Tagged: dropbox

Mount cloud storage services as local drive on your Mac

CloudMounterDropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, FTP… there are all sorts of file storage and syncing sites out there, and you probably find yourself using more than one, if not several.

When I first tried Eltima’s CloudMounter, an app that gathers all those services and more into one menubar item, I wondered why I would need it; after all, I already have access to them via the respective service apps. After using CloudMounter for a week, I began to notice that it was more useful than I originally thought. (more…)

Six great Dropbox alternatives

Dropbox alternatives

You have Dropbox, right? C’mon, who hasn’t at least tried it? For those who haven’t, Dropbox is a simple way to sync files from one computer to others, and share files with family, friends, and co-workers.

Dropbox has cemented itself as a staple of any multi-Mac user’s toolbox. It works near flawlessly, and couldn’t be easier to use. But there are plenty of alternatives out there that offer similar services, if not exactly the same ones.

Here are a few that I’ve tried and really like. Most offer paid upgrades for more storage and features, but all are free to use if your syncing and storage needs are light.


Copy is named quite ironically, because it’s a virtual copy of Dropbox as far as how it works. A folder is created in your Home folder your Mac and everything you put in it gets synced through the cloud with your other Macs (or PCs). The Copy web app is nicer to work with than Dropbox’s website, IMO. I love the features Copy offers, like the ability to easily set up shared folders, notifications, and bandwidth restrictions for uploads and downloads.

Copy starts you off with 15GB of storage. Like Dropbox, Copy offers a referral bonus program which gives you 5GB of bonus storage for every friend who signs up with your personal link. Your friend also gets an extra 5GB when they sign up. So if you use the link above to sign up, you should get 20GB of storage right from the start. Pretty sweet! Copy is already fairly popular, and integration with other websites and iOS apps is popping up every day. The iOS app is really, really nice, too!


An emergency is a bad time to plan for one

The most valuable part of a computer is also its most fragile: Data are the wealth of a digital lifestyle, a currency of which many notes are irreplaceable. At least, that’s how I felt staring at a “Confirm you want to wipe your hard disk” message, my finger poised over the mouse.

During an emergency is a bad time to plan for one. It’s the feeling one might get jumping from a plane before checking one’s parachute.

In the Smashing Magazine article, My Hard Drive Crashed…” (And What I Learned From It), Ben Gremillion covers his experiences and thoughts with several backup services.

For what it’s worth, I do backups manually right now. I use Apple’s Time Machine, but I manually back up to external USB hard drives and store them off-site for safe keeping. That being said, I’m considering signing up for CrashPlan. It appears to be the best option, and in asking about different services from people I know, it’s the most flexible.

30 Mac OS X apps and utilities I love: Part 1

Mac OS X ApplicationsOver the years I’ve installed a lot of commercial software, shareware and freeware on my Macs. I love trying new apps. That being said, most of what I install gets used once or twice, then discarded. But there is a small collection of apps and utilities for Mac OS X that I’ve found to be extremely useful and kept around for the long haul.

I have no set criteria for deciding what stays and what goes, but for the most part the app has to serve a particular need, look good, and work as advertised. The following is not a complete list of what’s installed on my Mac, but it represents what applications and utilities have stood the test of time, and what I use the most.

My favorite apps are, in no particular order:


There are lots of note-taking apps out there, but when I set out to find one that was dead simple, had a Mac and web client, and synced with my iPhone – I found only one that worked for me. JustNotes uses the SimpleNote service and syncs with all my Macs, my iPhone. It offers a menubar item for quick access, a few keyboard shortcuts, and not much more. It’s exactly what I was looking for, and it’s free.

Note: SimpleNote offers a web client, as well as iPhone app by itself – so you only need JustNotes (or other compatible app) if you want a Mac client.

AirDropper makes file requests and transfers with Dropbox users easier

In the world of file transfers, nothing is easier, more convenient, and more reliable than Dropbox. That is of course, unless the person you want to share files with doesn’t have a Dropbox account; then it’s a little more tricky – especially if the person on the other end isn’t quite as tech savvy as you are.

One of the reasons I love other services like YouSendIt is that it makes sharing your file easier by allowing you to upload your file, then email the link to the file for someone to download. The problem is that the service isn’t nearly as convenient as Dropbox beyond that single feature.

AirDropper for Dropbox

AirDropper for Dropbox makes file requests & sharing easy

Enter AirDropper, a web-based service that connects with your Dropbox account to make transferring files as easy as sending an email. As the image above illustrates, AirDropper works seamlessly with Dropbox to accomplish the task of requesting and sharing your files. First you connect AirDropper to your Dropbox account. Then you fill out our request form with a description of the file you want and how you want to send the request, whether by email or by using a secure upload link. Once the person you’re requesting the file from visits our secure page and uploads the file, we immediately put the file in a subfolder called “AirDropper” within your Dropbox.

3 great cloud-based apps every designer and Mac user should use

Cloud appsThere is certainly no shortage of applications available that heavily rely on “the cloud” to do their work. It’s the hip thing to do nowadays. Personally, I prefer a more robust, reliable and feature-rich desktop app any day. But there are a few cloud-based apps that I love, and simply couldn’t live without.

The advantage, of course, is that these applications store information on servers accessed via the Internet, so that information is available to you anywhere you go, from any computer you have access to. This is huge for any Mac user who’s lucky enough to have a desktop and a laptop, or splits their time between their office and home computers. The three apps below can, and for many people have, killed the need for transferring files via physical media such as CD or USB thumb drives, and made accessing and sharing information dead simple.

Dropbox offers free file storage, syncing, and sharing over the Web

There are a ton of file-sharing sites out there. Most all of them force you to use a cumbersome Web interface, and few offer the ease of syncing your files between computers. Dropbox allows you to store, sync and share your files online as easily as drag-and-dropping your files or folders on the Dropbox folder on your desktop (or wherever else you wish to keep it). Files of any kind are automatically uploaded and made available online. Those files are also synced with any other Mac you have Dropbox installed on. But here’s where it gets interesting… (more…)