Monday, July 20, 2009

How to stop losing USB Drives

How many USB Drives have you bought? How many have you lost?

Is it a marketing ploy on the part of the manufacturers to make them so easy to lose? It is beyond annoying and even costly; when you misplace one with important files on it, it can be alarming.

I haven't worried about losing one in a while. I've stopped using them.

Instead, I have subscribed to Dropbox. There are many online file storage sites online, but Dropbox has a unique feature. You can load a small applet that runs in your System Tray. When you click on it, you get a Windows Explorer view of the files in your Dropbox. Anything you drag and drop to this view, gets sync'd to your Dropbox account.

The beauty is, you an have this applet on any number of PC's. I have one on my primary PC, but also on the laptop I use. So when I copy something to my Dropbox folder (the default is My Documents/My Dropbox) it is also in that folder on my laptop next time I start it up.

I've created an account for my wife. When I need to share a file with my wife, I just upload it to her account. She can grab it whether she's upstairs, or at work.

Dropbox comes with 2 gigabytes for free. You can get more space by buying it on a monthly basis. So far for our needs, 2 gig is enough.

Dropbox also has some great file sharing abilities. I am going to begin using those this week. One of my non-work efforts is coordinating the Audio-Visual Team at our church. One element of that is creating PowerPoint slides projected before and during the services. We have a workflow to coordinate the creation and editing of these slides encompassing the Ministers, the Church Staff, the Music Leads and Choir members. We had been using a check-in/check-out repository I found called OpenDocMan, but it seems too complicated for our simple needs. Dropbox seems to be a better solution for us. I'll blog again about this after we have had a few weeks experience.

The only time I still need a USB Drive is to share files with a PC that is not web connected. And I find fewer and fewer of those in my life now-a-days.

You can see a short screencast about Dropbox here.

Shameless plea: I get can get a small bump in my free 2 gig of storage space by referring users. If you want to try Dropbox, could you sign-up using this link? Thanks!


  1. The best thing I like about Dropbox is that they have mac, linux and windows clients. I sync across all my machines, work, home and otherwise. Of course, you can't boot off of it. :)

  2. You should also mention, that they also get the 250mb bump in storage for using your referral link, it is a win-win!

  3. @NextLevel I didn't know that. That is a good thing!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I have decided to not take my usb drives out of the house anymore. I don't take it to work, gym, car, anywhere. Just leaving it at home. If I have to copy files from my pc to my laptop I do it at home. I take my laptop with me everywhere. I update files etc, but don't copy updated files until I get home then with the usb I backup files to my pc.