Dropbox – Even cleverer than I thought!

I’ve been using Dropbox for a while as a really useful way of sharing files with clients, friends and family. It’s very clever in the way it works with a nice little menu item on my computer that links directly to my local dropbox folder. Anything I put in that folder get automatically synced to my dropbox in ‘the cloud’, creating an online copy of the files and a way of sharing those file with others. I can obviously control who can access the files and which files / folders are shared or not shared.

I’ve  recently been working on a publication for a client and have been presenting them with a pdf file of the document as it progressed. Initially I’d been doing this by providing them with a CD containing the file, but they wanted a few amendments made to the original file today so I added it to my dropbox and provided them with a link. It’s a 50 page document and the file was about 40Mb in size so the initial upload took about 30 minutes on my (not very fast) broadband connection. I then noticed a small error in the file, corrected this which took a few seconds and then had to re-upload it to dropbox.

I was expecting the upload to take 30 minutes or so again as I assumed that the original pdf file would have to be overwritten with the amended one, but somehow, and I have no idea how they do this, the upload only took a few seconds.  There’s some clever voodoo going on there as the upload process must have examined the contents of the pdf file and uploaded just the changes! I can understand how it would only need to upload any files that had been changed, but quite how it only needs to upload the changes WITHIN a file is beyond me. That’s pretty clever if you ask me and adds yet another reason why I like Dropbox!

You can try it out by signing up for a free account here. You may just like it!

1 Response

  1. Andrew says:

    It’s done using ‘binary diff’ https://www.dropbox.com/help/8

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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