Well, I have been using the program Dropbox for a couple of months now and I wanted to give an update. For those that don’t know, Dropbox is a program that helps you store files and access them from anywhere. Essentially, it creates a virtual folder on your desktop (that looks like any other folder) and you “drop” whatever files you want in it. It automatically syncs with an online storage drive (in case your computer crashes). Also, if you have the Dropbox program on another computer (say at work or at home), you can access the same files instantly provided you have an internet connection. Perhaps the best part is that it works like any other normal Windows folder, so getting to the file you want is easy and quick. Also, you use your own programs (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) so there is no goofy formatting.
Another nice feature is that you can set any document in the Dropbox folder to “sharing” and make it available for use by someone you select (like a colleague with whom you are collaborating on a doc). This seems to me to be the best way to have a doc that is update-able and easily viewed by multiple people.
One more great feature – if you place your important files in Dropbox, you can access them from a computer even if it doesn’t have the Dropbox folder. All you have to do is go to the website and log-in. Then you can download whatever items you want from your virtual folder.
Again, I love it and I have all of my important files in it (for safety). Even though they only give 2 gigs, it is enough if I just put Word docs in it (and not music). I put the program on my laptop and my wife’s laptop. It is also on my ipod, so I can read files on the go. For the ipod, you can use Dropbox and not have to open itunes all the time for doc syncing.
Perhaps the downside is that if your internet goes down, that will create problems for syncing.
Bottom line, though, I think it is immensely useful to the scholar/student.
Again, if you want to try it, send me a comment and I can give you link that will give you (and me!) more storage space.