It’s 11:30 the day before the biggest English essay of the year is due. You type the last period, adjust the font size and spell check your paper and read it one last time. Feeling accomplished you go grab a snack when you come back, a horrific scene is displayed on your computer screen. It’s blue with white numbers and letters all over it. You desperately try to get back to your paper but before you can do anything your computer restarts, and when it does, an endless cycle of starting up and shutting down commences and this never allows you to retrieve that precious essay you spent hours writing at the last minute. The E.R. doesn’t offer much help except they tell you that you might get lucky and be given a temp to use. Your paper is gone forever and your grade will soon follow.
Has that ever happened to you? When your computer crashes or blue screens all that hard work you’ve done is just gone. I’ve come across a solution to this problem that actually works quite well for many things. Dropbox.com offers 2 gigabytes worth of online storage for free to anyone. All you have to do is create an account.
They also have a free application for Windows, Mac, and smart phones that allows you to automatically sync files between computers and to the web. Here’s how you can save yourself from academic disaster: download the application from Dropbox.com, run the set up, which will install the application as well as walk you through setting up your account, then save your document in the dropbox folder and it will automatically sync to your online storage account.
Let’s get into more detail about how to set this up and how it works.
Step 1: Download the application
Go to Dropbox.com then click the button that says Download Dropbox
(Click to Enlarge)
Step 2: Run the install/Create your account
Double click the file you have downloaded to start the install. In the window that comes up, click install. The installer will install Dropbox to your computer. It will then ask if you have an existing account or if you want to create a new one. Choose create a new one. Fill out the form on the next page and give you computer a name that you can identify it easily by (e.g. school computer).
Step 3: Setup
Next choose the 2GB free account and typical set up from the next two windows that will come up. It will start a short tutorial that you will need to click through. I recommend reading through the tutorial if it’s your first time. After that, you are all finished. You should now have a neat little blue box in your taskbar and a new folder called Dropbox in your folder panel.
Whatever you click and drag or save into this folder will automatically be synced to Dropbox.com and any other computer or device connected to your Dropbox and will be safe from the threat of crashing computers.
Questions/problems about how this works? Please leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll try and solve your problem.