Keeping my data in sync

When I’m travelling around, I have to sync a few important files and directories across a Mac mini, a notebook running both Windows and Ubuntu and my iPhone. I still haven’t found a solution to keep calendar, contacts and e-mails across all devices because – call me old-fashioned – I refuse to put everything into the hands of a single service that forces me to rely on one vendor (like Apple’s mobile me) or stores everything on one website (like google mail/calendar or any IMAP mail service).

My contacts and calendars are covered by iTunes. They aren’t synched to my Windows/Linux laptop but whenever I’m carrying it around I also have my phone with me so that’s not a big deal.

For e-mail, I’ve been using Opera for ages and I like it. Its not good with IMAP but I can copy my whole mail directory from Windows to Linux to Mac OS and nothing breaks. So after years of using Total Commander to copy stuff between network drives I’ve finally found a service that takes care of all my synching needs.

Dropbox logoIt’s called Dropbox and offers 2 GB of free online storage space that is kept in sync across all three operating systems. I use it for my e-mail directory, my bookkeeping files and handy VFX related files like Fusion macros or scripts. It works perfectly and it is smart enough not to upload huge files again and again if only small parts have changed. Two additional features that might be handy: it will create an online gallery of jpegs that are uploaded to a certain directory and it allows you to share the contents of arbitrary directories with other dropbox users or the public.

Well, that’s enough corporate endorsement for today. But if you feel like opening up a Dropbox account too, kindly use this link which will earn both of us 250 MB of extra space for free 🙂


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