Dropbox makes USB drives obsolete

Well, maybe not obsolete, but definitely less integral for the mobile professional.

Dropbox ReferralsI started using Dropbox roughly six months ago and have been consis­tently impressed with the service, single tweet of discontent aside.

Dropbox syncs your files between computers on which you have their light­weight software installed. It creates a folder where you can store all the to-be-synced files, or you can specify at instal­lation an alter­native folder. Anything you “drop” into the “box” gets synced right away to the web interface and any other computers you have running the software and logged in. RIP, USB drive!

Dropbox is a great tool if you use multiple platforms regularly. It works across Windows, Mac and Linux. At home I have an Ubuntu laptop, at work I have a Windows laptop, and I have a persistent Kubuntu USB drive I occasionally use.

I’m still using their free 2GB service, but I frequently toy with the idea of upgrading to the next level: $10/month for 50GB. I would love for there to be some middle ground, say $5/month for 20GB. I could probably justify that expen­diture to myself.

I highly recommend giving the service a try, for anyone who is using more than one device to store and work with their data. If you use Dropbox already, let me know why you like it in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Dropbox makes USB drives obsolete”

  1. Hello Neil,

    I always enjoy your posts about technology. I am surprised by the lack of innovation at public accounting firms. I know you’re not there anymore, but I can’t help wonder when will these firms realize how behind they are.

    I’ll rant on one thing first: One key thing you need on the field is internet. Everyone knows that in every audit engagement, half of the first day is spent figuring out IT issues, and why you can’t connect to the client’s internet. Simple solution: Rogers High Speed Internet Stick. All the “security concerns” that managers and the IT people complain about can be solved. The IT security profession is not in its infancy.

    I have always tinkered with the idea of devel­oping a free open source auditing client like CaseWare, without all the bloat­edness that comes with it. CaseWare is a document manager and a trial balance and guerrilla style risk assessment software — that’s all you need. I am positive that the bright and talented devel­opers found in silicon valley can be channeled to produce this type of software. These same herds of innovators are ones that developed shattering web tools such as Weebly, Scribd, Digg, Xobni, WordPress, Posterous and thousands of others. It is very disheart­ening knowing the dire state of public accounting.

    We want lean software. This has been the trend for the past five years — less is more. This appli­cation would be hosted entirely online, as it is expected someone who will overcome such an “innovation obstacle” will always have access to the web. This will allow for managers to review the file at anytime, without having to put the file on the network, without having to worry about putting the wrong file on the network, and then when your manager makes some changes, you realize you put the wrong one on the network => you now have two versions of a file, both of which are relevant.

    Excel you ask? How about the beautiful Zoho http://sheet.zoho.com/home.do ? Again, don’t need to worry about losing files, copying old files over news ones, and all the other malfunc­tions that happen at the client.

    Unfor­tu­nately I’m not a developer. I urge people to take on this task. It is easier said than done. I never meant it to be an easy task, but someone has to start.

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