Drop Box

You can’t give someone a digital picture frame for Christmas without filling it up with a starter set of pictures.  I mean, you can… but you’ve given them the present of having to do some up-front work.  So, I set out early this month to grab pics of the family, some scenic overlooks we’ve bumped into, and maybe a few other miscelaneous shots to get Mom’s Christmas present ready.

It takes a couple hour to get a good set of 100-150.  I need to sort through my collection, head out to my brother’s Flickr account, try some friends accounts, and just generally “gather”.

After having DropBox recommended by a few friends, I think we may be on to something that not only makes the process simpler – the resulting collection is much higher quality as well.

The premise is pretty simple: you get a magic folder that looks to be almost the same as any other folder on your machine, but DropBox is keeping it in sync with it’s remote storage location: Amazon S3.  So, it’s obviously handy for just backing things up, but it doesn’t end there.  It makes it simple to share.  I share a directory with my parents, and my sister-in-law and immediately we all can put in our good/new pics and immediately have them broadcast to everyone else.

The strongest point of DropBox though is the Python-based client.  It’s incredibly intuitive – just drop things in and it’ll take care of business.  Looks just like a “real folder” to anyone who is used to any flavor of Windows.  No worries about telling it when to synch, easy visual indicators on whether it’s actively working on anything.  It’s just really real nice.

Dead simple and a great solution to a common problem.  It’s free for the first 2GB, so take the tour here.

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