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Mirra in Action - Using Remote Access and Sharing

Anyway, once you get past the setup, all file access is via Mirra's website, which handles communication between the user and your Mirra appliance. Figure 6 shows a view of the folders that I enabled for Remote Access.

Remote Access via the Web

Figure 6: Remote Access via the Web

You can see I enabled Remote access for files on two different computers, which are shown in a familar tree-type view. This high-level view of the shared folders is generated from the only thing stored on Mirra's servers - the directory information for the files backed up to the Mirra appliance.

Once you click to view the files, Mirra's servers contact your personal Mirra appliance to temporarily upload the actual files for viewing or download. If there's an Internet connection problem between Mirra's data center and your personal Mirra, you'll be told that there is a problem and that you might not be able to view files. If you still click on the View link, Mirra's servers will dutifully give it a try for a minute.

Figure 7: JPEG thumbnail view

One of the improvements in version 1.1 is the auto-creation of thumbnails. But since I found this worked only with JPEG files (I also tried GIF and PNG formats), the feature will be useful primarily to folks who want to share digital photos. Note that file listings for both the Remote Access and File Sharing features are sorted in alphabetical order only and file creation / modification date info isn't available.

I'll wrap up this section with two functions I haven't touched on - the Address Book and Activity Log. The Address Book is intended to be a convenience for sending File Sharing invitations to friends and family, but it needs work. It doesn't automatically save email addresses you enter when sending a File Sharing invite and can't import Address Books from Outlook or other applications.

The Activity Log seemed to faithfully log all Backup and Restore related activity. But I couldn't find entries for any Internet-related activity including check-ins with the Mirra mother ship, or accesses / downloads of Remote Access or Shared files. I'd definitely like to see this information added in a future release, as well as the ability to save the file to a syslog server or even as a text file somewhere.

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