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features /  column
editor content by: editor
yousendit.com
webslinky: file storage
This week, put it there pal.

File storage doesn’t sound like a very exciting topic, so if you think you might get bored at any point while reading this, why not take your trousers off? That should jazz things up a bit – it’s a method that has so far kept me awake during numerous dull court hearings for indecent exposure.

But it shouldn’t come to that, because it’s really quite interesting: storage is another area in which distributed computing is turning humanity into a giant hive-mind, where even large files are no longer stored on our comparatively puny home computers and transferring vast chunks of data via email isn’t really practical.

And there are lots of places eager to store your data. If you’re Jenny Q Swank and have more money than data you might already have a .mac account, which comes with access to your own 1Gb iDisk for storing big-ish files online.

However, times have changed since the iDisk was unveiled and storage costs have dropped. Box.net is a feature-packed service which allows you to access and share your files in all sorts of ways.

Dropsend is a similar sort of thing, but it’s aimed specifically at people who want to send large files via email. This is also the target audience of YouSendIt, who emphasise transfer rather than storage by placing various limitations on the files they host. Like deleting them after a couple of weeks.

What if you have a lot of files, but no friends to send them to? You could always share your files on one of the new “social” hosting sites like www.divshare.com, who encourage users to submit related content to groups (rather like Flickr, only for any sort of file instead of just photos).

But if you’ve got a file to store on the net, you might not need any of these sites after all. You might already have a large-capacity storage solution if you’re a Google Mail user, which you can access via a handy FireFox extension called Gspace. However, as Lifehacker points out, doing so may violate Gmail’s Terms of Service. Not that we’d condone doing that, of course.

What the hell are you doing? Put your trousers back on this instant!


David Thair 19 April 07
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