I have a Mac Pro desktop, recently acquired, but my laptop is a Dell running XP. Yes, networking allows them to talk and share files, but it’s not always that easy. I like to consider them digital acquaintances. I need to connect to the network and sometimes enter my username and password to conect to the other computer. Not a big deal.
But it gets worse. What if I have a document, image, or file that I need on my laptop (which I worked on while I was out of the home/office), and I turned off the laptop. When I get home, I now have to get that laptop, boot up, log in, connect to the network, check to make sure my Mac can see the laptop on the network, then pull the file. Fun, huh? Even if I left the laptop on, I’d still have to log in, connect, check the connection on the Mac, etc. It’s not so much that it’s difficult, but it is tedious, and a waste of time, which I value very much.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just put my files on my laptop or Mac in a folder, and have that get pushed to the other computer? And I’m not talking about running a program, and putting a file in there, or uploading to an FTP. I’m talking about opening your standard Windows or Mac folder, and dragging and dropping your files in, and that’s it. Now you check your other computer, and it’s there. Better yet, what if I put the files in the folder, and then turned off the computer, but it doesn’t matter, because the other computer can still access the file? And what if I’m at a different computer altogether, and I need to access it via a web interface.
Enter Dropbox. They do exactly what I said, and more. Of course, this kind of timesaver is something I regularly find over at Lifehacker, and they are running a poll comparing five different file and folder sharing applications, which Dropbox is winning. The problem is that Dropbox is so popular that it’s now in closed beta. You can sign up at the Dropbox site, but only to be notified when they open the beta up to the public again. Or, you can be invited, if someone (cough cough, me) has invites to give.
Read on to find out more about dropbox, including a video that shows the features (oh, I forgot to mention, the file syncing is just one of MANY features Dropbox has), a chance to get in on the beta, and how I use it.
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