Friday, November 20, 2009

Dropbox Fever!

Last year, I posted about the great tool, Syncplicity. It allowed me to sync files on multiple computers as well as store them in the cloud. Since it came out of beta however, they changed the terms of the free account to only allow synchronization between two computers.  As a bonafide geek, I regularly use three computers, so I had to change my workflow a bit to only use two computers regularly (i.e. take my work laptop on personal trips instead of my home laptop).

Then I heard about Dropbox.  The free account has the same storage capacity as Syncplicity (2GB), but it does not have the two computer restriction.  In fact it also has an iPhone application, so you can view your files on your iPhone!  When I heard that, I was all over it.

There are a few gotchas that I had to overcome with Dropbox.  With Syncplicity, you can choose any folders to synchronize.  Dropbox requires that everything be in a specified Dropbox folder.  That presented a problem with Windows Live Writer.  I use Live Writer to hold most of my blog drafts so that I can work on them offline, especially while travelling.  But Microsoft only allows you to save drafts in its own “My Weblog Posts” folder under “My Documents”.  I abhor “My Documents” and anything that has the word ‘My’ in it (although I use it on occasion in programming, maybe the Microsoft way has rubbed off on me).  So the default location for my blog drafts could not be synced with Dropbox.

After some Googling, I found a workaround for the Windows Live Writer problem.  Thanks to Scott Is a Fool (author of the helpful Insert Amazon Link Windows Live Writer plug-in), he outlines how to redirect the “My Weblog Posts” folder to another location in both Windows Vista and Windows XP.  I followed the directions exactly on both operating systems, and redirected “My Weblog Posts” to a folder under my Dropbox folder.

Dropbox has been working flawlessly for me.  I have not had any issues with syncing or server outtages (unlike Syncplicity).  If you’d like to try Dropbox, use this referral link or click on the present below.  You will get an extra 256 MB of storage and also increase my storage by 256 MB.  Thanks!smile_shades

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