24 August 2004

Genius idea #1

[ updated 29 August 2004 ]

I had this idea a few months ago, but genius ideas are genius ideas. If I get it down in writing here, I will always remember to go back to it. And if I never get back to it, maybe someone else will implement it and become the Hero of the Playground.

So, as anyone and everyone is giving away email space these--10 MEG, 100 MEG, and Google's 1 GIG--I had an idea of how to harness it. You could write an application to access that space via a POP3 interface and turn it into a virtual, remote hard drive. Files would be stored as Base64 encoded mail messages, and the software would make them look like files on a virtual drive. This would turn free email into free off-site server space for backups or remote storage.

The application could also bundle multiple email accounts together to increase storage. Use 10 MEG of Yahoo space plus 10 MEG of HotMail space to create a virtual 20 MEG FTP site.

The interface could be a separate client that looks like a drive, or it could be a shell extenstion that maps to an actual drive letter. With the shell extension, you could schedule backups and such and have an offsite backup of your data. The throughput would be slow because of the conversion between binary and Base64, but it would be useable for backups and storage.

I would call it the E-drive.

And others would call it GmailFS for Linux. Written in two days in Python. Pretty groovy.
[ posted by sstrader on 24 August 2004 at 5:25:05 PM in Science & Technology ]