I have a habit, perhaps a bad one, of using several computers when I write. In addition to my primary system, I have a netbook I use for "distraction-free writing." Even though I've become adept at juggling thumb drives it takes a lot of discipline to manage versions of files and keep the master copy up to date. I try to be careful but every so often I sit down to write only to find that the latest version of the file I need is on the other computer.
That's why I'm so taken by the Dropbox service. Dropbox creates a folder on each system that stays synchronized. That is, if you change a file in the Dropbox folder on one computer, those changes are automatically applied to the corresponding files on all your other systems. Dropbox also maintains password-protected copies of all the files from your folder on their web site. This means you have an automatic, evergreen backup.
A couple of notes:
I recently posted a note about backups and my experience with Dropbox on my blog, The Laws of Making.
- If you're worried about the security of your files you can create and synchronize a TrueCrypt volume. For my part, I've decided to use Dropbox while I'm developing and drafting.
- If you want to use Dropbox to satisfy your resolution to do a better job of backing-up your work you need to understand that while the service keeps old versions for 30 days it's purpose is to keep copies of your latest work. You'll have to look elsewhere if you need your entire revision history.
Oh, and the best part for us impecunious scribblers: Dropbox is free until you need to synchronize more than 2 GB of data.
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