Dropbox: Another Use For Shared Folders

by JL Beeken on 7-03-2011

DropboxHere’s another reason to use Dropbox to share files.

Yesterday I called my cousin in Georgia, as I do periodically.

She was in the midst of backing up all her files to disk because her computer was acting funny, sending up ‘weird messages’ and crashing every few minutes.

Question: Why did she wait til her computer was ‘acting funny’ to back up her files? Computers can die without warning. Computers can set themselves on fire without warning.

By the time we finished talking she had finished burning all the disks but I wonder if she remembered her bookmarks and her email and her address books. I doubt it.

She’s my cousin several times over because we share two main family lines who co-mingled in marriage here and there. Her research goes back over 40 years because she and a sister started working on this when they were teenagers.

The largest room in her house is a library. She also rents a 10×20 foot climate-controlled storage locker for other books and papers that don’t fit in the library. This person is a major archive unto herself. And it’s my family history.

Needless to say, I have a huge personal investment in keeping her files safe. I can’t do anything about the books but I can help on the digital side. So I made the offer again. FREE storage on my computer and external hard-drives.

This is about as easy as it gets for data backup. Set up a shared folder and start passing your files over through Dropbox. (If you don’t have a free account yet, get one.) If you have someone you trust, store your files on their computer. Store theirs on yours. Sort by modification dates weekly and keep sending over anything new.

She doesn’t mind but I promised I won’t look at the files until she’s ready for me to. I will just take them out of Dropbox and hide them away in a folder with her name on it. With a 1TB hard-drive and external drives nearly as large, I have plenty of room for her relatively small amount.

I just sent her an email with a photo of a tower burned to a crisp. She got it! 134 files just came over to our shared folder on my side and the number keeps going up. Yippee! She’s doing it!

If her computer that’s ‘acting funny’ starts acting even funnier, I can restore her files in minutes, 2GB at a time. And, if she dies before I do, I’ve got her family history files. You can’t beat it for the price.

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