My Coolest New Internet Toy

By John Gilstrap

A few weeks ago, I posted about my adventure with Jeffery Deaver in which we got private instruction on tactical shooting while at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  Well, now there’s videos evidence:  You can also find a link on the News Feed on my website.

If it looks like slow motion, that’s because it was.  We were using live ammo in a car, assuming shooting positions that could easily have made our own legs the primary target while drawing.  The “quick draw” contest at the end–also rather slow–was a one-shot, three round accuracy contest.  The first to hit the gong won the round.  While the video shows Jeff winning the first shot, the next two, which I won, somehow ended up on the cutting room floor.  I’m just sayin’ . . . 

This brings me to the stated purpose of this week’s post: my coolest new Internet discovery: Dropbox.  Like everything else that dwells in cyberspace, I’m confident that I’m one of the last ones to the table here, but my goodness, is that cool!

You go to and download the program free of charge, and Bingo! you have cloud storage for your files that is accessible from any computer anywhere.  You can even share files, which is how I was able to give my web mistress access to the 100MB video of our shooting adventure.

I still depend heavily on my thumb drive as primary storage, backed up to whatever machine I’m working on at any given time, but it’s great to have Dropbox, accessible from anywhere.

What are the other cool Internet toys that I’m behind the times on?  Which ones are indispensable toyou?

11 thoughts on “My Coolest New Internet Toy

  1. Thanks for sharing that, John. I’ve decided that I want to be you when I grow up.

    It’s interesting that you mention Dropbox. Google Drive, which will be the Big G’s version of Dropbox, is going to be released any minute now and include 5g of free space, as well as a tie-in with Google Docs and an Android version. The mind boggles. Or googles. Or something.

    Flash drives are my drug of choice.
    I have started accumulating them. My wife has one shaped like a fish and I’ve seen thumb-shaped ones. The largest storage space I’ve seen is 32g for $27.00. Amazing. Think what Jack Bauer could do with that!

  2. My co-writer and I started using Dropbox a couple of years ago. It not only provides great cloud-based free storage, but for sharing and collaboration, it’s amazing. There are other similar systems out there, but the Dropbox guys perfected the concept a long time ago.

  3. I love dropbox!!! I have it automatically sync the files that I don’t want to lose and then I never have to worry about backing up my computer. I only wish it would integrate with google docs.

  4. I’m always grateful for first hand reports on new technologies because, I’m sorry to say, I’m always the last one to the table on technology. We won’t even discuss how old my cell phone is…

  5. Definitely Dropbox is a major part of my tech repertoire. I keep my manuscripts there so I can edit whenever I need to from where ever and whatever computer I need to.

    I also use YouSendIt frequently to send large files, like audiobook mp3s, to publishers.

    One of the great things about the web for the recording side of my life is the international part of it. Want to brush up on that Maine accent? How about the sound of a little village in North Wales? The variation between Malawian and Congolese? I can find a sample of almost any language or accent, give a few listens and maybe even get feedback on my impersonation it before I commit it to an audiobook. Very cool web use.

  6. Who can access the DropBox files after you upload your files there?

    No one would want to look through my files, but I’m just sayin…

    Love my zip drives.
    Love my iPhone4 – I resisted it for a long time, but that piece of magic has revolutionized my interactions with the world.

  7. See? This is the beauty of the Blogosphere. Basil, I hadn’t heard of those tools.

    Paula, as long as you keep your password to yourself, no one can access files unless you invite them to do so–and even that cannot be done accidentally because there’s a verification step in the way.

    John Gilstrap

  8. I love Dropbox! My hubby and I share files between our computers all the time, since Windows XP and Windows 7 don’t play nice with each other on the network. Dropbox is easier for everybody. πŸ™‚

  9. Beware cloud storage. The security gurus mostly think it’s insane, especially for businesses. Are the servers really secure? Do the admins install security updates regularly? Do they properly screen their employees? Are they financially solvent? Will you discover tomorrow that the company went bankrupt and the court seized the computers for the creditors? Did they rent space to a criminal and now Homeland security has grabbed the computer on which your docs were stored along with the criminal’s? Yes, it’s convenient to share and collaborate with a cloud solution, but the cloud should never be a replacement for your own backup copies over which you have physical control. Am I paranoid much? Not really. πŸ™‚ I work in the computer industry, and these are the things I hear the experts rant about.


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