09 January 2010

My external ‘bulk data’ brain

In a previous post you can read how I store, organize and retrieve important data. In this post you can read how I store and retrieve data files which I use on multiple computers and locations.

The most simple solution is to store your data on an USB stick. This works very well, provided you remember to store the latest version of your data file on the USB stick. When you forget to carry the stick with you, or you make a mistake, you do not have access to the latest information.

For more mission critical files (the latest version of the file must be available on my PC, laptop and every place I work) I have a special solution: Dropbox.

I store my mission critical files in the Dropbox folder. Dropbox makes sure that the folder is copied to every other PC where Dropbox is installed. If I cannot install Dropbox, I can always access my file through the Dropbox web site. I only have to make sure that each PC is connected long enough to the Internet to exchange the files with the Dropbox server.

I also use Dropbox to share large files with other Internet users. These users do not have to install Dropbox. Instead, I can ask Dropbox to generate a special link which I sent to the other Internet user. Everyone which clicks on that link can download that particular file.

Sharing files with other Dropbox users is even easier. You setup a special folder where you and the other Dropbox user have access to. When you put a file in that shared folder, it is automatically copied to the other Dropbox user. This is all done in the background. The receiving user does not have to do anything.

How do you know when another Dropbox user has shared something with you? You could check the shared folder every now and then to see if anything pops up. But Dropbox has a trick for this. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of your Dropbox folder. In this RSS feed Dropbox feed tells you of anything it does for you. I use this feed to monitor if all of my files are transferred correctly. And when someone shares a file with me I will get notified instantly (how I use RSS feeds will be a topic in an upcoming blog post).

When you want to try Dropbox, please use this link: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTEzNTM3NzQ5

You and I will get an extra 250MB free space!

No comments:

Post a Comment