Monday, October 24, 2016

Dropbox: A short(ish) tutorial

               Dropbox is one of many “cloud storage services” that offer to store your files in “the cloud.”  You can store documents, pictures, videos, and music in the free 2GB of space (can be increased to 2.5GB with some additional steps).  Dropbox can accessed by either going to their web site, and signing up or logging in (on any Internet connected computer), by using the Dropbox program (from the web site or, or by app (both Android and iOS).
                Slight tangent: What is “The Cloud?”  The cloud is just a way of saying non-local data storage.  Your data is stored on a distant computer.  It’s the same idea as web based email, such as Gmail and Yahoo.  You can store up to 25GB in Gmail, and other services offer varying amounts of storage.
                With Dropbox installed on your computer, you can tell it which folders and file you want to keep updated.  When you click and drag a folder or file to the Dropbox folder, which tells it to sync that item.  You can treat that folder just like any other folder, meaning that you can also copy it to your own local storage, such as an external hard drive.  You can even save files directly to Dropbox.
                The Dropbox acts just like any other folder on your computer.  You can copy, cut, paste or delete files as you see fit.  If you right-click on the file, you now have a “Copy Dropbox Link” item in the menu.

You can email this link, once pasted, to people.  They can only see that item, no others.
             In my Dropbox, I also have folders for pictures I’ve taken of my backyard, documents for the computers and classes, screenshots from car racing, and my stories.  Mini and Myrtle are my Chevy Cavaliers.
                You can use keyboard commands or the right-click menu to organize the files and create new folders, or delete folders and file you no longer want in Dropbox.

+C            Copy
+ X           Cut
+A            All Items
+V            Paste
+Z            Undo
+       Permanently remove item
F2                           Renames highlighted item

More commands:  

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