Dancing in the Cloud

dropbox photo
Photo by kilokon.tw

I would like to say that I’m an early adopter but that isn’t at all accurate. What I want is a comprehensive plan for how I use the internet and that just can’t happen in an ad hoc manner. It requires thought and planning and pictures of little boxes with arrows pointing at them. And sure that plan will only last for three months or so but that’s how it is going to be.

Several years ago now, I made the decision that I was going to be moving more cloud based. I forget what exactly spurred that choice on but I see to remember having several conversations with people about security and what would happen if I threw my computer over a bridge. I want to say that it mostly coincided with the release of Google Music around 2011. If I could store all of my music online, which at the time was the biggest percentage of my file space, then why not move all of my files up there? The plan involved eventual move to a Chromebook as well.

The leader in online storage was Dropbox. They offered 2 gig of space free with the ability to gain more if you pimped it to your friends. Trimming out the duplicate files on my hard drive (a painful process) made it possible that I was JUST able to fit everything in Dropbox’s 50 gig/$100 per year solution if I kept my music files someplace else. I had Dropbox for all of a month when they sent me an e-mail letting me know that my $100 per year now bought 100 gig of space. I let out a sigh of relief and uploaded my music files.

As my time with Dropbox came to an end, I knew I wanted a Chromebook and the Chromebook came with two years of 100 gig space on Google Drive. Dropbox had been very good to me, but I’m not made of money either. In fact, my previous computer was a Macbook which had been a money hole so I was even more money-conscious than I might normally have been. So with the move to Chromebook I was fully 100% on the cloud… if you ignore the external hard drive I have squirreled away with all of my files backed up. The external hard drive is only for emergencies however.

Over the next two years I experimented with things(e-mail addresses, social media, on-line document editing, etc) that didn’t overly involve on-line storage. Then my father-in-law’s computer broke. Fortunately for him his hard drive didn’t crash but he needed a way to get the files stored on it. I have an S/ATA to USB converter so I told him I’d take care of it. I ripped all of the files and then went to share them….

Dropbox was the obvious choice for the type of sharing I wanted to do to get him his files back. Honestly, it didn’t really work but in the process I ended up re-purchasing my 100gig of Dropbox space as well as the 64 gig USB flash drive that he eventually got his files back on. My Chromebook is only a couple months away from dropping my free storage space and I needed to figure out what I was going to do. Here were the facts as I saw them:

  • Google Drive – $2/month for 100gig, Doc files stored as Link to Internet on hard drive
  • MS OneDrive – $2/month for 100gig, Doc files stored as *.docx on hard drive.
  • Dropbox – $8/month for 100gig, Doc files stored as is but no editor. Best reputation.

I’m more than a year out from my Mac days so the money shock wasn’t hitting me as hard and there is something satisfyingly simple about Dropbox. So I moved my files over to my dropbox account except for documents I am actively working on which are now stored on my OneDrive. It was an ok deal.

This morning I received an e-mail from Dropbox. My $100 per year will now be purchasing one Terabyte worth of storage space rather than the previous 100gig. I have no complaints.

Now to figure out photo gallery hosting.