Get synched with Dropbox

I use to carry a thumbdrive containing files that I regularly use. These includes small application such as HijackThis!, notes, sample scripts and configuration files, and may other things.The thing is, I’m a very forgetful person. I often misplace the thumbdrive, or left it home and what not.

So I started to keep an online repository of things that I might require time to time on my office server that is accessible from internet, although I stopped doing this when I got my current job.

So back to carrying thumbdrive. Until I found Dropbox.

Dropbox is a free service that you can use to do a folder synchronization between 2 or more computers, be it a Windows, (certain flavour of) Linux, or OS X. When I put a file on my laptop’s Dropbox folder, it gets synchronized to Dropbox server. When my office desktop is turned on, the Dropbox client will immediately check on updates, and synchronized the changes right away. Not only that, Dropbox keeps revision history of changes, and is able to revert from changes. Oh, and you can use it to share photos and stuff.

Did I mention that Dropbox support Linux too?

On linux, Dropbox integrates with Nautilus, so I can’t really say about KDE users.

To start using Dropbox, the first thing that you need to do is to download the Dropbox client app. Dropbox currently support some version of Ubuntu, FC9. It also gave you the option to install from source if binary installer for your version of Linux is not available. To install the clients app, double click the .deb file, or you can do it the oldschool way, by firing up your console, and type:

surfer@M5Mobile:~$sudo dpkg --install nautilus-dropbox_0.5.0-1_i386_ubuntu_7.10.deb

The next thing that you have to do is to kill all of nautilus instance that is currently running, or if you’re running Compiz, log out and log back in instead. To kill all of the Nautilus instance,

surfer@M5Mobile:~$killall nautilus

Dropbox client will immediately start downloading files that it needs to get going.

Meanwhile, create a folder that you’re going to sync to Dropbox. After a while, it’ll start a wizard for to collect your Dropbox account setting.

Obviously, if you don’t have a Dropbox account, click on “I’m new to Dropbox”, and press forward to enter your registration info.  It will then create an account for you. View or skip the tour. On the next screen, click on “I want to choose where to put my Dropbox”, then click on the “Finish and go to my Dropbox” button.

Pick the folder that you create earlier. Dropbox will create several new folders on your Dropbox. The tick mark on each folders means that your local folder is in sync with your online folder.

Photos is used to store images that you want to share, while Public for files that you want to share. To share, right click on a file, and on Dropbox submenu, click on “Copy public link”. Paste the link to IM windows, e-mail clients, or whatever means you use to send the link. Files that you drop on these folders will be automatically uploaded/updated to your 2GB online storage.

Well.. that’s it.


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