Tech Learning Collective

Technology education for radical organizers and revolutionary communities.

  • November 20, 2021 1:30 PM (-0500) November 20, 2021 3:00 PM
  • Remote
  • Status: CONFIRMED

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Event description

Learn how to provide file sharing services by creating your own networked file server so that your family, friends, or colleagues have a private place to save, share, and work on documents or photos together. Maintaining the humble file server is among the most fundamental Information Technology (IT) department tasks in businesses or organizations big and small because most other activities revolve around document storage and retrieval. In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to numerous free and open technologies such as Nextcloud that can replace more familiar Web-based online file storage services like Google Docs, along with many of the file sharing protocols integral to Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices used in today’s enterprises, like NFS, SMB, and WebDAV.

Workshop Description

As early as 1964, computer makers like IBM, Inc. were publicizing the idea that businesses could use computers to eliminate or drastically reduce the drudgery and tedium of paperwork by converting paper documents into electronic files. Of course, even today not all businesses have what IBM promised would be a “paperless office,” but many of them have a rapidly growing number of important digital documents that need to be stored reliably, secured properly, and shared privately. This is what makes the humble file server a centerpiece of Information Technology (IT) department responsibilities.

These days, however, it’s not just businesses who must manage loads of electronic documents. As society becomes increasingly digitized, individuals, community groups, political organizers, and even hobbyists are much more reliant on electronic files today than we have ever been before. This is where familiar Web-based online file storage services like Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox Paper come in, making it easy for people to save their work in “the cloud,” as long as they’re comfortable letting the company providing the storage service have a peek at their work. But like most things in the Internet age, the file storage and retrieval services that these companies offer are built on the back of Free, Libre, and Open Source Software programs and protocols available to everyone from individuals to large enterprises without paying a dime for them in either monetary cost or privacy exposure.

In this workshop, you’ll learn what it takes to build your own online file storage service for yourself, for a small group of friends, or for a much larger organization. Starting with a simple “shared folder,” you’ll get introduced to network protocols like WebDAV to see how they enable Web-based distributed authoring and versioning of files including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PDFs, and how these protocols fit into enterprise-ready file storage systems like Nextcloud. We’ll also discuss filesystem-level networked filing protocols that define a whole category of computer equipment called Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices like the (Secure) File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) that are common in Web hosting environments, and the Network File System (NFS) and Server Message Block (SMB) protocols that are common in homes and offices.

As this is a remote/online-only event, there is no physical class space, but attendance is still limited to 15 students, so purchase your ticket now to reserve your spot.

To participate in our webinars, you will need access to a modern Web browser such as an up-to-date copy of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. You will also need a reliable Internet connection. We recommend disabling Wi-Fi and plugging your computer in to a hard-wired Ethernet network cable for the duration of the webinar, if possible.

If you would like to share your video screen or appear on camera, you will need to have and activate your own camera, such as the one built-in to many modern laptops. Similarly, to speak with the rest of the webinar participants, you will need a microphone. If you do choose to activate your microphone, we ask that you please plug in headphones/ear buds or use a headset in order to help reduce audio feedback loops that can degrade the webinar experience for other participants.

Please refer to our workshops and webinars FAQ for additional tips and advice before you join the video conference.

As with all Tech Learning Collective events, racism, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, “brogrammer,” “manarchist,” or any kind of similarly awful behavior will result in immediate removal from class without a refund. Please refer to our lightweight social rules for details on our strictly enforced no-tolerance policy against bigotry of any kind.

About Tech Learning Collective

Tech Learning Collective is an apprenticeship-based technology school that trains politically self-motivated individuals in the arts of hypermedia, Information Technology, and radical political practice. We offer unparalleled free, by-donation, and low-cost computer classes on topics ranging from fundamental computer literacy to the same offensive computer hacking techniques used by national intelligence agencies and military powers (cyber armies). For more information and to enroll, visit

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