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Lindsay Gallimore

Lindsay Gallimore
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Drop Everything: You need to download Dropbox!

Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-11-21

Dropbox's slogan is "Simplify your life." It does just that. No more frantically searching for my USB key, or panicking when I put my key through the wash (which I recently did). No more worrying about which computer has my most recent file. No more emailing myself documents. (And then getting excited by the "ding" announcing a new message, only to realize it's just a message from me, myself and I.)


So, what does Dropbox do? If you ever find yourself working on more than one computer, it is a must-have tool. You sign up in no time on their website. Then, download and install the software on all your devices, including your iPhone. A free account gives you 2 GB (with the possiblity of "earning" 250 MB more) of space to store all your documents. Here's how it works:


Let's say I am working on a translation project and I need my source text, my translation and a termbase I've made in Excel. I work on it on my desktop, and when I'm done, I save my three files to the Dropbox folder that has been installed in my harddrive.


I have a half an hour to kill before I meet one of my tutoring students, and I want to get some translation in. I have my laptop with me, so I open up my Dropbox file and find all the files I worked on using my desktop are there.


Back at home, I open my Dropbox and my updated files are on my desktop, and away I go.


From my iPhone, waiting for the bus, I can send my client my work by logging into my Dropbox with the free app I downloaded.... since I realize the deadline is in 5 minutes!


One terrible day, my laptop gets stolen and my desktop gets a virus and crashes. I borrow a friend's computer, log on to Dropbox and my files are there, no harm done! (Except perhaps the loss of my two computers...)


Dropbox could also be used during a team translation. If translator A makes changes, those changes will immediately be available to translator B.


Your documents are available on any computer you have placed a Dropbox folder on, even without an internet connection, since they are saved on your harddrive. Any changes you make will be saved and synched next time you connect to the internet.


Dropbox, you've changed my life.