Once you've installed the DropBox app on your computers, anytime you create or edit a file on one machine, that file is automatically replicated on all of your other machines.
From this point on, creating or editing a file on any of my computers causes that file to be backed up into the cloud and automatically replicated on all of my other machines. (In the case of devices with limited memory, like smartphones and tablets, you can specify a subset of files and folders to be synchronized.)
The reason all of this popped into my mind is that -- as I mentioned earlier -- I just picked up a small notepad computer for home use. Generally speaking, I prefer to use my big Windows 8 notepad at home. For some reason, however, the Arduino-USB driver stopped working when I upgraded to Windows 8.1. The driver still works on my Windows 7 notepad, but it's a pain in the rear end unplugging this from my treadmill desk and carting it back and forth between my office and my home.
Thus it was that -- yesterday as I pen these words -- I toddled round the corner to my local technology recycling center and picked up a small, low-performance, cheap-and-cheerful notepad computer, whose sole task will be to act as an editor/compiler for my Arduino programs. Of course, when I say small and low-performance, I mean this by today's standards (it's got dual-processors, 160 GB hard drive, and it came pre-loaded with Windows 7 and Office 2007). Just a few years ago this would have been a monster and cost "an arm and a leg."
The first thing I did when I returned home yesterday evening was power this little scamp up, download and install the DropBox application, and then leave it happily chuntering away synchronizing all of my data files, including all of my existing Arduino sketches (programs). All I have to do this evening is install the Arduino IDE, use the "File > Preferences > Sketchbook Location" menu command to point it at my sketchbook folder in DropBox, and I'll be on my way.
Why am I telling you all this? In fact, there are two reasons. The first is that, if you aren't using something like DropBox to back-up your mission-critical data files... then the odds are that one day you are going to be a very unhappy person indeed. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, but for goodness sake do something. My greatest hope is that, at some time in the future, you will email me to say, "After reading your blog, I started using XYZ to back-up my files. Yesterday my computer died. I am SO HAPPY I followed your advice!"
The other reason for me waffling on like this is that you only get a few gigabytes of storage with your free DropBox account. You can pay for more, but I'd rather keep my hard-earned lucre in my own pocket, thank you very much. The thing is that, if you recommend DropBox to someone and they join using a special link they give you (mine is http://db.tt/Q8DgKua, hint, hint), then -- for each person who joins -- you get an additional chunk of storage.
I've almost used up all of my existing storage. I could start deleting old files, but you never know when something is going to come in handy. Alternatively, I can write blogs like this one in the hope that they will help increase the amount of storage available to me. So don’t delay -- sign up, sign up... daddy needs his storage!
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting