A tool to help you!

Most of spring term has wrapped up!  We still have a few straggling language classes, and our final seminar in intercultural competence, but everything else is over until the end of June!  Summer is unique, as we splinter off into specialization classes and begin our exit projects or find internships, but you can still expect updates from us.

I recently came across a web tool that would have helped me a lot at the beginning of MIM, and I think it could serve many of you as well.  Dropbox is a unique file-syncing and sharing website.  Imagine this scenario:

You’ve worked all night on a final version of your marketing project.  Before going to bed you save your file to your USB drive, so you can print it off in the computer lab (500 free pages each term!).  But when you get to school, you realize your USB drive is sitting at home on your desk!  Panic sets in.

A lot of people get around this by e-mailing files to themselves – but let’s be honest.  That is a really clunky way to keep track of your documents.  Dropbox gets around that by installing a special folder on your hardrive that syncs with an identical file on the internet, so it is accessible anywhere (and you get 2GB free).  As soon as you save your files in your “dropbox,” they immediately get synced to the internet.  When you get to the computer lab, you can download and print that final version.  Of course, if you want to edit it again, just upload it back to your web-based version.  When you get home, voila! the file on your hard drive is again automatically updated!!  You can even install a dropbox on another hard drive, and it will sync across all 3, giving you a permanent USB drive in the cloud.

You can even share folders with friends who use the service.  This would really make group projects easy.  I spent the past few months e-mailing files back and forth to 4 or 5 group mates, which produced a mountain of files and attachments as everyone would submit their part to everyone else.  Had we shared a dropbox for our files, life would have been much easier.  Google Docs is great, but if you’ve used it, you know there are formatting issues once you take it back to Word or Excel.

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Filed under Austin's Entries, Coursework, Student Life

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