I use a bunch of free online storage options. Mainly I use Dropbox for sharing big files, Microsoft OneDrive for stuff that I want to use on any of my computers, GoogleDrive for documents on the fly, Flickr, Amazon mp3 for music. I don’t use Picassa because it seems when people share photos using Picassa they always send the small compressed files rather than the better quality hi res ones. For a blog that relys heavily on photos, that’s sucky. I do think Picassa works well for lots of people and I love most everything else Google but that one little thing drives me nuts about Picassa.
Anyway, it goes without saying that you should back up your hard drive often. I suggest at least one hard copy onto an external drive and a service like Carbonite that backs everything up to the cloud for your important files like photos, music, videos and documents.
But what I’m mainly focusing on in this post are online storage options that are free and allow you access to the bulk of your photos, music and documents for easy access anywhere you are in the world and from any device.
The main one I use because it syncs so perfectly among all my computers and makes beautiful photo albums I can share on the blog is OneDrive from Microsoft (formerly SkyDrive). It allows me to make beautiful slideshows and photo presentations and it’s completely free. I can acess the files from any of my devices including my android phone, Apple iPad, my laptop or my desktop PC. To get it and it’s storage for free click here
Here’s a snapshot of my OneDrive homescreen- Simple, uncluttered, easy to navigate.
I highly recommend you take advantage of this free online storage option
I’m rooting for Microsoft I really am. I’m an unabashed fan of Windows 7. I don’t like Windows 7 OS, I LOVE it. But the more I read or can’t read about Windows 8 the more it makes me think it’s going to be an abysmal failure.
Before Windows 7 came out there was a bunch of videos showing what it could do in slow real time usage explaining the features of the Windows Live essentials suite of apps it came with. With Windows 8 there are a couple of videos out but it’s all super fast animations without explanations as if they are hiding things. Why? if you are so proud of it why not plaster what makes it so great in easy to understand demo videos rather than videos of people dancing around with the newly released Surface?
I want it to be great, I really do but my gut tells me it’s going to be horribly accepted.
The Latest Review of What Microsoft CEO said was going to be the best laptop ever- the Surface from Gizmodo-
Here is the stock quote from the minute I composed this post-
It’s been as low as 24 and as high as 32.95 but it is relatively cheap selling for only 15 times earnings.
So here we go, Microsoft Over/Under Poll-
On April 24, 2013 will Microsoft stock be over or under $28.01 per share?
I want to be wrong. I want Windows 8 to blow me away with how awesome it will be for the next desktop or laptop I’ll be buying. Maybe I’m just frustrated that I haven’t been able to see a laptop unit operate using it. Please Microsoft, prove me wrong, I’m rooting for you. My gut tells me you’re putting way too much stock into a touch interface much like the TV industry put too much stock into creating 3D TVs that no one cares about.
The iPad sure is sexy. I’ll spare everyone from making any inappropriate jokes about tampons in this space and focus on the tablet gadget that Apple came out with back in April of this year.
Some folks take the Microsoft vs Apple thing way too far much like some folks take the republican/democrat things way too far and let the principles that each faction stand for blind them to any good there may be in the opposing camp.
Before Windows 7 came out I had crazy lust for a macbook because I couldn’t edit HD movies on my windows based computer like I could on a mac. Walking past the Apple store at the mall without popping in was and is not very likely for me.
When the Mrs’ laptop shit the bed this winter I priced out mac laptops for her as a replacement and as much mac lust I was having at the time, a $1000 laptop was/is overkill for her very simple web browsing and Facebooking needs. So I went out and bought her a Windows 7, 17 inch laptop with 500 GB of storage space and 4GB of RAM for $550.
It wasn’t long after messing around with her windows 7 laptop that my mac lust had up and left the building. It baffles me that Microsoft is not crowing more about the success of it’s new operating system. They made the file system so incredibly easy to use, they added a slew of useful tools that to steal the Apple phrase “just work”. I can easily bang out content for the blog twice as quickly on a Windows 7 machine than I can on an old Vista machine. Every single Microsoft operating system up until Windows 7 truly sucked ass but Microsoft really hit a home run with Windows 7.
The iPad still intrigued me as a pretty neat tool but once I dug into the specs and what it can and can’t do I similarly can’t justify the expense. Sure it is visually stunning, sure it is light weight and portable but consider the price for the base model-
$499 for a wifi version with only 16GB of capacity. $599 for a wifi version with 32GB of capacity and $699 for 64GB of capacity. The screen’s display is 9.7-inch (diagonal) and is really a thing of beauty to look at but if you were going to carry the thing around in a bag you would need to get some sort of case for it to prevent it from getting scratched up.
All this begs me to ask the question- Why would someone spend $499 to get a machine that can only do a fraction of what you could do with a windows based laptop that demolishes the iPad on just about every single statistic?
Here’s where I answer my own question-
The reason people are buying these things is because for 90% of the users out there they don’t need all the specs that a power user or someone that actually creates content needs. My guess is that 90% of home based computing is for browsing the internet and consuming content and for those people the iPad is pretty damn good. The interface IMO trumps anything that is out there for a internet content consumer.
My needs as a heavy content creator cannot be met by a $499 16GB of storage iPad that does not (as of this writing) allow you to edit video. It also does not have a usb port which means you can’t even use a portable external drive. That is a huge failure for MY needs but for most of the computing public it’s of no concern at all. Apple to their credit is smart. They aren’t trying to capture every single person in the universe. they don’t care about the power user in this space or else they would at the very least up the RAM and provide a USB post. They are producing quality products for the masses that are slick and extremely easy to operate and for the vast majority of users, my guess is that they never take a bit of video off their video cameras and edit into a movie on their computer.
You can’t argue with the recent study by Morgan Stanley Research which showed how much US Retail Notebook sales have decreased since the announcement of the iPad. Those numbers are staggering. I guess that will be good news for those of us power users who will probably be able to get incredibly powerful machines for very little scratch due to an abundance of supply while all the consumers of digital content add the sexy iPad to their Christmas wish lists.
So to sum it up-
If your computer usage only consists of browsing the internet and you never edit pictures or save pictures to your computer but want a slick viewing experience (and money to burn) the iPad is pretty sweet.
If you plan to do any serious content producing and/or can only own one device buy yourself a laptop. They are pretty damn cheap and you can do a whole lot more.
Now if in future generations of the iPad they choose to up the RAM, give us a usb port, and a movie editing app similar to iMovie I might reconsider my stance.
Random thoughts about my experience with apple and microsoft
My ipod touch is the coolest, easiest-to-use,just works out of the box seemlessly, gadget I’ve ever owned. It promises to do a lot and over delivers.
I wish I had an iPhone.
I’ve never owned a mac but have wanted to for a couple years-mainly for the ability to make some great videos.
Every time I need to purchase a new computer for the house or dock I’ve looked at macs and just can’t bring myself to spend over double to get a similarly spec’d mac compared to a pc.
Windows 7 is a ginormouse step forward over any of the three previous pc operating systems I’ve used.
I LOVE it’s file system, love windows live writer for blogging, love windows LIVE movie maker(all new in windows 7), and many of the other features in win7
Although the iPad is cool as hell I’d rather have a $700 laptop with a 4g sprint connection which they will be rolling out this summer. faster speeds and you can do wayyyy more on a laptop than you can do on an iPad.
That’s not to say the iPad isn’t cool as hell, but you’d be able to do wayyyyy more on a $700 laptop with 4g.
I also think that a laptop is a better format for a mobile computing device than an iPad.
If you carry and iPad around you have to protect that screen. with a laptop you close the cover and the screen is protected.
With an iPad you need to hold it with one hand and type with one, with a laptop you adjust the angle of the screen to what works for how you are viewing it and bang away with two hands.
just off the top of my head.
Oh I’ll also add that the apple products have wayyyyy cooler interfaces.
the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all are way cooler interfaces than any android or other phones or mini computers I’ve ever used.