Amazon Web Service to Open New Region in Indonesia

Among many services provided by Amazon Web Service (AWS), I use its Amazon S3 more than any other services provided. Lucky that it has Singapore edge location for the service.

In the latest press release, AWS will open a new region in Indonesia. It’s a good news. The only thing AWS users need to do is just waiting for the service to be available, and it is expected to be available in late 2021 or early 2022

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced it will open an infrastructure region in Indonesia by the end of 2021 / early 2022. The new AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region will consist of three Availability Zones at launch, and will be AWS’s ninth region in Asia Pacific, joining existing regions in Beijing, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and an upcoming region in Hong Kong SAR. Currently, AWS provides 61 Availability Zones across 20 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 12 Availability Zones across four AWS Regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, and South Africa expected to come online by the first half of 2020.

Amazon Press Release, April 3, 2019: AWS to Open New Region in Indonesia

HTML5 UP

HTML5 UP — Collection of beautiful templates using HTML5 and CSS3.

Photon: WordPress.com's Content Delivery Network

Dealing with side loads for heavy-traffic website sometime can be painful. But, of course there are some common practice to deal with this kind of situation. For example, you can take advantage of cache system, offload to other service to reduce server load/bandwidth, or using CDN (Content Delivery Network).
For WordPress-powered sites, you can take advantage from its Jetpack. This free plugin offered lots of handy features to help you work with your WordPress installation. One of them is a featured called Photon.

Give your site a boost by loading images in posts from the WordPress.com content delivery network. We cache your images and serve them from our super-fast network, reducing the burden on your Web host with the click of a button.

That’s right. You should see some big hints there: content delivery network, cache, super-fast network. To activate this feature, just hit the “Activate” button, and you’re set. All your uploaded media files will be served using WordPress.com infrastructure. After having this feature activated, all image URLs in your posts will be modified. For example:

  • Original URL: http://domain.com/dotsios300.png
  • New URL: http://i2.wp.com/domain.com/dotsios300.png

If you are interested, here is an example of the image header served from WordPress.com network.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Cache-Control: public, max-age=63115200
Content-Type: image/png
Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2013 17:06:28 GMT
Expires: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:06:26 GMT
Last-Modified: Sun, 06 Oct 2013 17:05:27 GMT
Server: ECS (sin/47C6)
X-Bytes-Saved: 8597
X-Cache: HIT
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-nc: HIT iad 90
Content-Length: 46456

Dots

Dots
This game is called “Dots“. It’s very basic. No complicated how-to’s, tutorials, levels, or scores. I need to connect two or more dots (in same color). I can do it horizontally  or vertically. But not diagonally. And, that’s it. It’s about connecting.
This simple game is developed by Betaworks, available for free.
Anyway, according to the statistics, this simple game has been downloaded more than 1 million times in one week, and 25 million games has been played.

Amazon Glacier and S3

Amazon Glacier differs from S3 in two crucial ways:

First, S3 is optimized for rapid retrieval (generally tens to hundreds of milliseconds per request). Glacier is not (we didn’t call it Glacier for nothing). With Glacier, your retrieval requests are queued up and honored at a somewhat leisurely pace. Your archive will be available for downloading in 3 to 5 hours. Secondly, S3 allows you to assign the name of your choice to each object. In order to keep costs as low as possible, Glacier will assign a unique id to each of your archives at upload time.

 

Snapjoy: Backup and organize your photos


As a person who loves to photography, I think Snapjoy is an answer to some problems. What is Snapjoy? It’s a service that will help you organize your photos. The word ‘organize’ here is about putting photos you’ve uploaded to multiple services in one place, and organize them. Anyway, I like its name: ‘snap’ and ‘joy’.
There are a lot of tools and services that deals with photos. There are many ways to take photos (digital cameras and mobile devies), and to share photos (you can name services that put photos as their primary contents). But, there are problems:

  • It takes time to have them organised in one place. I like having my photos uploaded to Flickr. I like sharing photos using Instagram. Some of you might also live to have your photos stored to Google Picasa. Some photos go to one service, and the others go to another services. They’re all might be distributed.
  • Not all services are integrated one another. If I upload a my photo to Instagram, I can directly upload it to Flickr for example. But, I don’t this for some reasons.
  • Backup, and backup. Photos are memories. I want to keep it safe. Having them stored in a hardrive is great, but if you have lots of photos, it takes more effort to have them organised and backed up. Yes, there is a service like Backupify that will help you backup your photos from Flickr to storage service. It’s an option.

Having valuable contents backed up and distributed in multiple locations is a good scenario. But, having all of them organised is another thing to think about.

Snapjoy answers some of these problems. By having an account at Snapjoy — it’s free –, you will be able to import (well, I think it can be defined as “backup” too) all you photos from multiple services. Currently, you can import  your Instagram, Flickr, and Google Picasa photos. The process is easy. Connect your Snapjoy to those services, and hit the import button.
I tried to import my Instagram photos and it took less than 5 minutes to have around 500 Instagram photos transfered to Snapjoy. And, a new “Instagram” album is created automatically. All your photos will be stored by Snapjoy (and it utilises Amazon Simple Storage Service). So, you have the copy of all photos somewhere else.
The good thing is that Snapjoy will also help you organize them. I personally like the way Snapjoy display the photo archive. There are few things that can be done to have it better like keeping the photo information (It seems that photo tags are not imported).
After you have your photos managed by Snapjoy, you can enjoy some other features offered. I like the its “Remember When…”. Basically, it’s just shuffling photos in the collection. It might be easy to recognise photos taken last week, or last month. But, if you want to challenge your memory, try to recognise photo taken three or four years ago.
All imported photos are stored privately by default. You can later share them with friends. Interesting to see its upcoming social features.
It’s a free service now, and I think it will not be free forever. There are some technical costs that have to paid. But, as long as it offers people who love to keep their valuable memories something that they really need, I think people will be. Well, I don’t mind paying for a good service/product. I know that Snapjoy will improve its service. I personally would like to have these features:

  • Options to export all photos to other backup service. If it’s a paid feature, I don’t mind. So, Snapjoy will be the “bridge” between service. It’s already a bridge, but making connection to another service is also cool.
  • Keep the photo information during the import.
  • Keep the original photo size. I’m not sure which photos imported when it has multiple sizes. Having the original photos imported should be great.

Anyway, this service is not only about importing. You can also upload your photos directly there. You can upload from the web, or using and desktop uploader called “Shoebox“. My Flickr photo import is still processing. Let’s see the results later.

Google+ is now available for Google Apps Accounts

Finally, Google Apps users now can have the full access to Google+ service. Previously, if you’re using Google App for your domain, you need to migrate to other Google account to get the service. I did that already. But now, Google made it available for Google Apps user.
Quoting from Google Enterprise blog:

Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days.*
Google Apps users will have access to the same set of features that are available to every Google+ user, and more. In addition to sharing publicly or with your circles, you’ll also have the option to share with everyone in your organization, even if you haven’t added all of those people to a circle.

I don’t use Google+ on daily basis. And since I’m already linked my other Google account to Google+, I am not sure what I need to do with my current Google Apps account. Here are some screenshots about the registration/activation processes.
If you’re already logging in to your Google Apps account from your internet browser — opening an email for example — you can directly go to plus.google.com or google.com/+

Since Google+ needs Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing and Google Talk for chat, you need to link it to you existing Picasa Web Albums.
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Display more than 30 sets per page on Flickr

If you actively upload your photos to Flickr, you probably find that having lots of sets is a good idea. How many sets you have on your Flickr photostream right now? I have more than 200 sets. By default, if you browse sets in a photostream profile, you will only have 30 sets per page.

Flickr does not offer an option to have more than 30 sets per page when displaying photo sets. Yes, there is a paging navigation. But, is it possible to have more than 30 sets per page? Let’s say 100 sets per page? It’s possible.
What you need to do is adding a query string in the URL. For example: My Flickr photo sets URL is http://flickr.com/photos/orangescale/sets/. It will give me a list of 30 sets per page. Now, put ?per_page=60 (you can modify the number if you want). So, it becomes like this: http://flickr.com/photos/orangescale/sets/?per_page=60. Now, there are 60 sets in a single page.

Amazon CloudFront has an edge location in Singapore

Today, I got an email from Amazon informing about new location of Amazon CloudFront. Now, it has a new location in Singapore. Previously, Amazon only has its CloudFront server located in Tokyo and Hongkong. Here’s the news delivered in the email:

Starting immediately, Amazon CloudFront will begin using the Singapore edge location for requests for your content. There’s no need for you to change anything in order for this to happen — Amazon CloudFront will automatically route requests for your content to the Singapore location when it’s appropriate to do so. Prices for content delivered from the Singapore location are the same as prices for content delivered from Hong Kong; you can see these at http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront.

Is it a good news? Of course! About the prices, content delivered from Singapore location has the same prices like from Hongkong: $0.190 per GB — first 10 TB / month data transfer out and $0.012 per 10,000 GET requests. Compared with Europe or US prices, it’s a little bit higher ($0.150 per GB – first 10TB / month data transfer out). But still, the price is still reasonable.

Automatic WordPress Backup (to Amazon S3)

Today, I tried another WordPress plugin called “Automatic WordPress Backup”. This plugin will help blog owners to create backup remotely to Amazon S3 service. Since I’m using it and pretty satisfied with the billing usage, I installed it at some WordPress-powered blogs I maintain.
I use one of the available buckets under my account. For this bucket, I set its ACL (Access Control List) to private, of course. After this plugin installed and activated, I only needed to put my Access Key ID and Secret Access Key.
I decided not to include all files for my backup. I only need the database and uploaded contents. After the settings were saved, I simply hit the backup button. The process depends on the disk and database usage. I found that it was pretty fast. One of my backup files was around 300 MB, and it only took less than 5 minutes to complete the process. Also, the backup file was compressed. This should be useful to cut the usage process as you only need to store a single file for each backup.
The backup files will be automatically delivered to my Amazon S3 bucket and when the process completed, I can see the backup history. To download the backup, I only need to click on the backup links.
The backup links are built using pre-signed URLs so that only the account holder (or someone who knows the URLs) can download them.

Amazon S3 Billing Statement Sample

In last September, I started to use Amazon S3 for some experimental purposes. And, it’s not that difficult — of course, I only use some basic action. CloudBerry Explorer and S3Fox are really helpful. Now, if you want to know the billing calculation — just in case you’re interested to try Amazon S3 (also with CloudFront), I have uploaded a sample billing statement from Amazon (click the thumbnail to enlarge).
For me, I think the price is still reasonable. Anyway, CloudFront service is optional. Of course, this billing statement is not only based on my blog usage. I have multiple sites and accounts there. Not all of my backup files are also available for public.

Using CloudBerry Explorer to Manage Amazon S3 Account

In my previous post, I mentioned an Amazon S3 tool called CloudBerry S3 Explorer. I also have S3Fox organizer addon installed. I use them both, and I feel that I’m more comfortable with CloudBerry Explorer.

CloudBerry Explorer makes managing files in Amazon S3 storage EASY. By providing a user interface to Amazon S3 accounts, files, and buckets, CloudBerry lets you manage your files on cloud just as you would on your own local computer. (source)

Now, I want to share how I use CloudBerry S3 Explorer to manage my Amazon S3 Account.
CloudBerry Explorer is availble as a freeware software. We can download it for free. It offers many features we need to manage Amazon S3 account, from a simple to complicated tasks. After I downloaded and installed it, I can start using it. First, I need to add my Amazon S3 account into the application. Go to File > Amazon S3 Accounts.
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