You know what a big pain it is to send a bunch of pictures or other files via email? You can zip ’em up to together, but that doesn’t really shrink the file size if you’re sending media content like movies or images or sound files (they’re most likely already compressed, and zipping them doesn’t compress them further). And if your email provider limits the total message size, you have to decide whether to resize your pictures (boo!) or send multiple emails. Plus, there’s the tarbomb issue – unzipped files lying around in your nice clean folders all willy-nilly.
Or maybe these are files you don’t want to publish on your webpage or via flickr or picasa or whatever and you don’t have a file server hooked up to the internet at your disposal.
Try Dropbox. You can drag and drop files through your operating systems’ native file management programs (i.e., Finder on Mac OS X, your file manager of choice on Linux, or even Windows Explorer on Windows) and they magically appear on remote users’ computers. You define which files and which remote users. Even your parents can do it (provided they can get the picures off of their camera).
Here are the details:
- It works on Macs, PCs, and Linux (more about the Linux version below).
- You need a login (an email address) and password, which you set up at getdropbox.com. You also need to know the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share files.
- You set up folders containing files and then set the permissions on a per-folder basis. This way, you’re not sharing all your content with everyone all the time. Example: you and your siblings can collaborate on a birthday present for a parent by keeping the files you want to share in the Planning Mom’s Birthday folder without Mom getting wind of it. And Mom can still share files with you via other folders.
- You don’t really have to install any of the software, since it’s all doable via the getdropbox.com website, but the easiest way to do it is after installing the software.
- It’s free – for up to a couple GB of storage. If you need more, you can pay for it.
I’ve been using it for about a year I guess on our Mac and it works really well. Thanks to Carrie Jo for suggesting it to me originally.
Now, more about that Linux stuff I mentioned above:
- There are packages available for Fedora Core and Ubuntu and, of course, souce.
- Wait, the Ubuntu packages require Nautilus and/or other GNOMEy stuff? What about Kubuntu or KDE users in general?
- Google is your friend. I found the following advice, which worked great:Dropbox without Gnome : Sounds From The Dungeon
Those instructions work, but here are a few more details.
- In step #2, “$HOME” means your home directory; probably /home/yourusernamehere
- In step #3, I had to start the daemon from the command line with an ‘&’ at the end of the command. The wizard didn’t seem to want to work otherwise.
After that, it was cake.