Extra room to store, share your files

Posted on July 22, 2002

Are you running out of storage space? I'm not talking

about your living room closet that contains 58 jackets,

some of which haven't been worn since the Crusades,

a vaccum cleaner, three bowling balls and dust bunnies

bigger than apples. I'm talking about disk storage space.

If you are running out of storage space, or if you

would like a place available online to store files accessible

while both at work and home, then keep reading. If not,

maybe do something more productive, like making toast

or cleaning out that closet. From experience, I should

mention those large dust bunnies could be used as excellent

fake beards.

You have a certain amount of storage space available

on your hard drive. To check this on the PC, click on

My Computer and single-click on the local drive. In

the left-hand panel you will see a pie chart showing

the used and free disk space. For Mac users, you can

view this by single-clicking on the hard drive and clicking

apple-i. This will display information about your hard

drive, including the capacity, the total used, the total

remaining and the amount of toast you can consume in

one sitting.

Unless you already know, this might be a good opportunity

to explain the meaning of GB, which you probably saw

behind a number if you were examining disk space. That

does not stand for Green Bay, Golden Boy or Gray Beard.

A gigabyte is 1,024 megabytes; one megabyte is 1,024

kilobytes; and one kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. An easier

way to remember this, though, is that a kilobyte is

210 bytes, a megabyte is 220 bytes

and a gigabyte is 230 bytes. Do you really

need to know anything else? Now you can look at some

of your files more closely to see how much room you

really need for the files and your bowling balls.

This might be adequate space, but then again, you might

be running short on space, with video clips, music,

etc. (By the way, you still have time to vote

your all-time favorite songs!) Or maybe you just

need a more efficient way to use files from anywhere,

not just work. Luckily, there are plenty of options,

and none require you to clean skeltons out of your closet.

The most desirable option depends entirely on what

type of files you will be storing. If you need a place

to park photos, especially those of you wearing all

of those crusty jackets, try Club

Photo or Fotki.

You can then establish albums to share with others,

either publicly or privately. Or maybe you need a place

to store mp3s. At Myplay,

you can store over 2 gb of songs that can be downloaded

by others. There's even a place to store and sell your

files at Zden.

You can start earning points if others purchase your

files or if you refer additional members.

If you need a place to store different types of files

— whether they be text files, images, databases,

whatever — I would recommend Apple's

iDisk or Yahoo's

Briefcase. The iDisk gives you 100 mb of space,

accessible virtually anywhere. You don't have to have

a Mac to use it, either. Briefcase allows 30 mb of disk

space. Both are upgradeable (by payment, of course)

for additional capacity.

This is just a small sample; for more alternatives

to file storage, check out the lists at Prospector

and FreeWebspace.net.

As you can see, there are plenty of places to keep copies

of files in case you would ever need them. I would recommend

that if you plan to keep copies of dust bunnies, to

put them back in the closet.