Storing and Sharing Pictures

So, you have yourself a bunch of pictures and you want to show them beyond your immediate friends and family. What do you do? Well, you could wander over to one of the many online picture places: Flickr, ImageShack, PaintedOver, PhotoBucket and others are available online to host your pictures and provide you with a way to share them. But what do you do if you don’t want to let a random internet stranger look after them for you? I mean, some of these sites will remove the pictures after a time or if they break the terms and conditions of the site. And you don’t know that the current Terms & Conditions will stay the same way forever. Today’s nice pic could be tomorrow’s Homeland Security Alert, after all.

Luckily for me, and for others like me, I have access to a server to stash the pics. Now, in my case, the ability to upload pictures is purely for me – it’s my site and a mate’s server, after all – but you may wish to allow others to upload images. There are 2 easy ways to do this: the first is to give others an account on your server and hope that they are as honest as you think they are. The second is to create a place to upload and store the images and make it publicly accessible. In the first case, you are trusting others to stick to one folder and not to wander all over your server hiding files. In the second case, you have only one home for the images and you can police it as you wish.

I’m not even going to discuss the first option further – while it works fine for corporate networks (you have a big stick to beat people with), this is the internet and I’m no idiot. If you check out the sites I linked to above, you will see that they offer an easy way to host and share the images – normally they provide you with a list of links and instructions on how to use them. I have no coding skills at all and so can’t create my own similar site from scratch. Luckily, those nice people on the internet do have coding skills and allow others to share them. iNetScripts have put together an easy way for site owners to create your own image sharing site – I installed it and use it fairly regularly. It allows you to share the full image or just a thumbnail of the image. It’s not as fully featured as the professional sites, but since this is for personal use only, who cares? It works on Windows or Linux and presumably Macs as well. They have a support forum (as do most sites nowadays) and I am sure that they will release future versions to make it more fully featured.

Simply click the link to download it, unzip the zip file and follow the instructions provided in the README file. I haven’t linked to the download because by the time you read this they may have released a new version. The link is around halfway down the page and is blow and to the right of the pink box. Enjoy.

The much needed screenshots courtesy of the iScript capability rather than WordPress’s upload capability:

Something I should’ve added, and didn’t, is that the people who created Vanilla also created FileBrowser – another free piece of software that gives you a Flickr like capability (but far less featured) for your own site. Again, it’s released under the GPL and so you have the freedoms inherent in that licence. I haven’t tried this out, but if it’s like Vanilla, it will be easy to install and run. Obligatory Screenshots:
So you now have a few alternatives for places to put your holiday snaps.
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Posted on 30 May, 2006, in Computer Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Storing and Sharing Pictures.

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