ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Dropbox

June 3rd, 2010 by Dave · 3 Comments

Dropbox is free software that helps you keep your files synced. I like Google docs, but if you ever want to edit them in something else, the formatting is a mess. Instead, I find myself emailing documents back and forth between home and work, trying to make sure I’m always working on the latest version.

Dropbox is simple. You install it, and it makes a “My Dropbox” folder in your “My Documents” and hangs out in your taskbar. While it is running, anything you put in “My Dropbox” is automatically backed up to the web, and synced with any other computer that you have Dropbox installed on. Because it uses the web as an intermediary, both computers don’t have to be on. When they next startup, Dropbox will check if any of the files have been changed. In other words, it works like My Briefcase, but without the USB drive.

You get 2 GB of space for free, and if you sign up using this link, we’ll both get an extra 250 MB.

Dropbox also includes a “Public” folder, enabling you to provide direct links to files you want to share, even with people who don’t have Dropbox installed. You can also share folders with people via Dropbox.

The only problem I’ve had with it is that it hasn’t been able to sync open files that I’m editing OpenOffice. This is an OpenOffice issue, though, as I’m similarly unable to attach open files to email.

I’m currently using both Dropbox (for syncing) and Mozy (for backing up) but I could see switching just to Dropbox in the future.

Thanks Lynn

Tags: blog · software · teacher tools

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 khalid // Jun 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    A note on Mozy – I use it too, but it’s a disaster for Mac if you have to reinstall your entire hard drive after a crash. I spent hours helping a friend – the files were all mixed up, all over the place. In addition, the metadata for pictures was all lost.

    I was really unhappy with it. I recommend using Mozy only for the files that are most important, and using Time Machine with a local hard drive for total hard drive loss recovery…

    Dropbox sounds sweet.

  • 2 Otto Silver // Jun 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I am unable to sync open files when I use MS Office as well. It has to do with the way the program interacts with the file, I would imagine.

  • 3 Dave // Jun 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Hmm. I’ve had no trouble grabbing stuff from Mozy. I only use it for docs and pics, though. For the rest, I’ve got an external HD.

    Good to know, though.

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