my network storage box directly to the internet because anyone could stream my music for free.
- Make sure you know the ip address of the Buffalo linkstation on the local network (e.g. 192.168.1.3) and that streaming works fine from iTunes on your local network.
- You need a copy of Putty (I won’t explain how to configure ssh and putty to work together). There are some pointers on my blog post here. Set up putty to forward port 3689 to your NAS box as shown below:
- Download the daap plugin for Songbird (you will have to edit the install.rdf file to stop it saying that it can’t be run with the current version. Simply rename the installation package to a zip file, open the file and edit max version to 1.5, then save and rename the plugin package back to an xpi file)
- Start up Putty and then Songbird. From the File menu on Songbird add a new daap source at 127.0.0.1
- After downloading a list of songs available, your library should be ready for streaming over the internet
Please feel free to comment/contact me if you have any questions. Tutorials for setting up SSH to connect to your own network are available all over the internet – please don’t contact me about SSH if you haven’t read a tutorial first!
I’ve tried to choose movies that students wouldn’t have seen before, and have let myself be guided by the “Filmclub recommends” section on the website. It is also possible to search for films by theme (e.g. bullying), by age range or by other criteria.Students have been very positive about our film club and I get asked questions about upcoming films several times a week. There are films suitable for all ages (even some with a 15 certificate) and I would imagine students from primary, secondary and special education being equally enthused by this scheme.What next?As well as showing movies to students, we have a few ideas of what else we can do with our film club.
- Joint parent/student screenings – to get parents into school and talking to staff
- Induction of new students – getting year 6 students in from our feeder school for a shared screening, helping familiarise them with some of students and premises.
- Oscars event – complete with red carpet and paparazzi outside, as part of an awards or celebration event.
- Linking films to special events at school – e.g. book day, poetry day, anti-bullying week
Do you run a film club at your school? Do you have any ideas of how we can expand film club to a wider audience or involve parents?
Windows Live Writer
Part of the Live Suite available free of charge from Microsoft. This is a useful piece of software for writing blog posts offline (and publishing them to your website).
Google Calendar (I’ve tried lesson planning again this year using Google calendar. I kept it up for a over half a term but still ended up going back to a paper diary). The SMS reminders are useful for reminding me of appointments when I’m not near my email.
Twitter. I have a PLN (personal learning network) on Twitter but I’m still not convinced that this is a must-have tool. A significant majority of people I follow are broadcasters rather than being interested in a two-way conversation, and most don’t reply to tweets directed straight at them.
What software do you use every day? What software couldn’t you do without?