Weave is an extension for Firefox that allows you to back up and synchronize your bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form entries across multiple computers. It’s a nifty little plug-in that takes up the slack for the much loved (and dearly departed) Google Browser Sync. Unfortunately, the Weave extension and service are in beta testing mode, and the backend servers that Mozilla uses to make Weave work are usually overwhelmed, making synchronization as slow as molasses. To make matters worse, the Mozilla servers are frequently taken offline for various reasons, so not only is synching slow, it doesn’t even work much of the time.
In this post from a couple of weeks ago, I linked to an article that showed you how to set up Weave on any WebDAV enabled server. Unfortunately, I was never able to get this working on this very server; apparently WordPress and WebDAV don’t play well together, and I was never able to find the Apache settings I needed to tweak to get it to work.
However, I recently came across this “easy as pie” method for setting up Weave using the free “online disk” service MyDisk.se:
1) Create a free account on MyDisk.
2) During the MyDisk setup, you will be given instructions for adding your “MyDisk space” to your “My Network Places” applet in Windows XP (or “Network Center” in Windows Vista). Be sure to do this, as it’s important in the next step.
3) Open “My Network Places” and click on the MyDisk icon you created in step 2.
4) You will see two folders in your MyDisk space: “backup” and “webpage”. Right-click any whitespace and create a new folder called “user” (without quotes). Double-click on that folder and create a new folder inside that one named after your MyDisk user name. For example, if your MyDisk name is “jsmith”, then you should have a folder called “user” with another folder inside that called “jsmith”.
5) Click the Weave icon in the Firefox status bar (if you haven’t installed Weave already, now would be the time to do so). Choose “Preferences”.
6) On the “Advanced” tab, change the “Server Location” from https://services.mozilla.com/ to https://mydisk.se/USERNAME/, where USERNAME is your MyDisk user name. Don’t forget the trailing slash – it’s important!
7) Log in to Weave using your MyDisk username and password.
You’ll be amazed at how much faster Weave performs on the new server. In fact, where my previous synchs with Mozilla servers could take up to 10 minutes, my entire first sync with MyDisk took only around 4 minutes (and the first sync takes longer that most, because all of your information has to be sent, whereas only changes are sent in subsequent synchs).
For those of your wondering about security, all of your information is encrypted by Firefox before it leaves your computer, so all that’s sitting on MyDisk’s servers are a few encrypted files. I suppose that the MyDisk people could buy a few dozens servers and try to hack the encryption for it… but why would they?