Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

Free online storage — what I’m doing now

Back in 2012 I wrote about a few cloud stor­age options I was explor­ing. Well a few years have passed so I thought I’d update / annot­ate the old one. So here goes. New com­ments will be col­oured red.

UPDATES Wow, another one today (Thursday, April 12, 2012). Log­MeIn has entered the ‘cloud stor­age space’ space by announ­cing the invite-only beta of Cubby — which gives you DropBox-like access to 5GB. I’ve reques­ted an invite and will post about it when I have some hands-on time. Meh. Cubby’s noth­ing to write home about. Log­MeIn has been a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment since they sig­ni­fic­antly changed their remote desktop applic­a­tion and left iOS users in the dust.

Drop­Box has doubled the amount of free space they’re giv­ing out through refer­rals and Spider Oak is also in my test­ing suite. It starts out with 2GB free, and I’ve just opened my account so I’ve just star­ted test­ing, but you can expect I’ll write about it in a week or two. If you want to check it out, here’s an affil­i­ate link (which will get you one extra GB of storage!).

Drop­box is still cool and still used by me on mul­tiple com­puters and mobile devices. Well worth it if you’re look­ing great stor­age and 3rd party app sup­port through ser­vices like IFTTT and many mobile apps.

Cur­rently, the latest buzz is all about a pos­sible April launch of Google’s much-anticipated free cloud stor­age app called dubbed GDrive.

GDrive is clunky — not as eleg­ant as Drop­box or (more on that later).

Reports say it’ll come with a local, desktop cli­ent for most oper­at­ing sys­tems that will enable you to store and access about 1GB of files in the Cloud. Nice.

But it’s not here yet, and there are already other excel­lent cloud / drive solu­tions that offer the same or bet­ter. While it’s hard to com­pare apples to apple (dif­fer­ent pro­viders offer dif­fer­ent stor­age and util­ity pack­ages) here’s my thoughts on the cur­rent leaders:

The cur­rent mar­ket leader, offers 2GB free, desktop and mobile cli­ents for all lead­ing hard­ware. Recently, Drop­Box has become more act­ive in the enter­prise space offer­ing solu­tions for groups and teams.
Affil­i­ate pro­gram allows you to expand your stor­age space by sign­ing up friends etc. Nice that it’s pretty seam­less. Install the app on your device, log in, and your files are instantly access­ible. I’ve writ­ten before about Drop­box here and here.

My affil­i­ate link is here, if you want to check out Dropbox.

Drop­Box is still best-of-class. If you’re not using it yet and want to explore, please feel free to click my affil­i­ate link (we’ll both get small bonuses :)

Sug­ar­Sync ups the ante a bit by offer­ing a free 5GB account. They also have a nifty desktop cli­ent, great web inter­face, and the abil­ity to extend your stor­age capa­city through an affil­i­ate pro­gram (sign­ing up your friends, blog­ging about it, etc). Here’s my affil­i­ate link if you feel so inclined to check it out

Stopped using it recently. Not so much of an improve­ment over any other and the cli­ent wasn’t work­ing well on one of my desktops.

Recently made the news by announ­cing Box OneCloud — a col­lec­tion of mobile apps designed to work with Box’s cloud stor­age systems:

Sign­ing up to Box gets you an ini­tial 5GB of stor­age, but they often run pro­mo­tions with prizes up to 50GB.

While Box does offer free cli­ents for mobile devices, if you want to have the seam­less integ­ra­tion of Drop­box or Sug­ar­Sync, you’ll have to upgrade to the $15/month Box busi­ness plan.

I’m still using Box. More of a slow online backup of some doc­u­ments and stuff. It works well, has a very robust busi­ness model and support.

Microsoft Live Sky­Drive
This is the big sur­prise — Microsoft is offer­ing 25GB of stor­age, Mobile apps, online MS Office integ­ra­tion (and you don’t need to have Office installed loc­ally), group col­lab­or­a­tion, and pub­lic file sharing.

For example, here’s a pub­lic link to an Empire Avenue pro­mo­tional video, stored in my pub­lic Sky­Drive space.

Cur­rently there isn’t a desktop cli­ent avail­able, so you will need to use the web inter­face (which is quite slick, even in Chrome and Fire­fox) to man­age your files. But a Win­dows and OSX desktop cli­ent is rumored to be avail­able shortly.

Now called OneDrive, you get 15GB free cloud stor­age, and MS Office online too. Not a bad setup if you use the Office suite of apps.

New Entries
Starts with 15GB free stor­age, and you can gain an extra 5GB per new user you invite using your unique invite code. Feel free to try out by using my Invite Code :D
Apple’s cloud stor­age entry is inter­est­ing. You can store doc­u­ments in iCloud, then access them from any other iCloud-connected device. One thing, you only get 5GB free, and that iCloud stor­age space is also used for your iOS device backups, if you have iCloud backup enabled. Still, a cool option from folks at the fruit stand.
Kim dot com’s file shar­ing and stor­age site. Free accounts start at 50GB, but you have lim­ited file sizes and trans­fer band­width. I use it lightly.

One or many?
Well, for me, I’m actu­ally using a mix­ture of these. Drop­box is my daily go-to stor­age solu­tion, simply because I’ve been using it for so long.

Sug­ar­Sync I’m using to keep some backup files stored safely. Box, well, I’m not con­sist­ent in my use of it, and Sky­Drive, well that’s my new darling. I’ve neg­lected it for a while but now will be try­ing to integ­rate it into my work­flow wherever I can. And yeah, you’ll here from me if there’s problems.

So, did I miss any­thing? What’s your online stor­age solu­tion look like?

Goin’ to Mars. Well, my name is ;)

Get your own board­ing pass and get your name to Mars!

Love the new Google doodle

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 8.40.00 AM


Ken­ojuak Ashevak, CC (Octo­ber 3, 1927 – Janu­ary 8, 2013) was a Cana­dian artist. She is regarded as one of the most not­able Cana­dian pion­eers of mod­ern Inuit art.

Cold & Starving

Cold & Starving

I felt like play­ing at lunch and this is the res­ult. Ori­ginal image is a screen shot from the early-access sand­box ver­sion of The Long Dark — a sur­vival game.

I pushed the screen shot through the iOS app Water­logued, then into another iOS app to make the album cover — Vinyl­izeMe. I kinda like the results :)

It’s about rescuing the ones you can.

Many of you know we sup­port and foster for CaliCan Res­cue. This short video helps explain why.


Goodbye Apple. Hello Alberta School of Business!

I guess it’s about time I men­tion it broadly, rather than simply hint at it or just let a few folk know.

As of the end of the month, I’ll be leav­ing my very cool and amaz­ing world-class fam­ily at Apple retail and join­ing the team at the Alberta School of Busi­ness at the Uni­ver­sity of Alberta.

It wasn’t an easy decision, leav­ing the industry-leading unique cul­ture of Apple retail. But it basic­ally boiled down to life­style; I wanted my week­ends and even­ings back to spend time with my family.

I leave with very fond memor­ies. Apple is an amaz­ing organ­iz­a­tion. I con­sider it a per­sonal priv­ilege that I was able to learn and grow within, and per­haps help influ­ence and con­trib­ute to the growth others.

Yes, I’ll miss the people and the unique Apple culture.

In my new role at the Alberta School of Busi­ness, I’ll be work­ing with the mar­ket­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tions teams to bring my social media, PR and com­mu­nic­a­tions know­ledge to bear on the School’s stra­tegic plans. Sim­ilar to what I’ve done with the AMA, Empire Avenue and BioWare.

So, yes, bit­ter­sweet, and full of prom­ise and excitement!

I can’t wait!

A sid­e­note: it’s very cool when the Dean of the school fol­lows you on LinkedIn and you’ve not even star­ted yet! Reas­sur­ing, in fact.

Oh My Yes. This is Star Wars.

Not much more I can say. Watch the video. Enjoy.