Using an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS VM for uploading pictures and video to Google Photos

Ubuntu Bionic Beaver

I’ve been taking a lot more video on the GoPro of late and there is even video that I haven’t even moved over to Google Photos yet and I’ve been struggling to find a good solution on how to upload all those videos without keeping my MacBook Pro on all night. Recently I upgraded my NAS (I blogged about it before) and now I have a ton of extra space on there. With that extra space and the RAM upgrade I was able to install a virtual machine. I chose Ubuntu Linux primarily because it was free and I had dabbled with it in the past. I had all these videos from Breckenridge on an external drive and the old way that I uploaded video was to mount the drive on the MacBook, go to Google Photos on the web, and then do a drag and drop. Since a lot of those videos are pretty big, it would take a long time for it to upload, sometimes days I’d leave that thing on.

Given that I have all this extra storage space, I thought, why not load the videos on the NAS and then fire up the VM and see if I can do it that way? The loading of the videos was only slightly problematic since my external drive is formatted for Mac and it can’t be read by my NAS when I plug it in directly. That forced me to transfer the video using the Mac to the NAS, that was fairly easy and quick. Only took 10 minutes for about 300GB which is fairly fast. The next part was a tad more difficult. I was familiar with mapping drives and everything with Windows but not Linux. Thankfully the GUI interface for Ubuntu is pretty easy and it saw my NAS as a network drive.

Let me just start out saying that the performance on the VM is pretty shitty when you’re using a browser to navigate. I think it would be way more responsive if I used it directly on a monitor but I don’t have the right plugs currently since its an older monitor that uses DVI and not HDMI. I got Google Photos up on Firefox in Ubuntu and started loading the photos and videos. Unfortunately I kept on getting script errors on the page (no clue why that was) but after rebooting the VM and starting over it seemed to be working for uploading the files. Given that the interface was really really slow I wasn’t able to put them in an album after the upload was complete. I was however able to leave the VM running while I went out to the movies and was able to close out of the browser tab with the VM and come back to it hours later.

After this experiment I think I have found at least my best way of getting all the videos from my trips up to Google Photos. instead of loading all the photos and video on my iPad for my next trip, I think I’m just going to leave it on my GoPro and wait until I get home to start reviewing and making combined videos. I don’t want to take a computer with me, just my iPad but transferring all that stuff is also a pain in the ass and I’d like to relax a bit more this trip.


Beach Erosion in Dania Beach

I decided to take my yearly ride out to Dania Beach since I had the time this weekend for a longer ride than normal. It wasn’t the sunniest of days but it was good to ride out there just to change things up a bit. I have this normal spot where I like to just rest of a little bit before I head back home. Normally there is a bench for me to sit on so that I can just mellow out and watch the waves crash against the shore.

Today was a little bit different, I didn’t see my usual bench that I use and there were signs saying that no one was allowed on the beach. I also noticed that there was a ton of erosion too. Normally the beach is decently flat all the way to the water but there looks like there is a decent drop off due to erosion in the past year. Its a shame that there is this much erosion, no one can enjoy the beach and they took away my bench so I couldn’t even take a little break to watch the waves.

I decided to just take a picture here and there like always and just hopped on my bike and went home. There are a lot of new homes in the area but they look over the river that’s close by. I’m sure those homes cost a ton of money and they’re nice and new. I don’t want to get one, they’re in the greatest danger of being flooded.

If I have the opportunity this summer, I’ll go back to Dania Beach. Hopefully they will put my bench back for me. I miss seeing the ocean after my long rides.