FREE MOBILE CLOUD COMPUTING CONCEPTS - TRAINING_MODULES_WITH_TONS_OF_VIDEOS
Post by Mr. Shelly McCay Iannes
with UK Cloud Pros, LLC
becoming increasingly common for mobile professionals, as well as casual computer users, to have important files living on
multiple PCs. The challenge is keeping these files synced across various systems—without the need to e-mail anything
to yourself or carry a USB drive.
where Dropbox comes in. This cloud-based service’s cross-platform compatibility, file versioning, and a free iPhone
app make it one of the most well-rounded syncing solutions available.
Installation and Pricing
Installing Dropbox on a Gateway P-7808u FX was as simple as downloading
the application and clicking “I’m new to Dropbox” when prompted. We created an account by filling in our
name, e-mail, and password. We were then presented with three Dropbox subscription models:
Free (2GB), $9.99 per month/$99 per year (50GB), $19.99 per month/$199 per year
(100GB). Although not wallet-breaking, Dropbox is pricier than Microsoft’s free Widows live Sync option, which
offers users the ability to create up to 20 folders that contain a maximum of 20,000 files each.
Clicking the Dropbox icon in the taskbar opened the dedicated My Dropbox folder, into which we placed files that
we wanted to sync. This is in stark contrast to Windows Live Sync, which integrates directly into the Windows’s folder
structure, and as such isn’t as centralized (photos are in the My Pictures Folder, music in My Music, etc.). We prefer
Dropbox’s approach because it allows users to see all of their synced files and folders in one central location on the
desktop in a standard IE -styled window.
contains two subfolders by default: Photos and Public. The Photos folder is where you stash your pictures, and the Public
folder gives every file placed in it a URL for those times when you wish to share data. To get the URL for a file, right-click
on it, move to the Dropbox submenu, and click “Copy public link.” Others can access this folder without needing
a Dropbox account.
begins once you complete the setup process, and your new Dropbox folder becomes populated with your files. We installed Dropbox
on four computers (an Acer Aspire One D150 , a Dell desktop, a Gateway P-7808u FX, and a Mac mini), and had no problems retrieving
and updating our docs.
A 4.97GB folder of mixed media
was synced with Dropbox’s servers in 9 hours and 53 minutes, which was on a par with Windows Live Sync’s time
of 9:49. Once uploaded, the folder was immediately available on our other PCs.
We were able to download a 114MB video clip from our office PC’s desktop in 4 minutes
and 59 seconds, which was almost identical with Windows Live Sync’s 4:51 transfer time. One new feature is LAN Sync,
which automatically syncs files between local computers instead of downloading them from Dropbox’s servers, allowing
for a faster data exchange.
Web Interface and Other Features
To access files from another notebook on which Dropbox isn’t installed, you can log into www.dropbox.com. Using
the Web interface, we could view account information (including account type and remaining capacity) and My Computers, which
let us see the last activity on one of the linked computers or remove it from the syncing circle.
You can also see your Referral Status; Dropbox awards users 250MB of free extra
storage for every person you introduce to the service, for a total maximum of 3GB per free account.
Other Web features include the ability to create shared
folders, as well as download, rename, copy, or delete individual files. Dropbox keeps full file revisions (even in the free
version), so you can revert to an older version simply by clicking a radio button and then selecting Restore. Free accounts
have only 30 days to undo deleted files.
iPhone/iPod touch App
Dropbox also has a free version of its s/w available in the iTunes Apps Store that brings the smooth,
simple functionality to the iPhone and iPod touch. Once you download the software, you’re prompted to create an account
or sign in using your e-mail address and password. Once inside, you’re treated to vertical listings of files and folders
that you can swipe through with your finger.
that we edited and saved was updated almost instantly on our PC. We especially liked the Favorite feature, which saves a copy
of a favorited file to your iPhone or iPod touch for offline access.
Where Dropbox gets it is in its simplicity; you never feel as though you’re
fighting against the software. Its revision history is an excellent safety net for times when you need to recover a file,
a feature that Windows Live Sync lacks. It may not have the seemingly unlimited online storage as Microsoft’s service
(or its remote access capabilities), but Dropbox is an intuitive, must-have file sync program.