March 26, 2004


Just been thinking lately about how easy things are harder than necessary.

Case in point: I'm running several machines at home & work and want to keep my RSS reader (I'm using SharpReader) and bookmarks constantly in sync between the various machines. My Linux buddies of course chime in and tell me to use rsync to mirror the directories -- which is really cool, but doesn't play nice with my home infrastructure (or lack thereof). This also only solves part of the problem -- I'd love to be able to remote desktop into my home box from another location.

Here's where the more difficult than necessary part comes in. Suddenly, it's looking like the answer is to run VPN at home and reach back that way. But wait -- the work firewalls are set up to disallow outbound VPN access -- sigh. I've come to the conclusion that the only thing one can count on is HTTP.

Many others have reached this same conclusion and tunneling is used by everyone from KnowNow (mod_pubsub) to the Jabber community. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate a general-purpose tunneling package that plays nice with ASP.Net or my virtual hosted account on 1and1. I don't want or need the complexity of mod_pubsub -- either from the installation or client end. What I do want is a nice light point-to-point data mover that solves the addressing problem for NAT-ed clients and works over HTTP.

Having seen this work on a Jabber-based IM we built at work I think that it's a useful project. So my first foray into making life easier is a simple rsync-based folder synchronization tool that works over HTTP tunnels. Stay tuned...

Posted by Graeme at 04:57 PM