Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not Dead Yet.

   Well, it's been an up and down summer for me here, and while I could list a bunch of excuses why I have ignored the blog, I won't bother...
   One thing that I thought some may be interested in is the revision work I've been doing with my personal website (www.garstin.ca).
   I've overhauled the look and feel, to make it as intuitive and easy to use as possible.  I recently purchased a convertable tablet computer (Acer EeePC T91) which has made me re-examine how websites and user interfaces are constructed.  Text can be small to save on space, but links need to be easy to click with a finger... In that interest, I made my most used links into 128x128 icons, and my other links are in 12point bold font, with 8point regular descriptions.
   Also, to make things work as quickly and easily as possible, I have eliminated the idea of a separate links page, and put the links right at the beginning, on my homepage.  It should be really easy to quickly scan and find anything I may recommend.
   I also think I have given up on GDrive arriving anytime soon.  The ability to host any filetype in Google Docs was great, but the interface to do so is still a horror.  So I went with the ever-popular Dropbox.  I also liked Syncplicity, but couldn't find an easy way to publicly share the files that I was syncing.  Dropbox makes it very simple, by allowing you to right-click a file and have a public link automatically generated.
   So now I use Dropbox to mirror my most-used software.  As well, Dropbox was the only cloud syncing application that also meshed seamlessly with AllwaySync to allow me to automatically sync my flash drive to my public Dropbox folder.  This means I can basically download anything I want to my desktop Dropbox folder, and have it sync both to the cloud, and to my flash drive, so that I have lots of options for getting at key pieces of software from wherever I may be.  That's a real bonus.
   A few notes that I have discovered - you can't rename your "Public" Dropbox folder...  It kills the ability to publicly share the files within it.  You have to live with that.  As well, Dropbox doesn't allow you to place your Dropbox folder on a network drive, it has to be a local drive.  You could likely use AllwaySync after that to keep things syncronized, but I decided to just accept that I'd have a local folder for my essential programmes.
   If you decide to try Dropbox, please note that by clicking on one of the links I've peppered this entry with, both you and I will get a 256MB bonus to our storage.  Once I've maxxed that out, I will switch the link to just the executable file.  Just so you know...
   Please, let me know what you think of the new layout, and if you have any questions about how I've got my system working...  Maybe even follow my really lame Buzzfeed?