I discovered dropbox through Gizmodo and Lifehacker and I have to say that it's a great tool for a writer who is working on several systems.

What is dropbox?  It's a program that allows you to share a folder no matter where you are.  I've been working on some writing projects where I usually put my files on a USB key and lug them around from my desktop to my laptop.  I try to back everything up locally which is fine except sometimes you edit something locally and forget to replace the file on the usb key.  I'm sure a more organized writer would say that it isn't a problem to do this but I have been known to confuse myself as to what draft I'm working on.

Enter dropbox.  I install dropbox and get an account and I put my files in there.  I install dropbox on my mac laptop and it automatically synchronizes to the dropbox on my pc and vice versa.  Forgot my usb key?  No problem.  The only thing I need is a wifi connection and these are publicly available in the places I go to write (coffee shop or pub).  Those without free wifi don't have my business.

In full disclosure, I am no way affiliated with dropbox.  I love that it's free and it's been a great addition to my workflow.  I recommend it.


Robbo said...

What I love to observe is the startling disconnect between the innovators of disruptive technologies and the old fat cat media & telco corporations.

As more information continues to flow through the net - streaming, archived, shared, stored in the cloud, whatever - we continue to see more innovative uses of the technology to ensure our data is easily, quickly and ubiquitously accessible. This is good.

At the same time you have those in control of the "pipes" - or at least the meter attached to those pipes - insisting they have to restrict the flow of information and charge heinously high rates for the privilege of being connected to our information. This is bad.

No one says we shouldn't pay for services rendered - but when the telcos outright lie about the costs for them to supply access to information flow in order to maintain a position of control and revenue domination it becomes not only irritating - but laughable.

The trend is to MORE information flow. MORE information storage. If your access to DropBox is as decidedly handy as you believe it to be then you must be concerned at the attempts of companies like Bell to implement User Based Billing. They will force you to consider how much information you up&download. They will restrict your use of online services. And not because it costs them more to provide it - merely because they see a way to entrench their monopoly further and gouge more coins from the pockets of their customers.

As more systems like DropBox emerge and fall into common usage the more people will begin to realize just how grotesque the telco billing positions are. Early adopters, like yourself - and myself - need to do more than exhort usage of these nifty new ways to transfer and store our data --- we also need to be active and vocal in letting everyone know about the greed which threatens to stifle our ability to use these services which will also in turn stifle further innovations.

You can find out more at:

and here:

Sorry for the rant - I love DropBox and want to see more systems like that get a chance to make a useful difference in our lives.

Thanks, Mark.


Mark said...

Thanks Rob. I love a good rant and you always have great rants.

I am very suspect of the internet providers. Particularly with the new video on demand stuff. Everyone loves the 8 dollar netflix but with download caps it's pretty easy to pay a lot more for high definition content. My assistant added thirty bucks to his mom's cable bill by going over the cap using netflix. She had a lite version so it wasn't hard but she was surprised to see such a jump in her bill. It seems to me that it was a little prophetic of where things can go if we don't pay attention, stand up and say no.

Mark said...

When Coppola was shooting Tetro in Argentina they had a break in and a lot of information was stolen that was on his computers there. Dropbox would have helped... Backed up on the cloud!

J Caswell said...

Our minister of industry-the Harrisite Tony Cementhead- has been promising a "digital strategy" for Canada for over a year.
Separate the corporations that sell us both connection and content. The overlap stifles innovation as does UBB and the limits to "The Cloud."

I use Dropbox too.

Glenn Ponka said...

I love dropbox, I use it for my writing between work and home, and my wife uses it as well.

Much better than the old USB key.