I’ve had a Dropbox for a while but haven’t written about it because I couldn’t work out what to do with it. There are a bunch of services that offer cloud storage (SkyDrive offers a generous 25GB for free) accessible from anywhere and dwarfing Dropbox’s meagre 2GB (unless you pay $10/month) but Dropbox’s key advantages are ease and automatic synchronisation across multiple machines. Essentially on installation you identify a folder on your computer and then anything you drop or edit in there gets synchronised first to the cloud and then to any other computers on which you’ve got it installed. Syncing data between my desktop and laptop just got a lot easier.
Another neat trick is to move your Firefox profile into your Dropbox. This way all your browser settings — including all your extensions — are kept in sync on every machine. You could even keep a whole suite of synced Portable Apps. A big one for me was putting all of the design files for this website in there, so if I update from my laptop while on the move, I don’t need to worry about remembering to copy the changes over to my desktop. The other nice feature, even for those with just one PC, is that any file you want to share is available via a standard URL which you can give to anyone, with or without a Dropbox account. They don’t need to sign in or download zip archives, just click to view or listen. Give it a go (that link will also give you an extra 250MB storage) and I’d love to hear interesting uses anyone else comes up with.
And in unrelated news our dear poet laureate has composed a poem titled “Achilles” based on David Beckham’s ankle injury. While it’s true that I am swiftly won over by the classical and the mythic, I do think it’s kind of not awful. Rather neat, even.