Dropbox: Taking Advantage of the Cloud 

This Week's Find

My work day doesn't end when I go home. Dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt, I'm often bellied up to my home PC, writing feverishly, a cup of coffee and a bag of Swedish fish within reach. But unlike a writer who can e-mail a Word document to a publisher, everything I write goes into a program designed for newspaper layout. From home, I either e-mail articles to myself or copy them onto a thumb drive. It's a fine system--until I forget to attach a document to an e-mail, forget to hit "send" on my way out the door, or leave my drive dangling from my PC's USB port.

Dropbox seems custom-made for me.

I downloaded the program on my computers--my desktop, my laptop and my netbook--and then a login and password allows me access to any docs I "drop" into the "box" either from the downloaded application or on dropbox.com. It's free for up to 2GB of storage and that 2GB can be anything: music, documents, video, pictures, whatever. The program syncs any changes I make to a document, which means if I edit an article at home, all of those changes are on the version of the document in the dropbox on my work computer as well. The same goes for visiting dropbox.com on the Web; I can see all of the documents in my dropbox folder, including any changes to the documents that I've made. Dropbox also allows for file sharing and collaborating, making telecommuting that much easier. I may never have to change out of my sweatpants.

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