Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just Dropping Off In The Clouds

Several years ago a service allowing users to save photographs, documents and videos in a cloud-based platform was launched, Dropbox.  According to the website,
Any file you save to your Dropbox will also automatically save to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website.  This means that you can start working on your computer at school or the office, and finish on your home computer. 

Users must be over 13 years of age to register for this application.  Up to 2GB of space is free.  For $9.99 a month 50BGB are available and 100GB for $19.99 per month.

To begin using Dropbox download and install the application on your computer(s) and/or phone.  The size of the file is about 14MB and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.  When you register you are asked for your email address, first and last name, password and to accept the Terms of Service. 

A series of prompts guide you through the setup of your account (setup type, options upon logging in, explanation of Dropbox icon on your desktop toolbar, ability to share any folders with any type of operating system) until you come to the seven step Get Started page.  If you finish five of the seven steps you receive another 250MB of storage space.

It was easy to add Dropbox to my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.  Dropbox provides a QR code which I scanned, completed the install and signed in.  Everything that I put into Dropbox using my laptop appears in that application on my smartphone.

When moving right to the Files tab I can upload files into a chosen folder, create new folders, share a folder for collaboration with another Dropbox user, view or hide deleted files, or by checking files or folders, invite sharing of, download, move, rename, copy to or delete them.

The Events page keeps the date and time that actions are completed in your Dropbox account.

The Photos folder in your Dropbox account is for sharing with anyone, even those without a Dropbox account.  Add a folder within the main Photos folder naming it.  This is your gallery.  Per the instructions at Dropbox any pictures placed in that folder can be viewed at a link to the main Dropbox site, Photos.  Just for practice I put some pics under Xena's Mom although when I went to the Dropbox site slash photos I still had to log in or create an account.  So I logged in and my folder was there.  I then copied a link to see if that was how someone without an account could view pics; that worked perfectly.

Files can also be shared with others not having an account with Dropbox.  After adding a file to the Public folder, right click on that file choosing Dropbox, copy public link.  With this link anyone can access that file which you can copy and paste into a variety of formats.  By right clicking on any file you can see previous versions, download, move, rename, copy to or delete that file.

As mentioned before the icon for Dropbox on your desktop toolbar allows you to open the Dropbox folder on your computer (or phone), launch the Dropbox website, view recently changed files, get more space, pause syncing, adjust preferences or get help.

From the account tab in the upper right hand corner of the site users can see how much space they are using, check or change user information, password reset, set or change account preferences, see what computers are linked to your account and for every friend that joins Dropbox each of you will receive an additional 250MB of space.

In January of last year Larry Ferlazzo of Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day... posted a great article with helpful links, The Best Resources For Maximizing The Use of Dropbox.  One of those links is specifically for educators.

This is definitely the answer to trying to remember to send something back and forth between computers via email or remembering to download works in progress on a flash drive to move them from one computer to another.

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