Drop Stuff In A Box With DropBox

I’m now officially a DropBox fan and it took only one tryout for me to decide. DropBox is a cloud storage system, which means that you get an Internet harddrive you can access from any Internet device you have.

Dropbox

You get 2 GB for free when you sign up, but you should sign up using my friends referral link so both you and she get 250 mb extra.

Upon signing up for DropBox, you download the client software and set it up on your Mac or PC and then you get an extra folder called “My DropBox”. It’s smooth sailing from there as any files you drop in that box are now instantly beamed to the cloud. If you wanted to, you could then install the client software on your work computer and then your files would be accessible to you from work as well. If you have a smartphone, you can use the webbased interface to download and upload files. It’s smooth.

It’s Quite The Useful Tool

I use DropBox as a would-be replacement for my documents folder. That means I drop stuff I know I’ll need both home and away. Stuff such as:

  • My ever-expanding collection of unused (i.e. scrapped) designs
  • My collection of UI widget templates and browser chrome for mocking up
  • A bunch of settings files for various software (brushes, site definitions, et. al.)
  • The latest project I’m working on
  • My growing collection of instructional PDFs I send to clients once in a while

I’ve also recently dropped my WordPress plugins SVN folder in DropBox. I’m the only one working on them after all and this just makes everything easier. This is probably not a good idea if you’re not the only one working on your project though so in that case beware.

And There Are Tricks

With a little tweaking and trickery, you can bend your DropBox to do sneaky things.You can actually make your “My Documents” folder into your DropBox folder. That’s simply a matter of choosing where your DropBox folder is to be located when you install the client software. The main benefit of this would be that many softwares plug into this folder by default. On the flipside, you’d probably want more than the 2.25Gb you can get for free, as this folder tends to grow.

A sneakierer trick would be to make symbolic link folders or files in your DropBox — folders that proxy to a different folder elsewhere. With a little creativity, you could sync software settings such as your website-programming-app site-definitions or other profiles.

It Could Be Better

DropBox’ boons are easily spotted. The software is transparent, fast and pretty userfriendly. On the flipside, it’s quite expensive if you need more than the total of 3Gb you can get for free. 50Gb costs $9.99 per month, compared to Googles storage plan which will set you back $5 per year for 20Gb or $20 per year for 80Gb. Obviously Google doesn’t support cloud storage for arbitrary filetypes just yet, but DropBox would certainly be even more bliss if the pricing was suddenly ridiculously inspired by Googles deflated invoices.

Another thing would be to embrace the cloud  fully. While DropBox is your harddrive in the sky, files are still copied, then beamed down to any computers running the client (which makes synchronization a recurring issue). Why not ditch the download altogether and open files from the cloud, rather than from a local copy? After all, it’s only software.

Responses to “Drop Stuff In A Box With DropBox”

  1. Why not ditch the download altogether and open files from the cloud, rather than from a local copy? After all, it’s only software.

    I wouldn’t want to rely on my internet connection to save changes to a 10-20mb photoshop file, for example, I can think of many issues with this approach.
    The current set up works great… and it’s priced well for what you get.

  2. Nicole says:

    If you’re only working on a project with a few others, you could still use Dropbox pretty effectively with an SVN by sharing the folder.  Then, whenever anyone updates it, the change is propagated to all others who share the folder.  It’s a technique my advisor and I use to keep track of student reports and evaluations and it’s pretty slick.

  3. matthew says:

    @josue salazar
    indeed, the nice thing ATM is that if dropbox goes down, or you loose internet connection it doesnt matter.
    Thats one of my concerns with Googles ChromeOS being all cloud based – im often NOT on the internet. shock!

  4. Joen says:

     

    Nicole: If you’re only working on a project with a few others, you could still use Dropbox pretty effectively with an SVN by sharing the folder. Then, whenever anyone updates it, the change is propagated to all others who share the folder. It’s a technique my advisor and I use to keep track of student reports and evaluations and it’s pretty slick.

    Alright then, thanks for the update.

    I’m still guessing people should be careful when SVNing with lots of contributors. There’s still the issue of dropbox sync and so on.

     

    matthew: indeed, the nice thing ATM is that if dropbox goes down, or you loose internet connection it doesnt matter. Thats one of my concerns with Googles ChromeOS being all cloud based – im often NOT on the internet. shock!

    Chrome OS and cloud storage is interesting for that reason — I certainly do not have ubiquitous Internet, let alone WiFi wherever I go.

    I do however, have stable internet at work and at home, and for the purposes of working on a file saved directly to the cloud, I still think that makes sense, especially with regards to DropBox and not Chrome OS. Saving to the DropBox should simply cache the file locally while it’s being uploaded. You could continue on working on whatever you were doing, while the file is seamlessy uploaded. Several saved would queue up. It would be like saving to any other non-RAM drive, except slower.

  5. matthew says:

    Hmm, whilst we still have drives of some form in our computers i think I still prefer the current Dropbox system.
    Quick to access, safe if internet goes down or Dropbox ceases to exist, seamlessly and silently uploads to Dropbox.
    I use dropbox to sync my LittleSnapper library between a few machines and its great. Im also syncing  wallpaper folder.
    Im trying to do the same with CandyBar but for some reason it doesnt quite workout.

  6. adam says:

    So far the only downside to dropbox I’ve seen is that if you share a folder with someone, it decreases their storage space by the size of that folder. Other than that, it’s great, even for server admin-ing (a windoze box).

  7. matthew says:

    That does make sense as they are then using that space up on their own dropbox.

    But I think theyre working on a neater system.

    • adam says:

      No, it’s them being greedy with space. 2 people have 4GB of space, unless they share a 1GB folder, then they have 3GB of space, by magical “squeeze the customer” math.

    • matthew says:

      squeeze the non-paying customer :\

      • adam says:

        matthew: squeeze the non-paying customer :\

        Well, if that squeeze didn’t happen to paying customers, I might be more interested in paying. The math works the same for paid quotas.

  8. W ad Dropbox says:

    WANT A 2,5GB DROPBOX??!!

    Hi everybody,

    Do you want to start with a 2,5 GB dropboxaccount?? Read this:

    Just sign in to dropbox throught this referral:

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    Don’t forget to install the Dropbox software, otherwise you won’t get the extra 250 MB !!!

    Next, sign in to the dropbox website through your account. Click the Getting Started tab. You’ll see a list of six very simple things you can do. If you do 5 out of six, you’ll get another 250 MB on your dropbox account!

    Happy dropboxing!

    W.

  9. Andrea says:

    if any would like extra space on dropbox here is a link https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTEzMjYzMjc5 it gives you and me each a extra 250mb of space.Thanks

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