Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Featured: Dropbox

If you don't have one, get one, or two, or three... Dropbox is a cloud (online) based service that stores data for you so you can access it anywhere you have internet access. I find it to be particularly useful for documents, school assignments, photos, and really anything else you can think of storing! The other really cool feature Dropbox provides is its client program, available to Linux, Mac OS X, & Windows. It will keep your files synchronized across as many machines as you link to your account, eliminating the need to email yourself copies of a "document-in-progress".

Here are some of the most useful features I value from Dropbox:

  • Synchronizing school work and/or projects.
  • Keeping an off-site backup of important files and documents. (They even hold onto a copy of files you delete or modify for 30 days!)
  • Sharing specific files publicly with everyone, even those without Dropbox accounts.
  • It has a great Photo Album feature to share your photos with family and friends.

The free Dropbox account comes with 2GB of space, but each person you refer will grant you an additional 250MB of space! (Note: up to an extra 3GB for a total of 5GB.)

But what if that still isn't enough space? below are instructions on running multiple instances of the Dropbox client simultaneously:


  1. mkdir /home/username/new-dropbox-folder
  2. HOME=$HOME/.new-dropbox-folder /usr/bin/dropbox start -i
  • To run Dropbox(es) automatically at startup, Edit the file: '/etc/rc.local' as root and add this line at the end of the file: 'su username -c "HOME=$HOME/.new-dropbox-folder /usr/bin/dropbox start"' repeat as needed.
  • Or, if you would like to run it on demand, enter this command in the terminal: 'HOME=$HOME/.dropbox-alt /usr/bin/dropbox start'.

OS X: The method for OS X is similar to linux, but is documented in full here.

Windows: Doing this in windows is not very practical in my opinion, but here is a tutorial on setting it up.

Note: This would be a great time to use the alias trick documented in my gmail post. By making an account with an email alias, you can increase security by keeping your username different than your original email address, this trick will also allow you to open multiple Dropbox accounts using a single email address!

1 comment:

  1. I love dropbox! It's seriously one of the coolest things ever! I can access papers for school on any computer, plus all previous semester papers are safely filed away in case I ever need them again. Awesome! thanks for the tips, Richard!