I'm an active Dropbox user, and often get asked, "How do you use this?". This post aims to be a guide for you Windows users on how to use dropbox successfully.
Right, let's get started, we're assuming that you have not got a dropbox account yet. Step by step instructions are as follows:
- Sign up - want 250MB extra space from the get go? Course you do! use my Referral link then :)
- Download and install dropbox.
- Navigate to wherever you install Dropbox (for example, '(My) Documents' and you'll see 'My Dropbox'
- Inside 'My Dropbox' are (by default) two directories, Photos, and Public - and a txt file (this one ;)) - it's the 'Public' file we're interested in, as all files you drop in there go into your web accessible folder.
- Now, get familiar with Dropbox, get any image, drag and drop it into your 'public' folder. Now, wait till it has a little green tick beside it, this means it's synced with the dropbox cloud, you can then right click the image, and get the dropbox link. Like so.
- Right, so we have dropbox installed, we know where our files go. Now we need an easy, quick way to send files there with the push of a key. Mac and Ubuntu have in-built apps where you hit prntscrn on the keyboard and it asks you where to save it. We don't get this with windows, but never fear!
- Yes, the windows alternative to this software is called 'Screenpresso' - Download it, install it, try it out by hitting the print screen button. First time, navigate to your dropbox public folder and save an image, it'll save there without any problems from then on in.
- You now have a file which has a name of something like 2010-08-03-19h43_55.png - there are two things you can do, a] work out how to do some dns magic to a subdomain to redirect to dropbox, so you can have db.mysite.com/2010-08-03-19h43_55.png (like I have with mikey.junkput.com - generously figured out by Chris) or b] just create a shortcut to your dropbox folder and find the file, and right click it (or even remember your dropbox userid and type the url manually)
- These are the absolute basics you need to know to work with dropbox. HTML files will be parsed and output, so will css files, you can host small html files on your dropbox, but PHP doesnt get parsed, you can't use things such as .htaccess, nor would you be able to host something like a forum from your dropbox account..
Well, now you're on your way to using dropbox daily like I do :) Good luck, enjoy!