Setting Up Dropbox
Here are some simple instructions about setting up Dropbox on your computer and online. If you want the official version you can find it at https://www.dropbox.com/tour.
First, a brief description of what Dropbox is.
Dropbox is a mechanism by which you can share “large” files with others. By “large” I mean files which are possibly too big to send via email.
Essentially, Dropbox consists of two storage places – one on your computer, one online – and an application, running in the background on your computer, which keeps the information in both places synchronized. Any addition or subtraction in one location will, over time, be propagated to the other location. So, a file placed in the Dropbox location on your computer will eventually be copied to your online Dropbox location. I say “eventually” because large files may take a number of hours to be copied – Dropbox does not use a lot of bandwidth to move data.
A link to any file on your online Dropbox can be sent to anyone. Once the recipient follows the link, they can either see the file, or download it to their machine. The whole process is very secure, because the link only connects to one file or folder at a time – no other files or folders in your online account can be seen by anyone but you.
The first step in the process is to set up a Dropbox account online. Go to www.dropbox.com. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be invited to set one up. Simply follow the steps to set up an online account (write down the password you choose so you don’t forget it). Now download and install the application (again, simply follow the instructions). A folder structure will also be created in your local Dropbox area.
I highly recommend taking the online “Tour”. Not only will it explain what Dropbox is all about, completing the Tour will give you some extra free online storage space.
Once you’ve taken the Tour and all the software is installed, try this simple test. Create a folder called Test and move one photo into it. Now move or copy the whole directory into your local Dropbox folder. When you do, the local application will start uploading the Test folder and its contents to your online Dropbox account.
Eventually, if you look at your online account, you’ll see the new folder, and if you check inside it, you’ll see the photo. Notice that if you hover over the folder name and move to the right, you’ll see a chain link. Click on the link and you’ll be asked whether you want to send the link to someone or copy the link to the clipboard. If you select the option to send it to someone, a dialog will come up which invites you to enter the email address of the person to which you want to send the link.
When you’ve completed the test, delete the Test folder from your online Dropbox. The folder will also disappear from your local Dropbox (remember the application keeps both locations synchronized).
Now create a folder of the images you really want to send, and move or copy the folder into your local Dropbox area, sit back and wait. Once the folder has been uploaded, send the link off to whomever you want to share the folder’s contents with.
Submitting Images for the BLPG Website
When you send in images via Dropbox for inclusion on the website, there are some things you should do to each image and file name before you send it. First, please rename the file so that it includes your name (that way it will always be clear, from the file name, who was the creator of the image). Second, also include in the file name what you would like the the caption to be. Third, please convert the file type to jpg. And, last of all, please make sure the file size is no more than 2 megabytes.
By the way, the above information is already on the BLPG website. You can find it at Members Area -> Helpful Information for Members -> Submitting Images for the BLPG Website. You can have a copy of the document downloaded by clicking here.