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Dropbox 1.0 Finally Released 307

Posted by timothy
from the one-oh-gets-a-cigar dept.
Zack writes "Dropbox has finally released version 1.0. The new version comes with hundreds of bug fixes, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, and case sensitive file systems on Mac. It also adds TrueCrypt support, a Rainbow Shell that offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, a new installation wizard, and reduces resource usage."
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Dropbox 1.0 Finally Released

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  • What is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:08AM (#34605468)

    Neither the summary nor the "article" (from which the summary appears to be lifted near-verbatim) makes any mention of what Dropbox is. Very useful, Slashdot!

    • Re:What is it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by St.Creed (853824) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:15AM (#34605908)

      Dropbox is several things at once, so I forgive your confusion :)

      First, it's a cloudbased fileserver. You can upload your files and it will keep 2GB or more of them on the cloud (S3) for you to access. Not a big deal so far. If you pay money, you get much more space.

      However, you can also give other people access to your files. And it will keep all the versions of your files. This is a bit more interesting.

      THe real winner for me is that it's also a tool that you install on your PC or Mac or Linux machine. It will then use one folder (located under My Documents) and everything you store in there will be synced to the cloud. Version control and all. The tool will also inform you of any changes and if youre on a LAN with someone else whos syncing files, it will be synced to your PC directly.

      Currently Im using DropBox to sync music files to a group of friends, and software updates to my customers who all have a link to a directory in the Dropbox directory.

      However, the main thing I use it for is to sync ALL of my projectfiles with several other co-workers who only work on my project for a few days a week. One of them introduced me to DropBox. If anyone changes anything, I get a notification. Anyone makes an update you don't like, you can restore any previous version to any location you like. And it works without intruding, logs you on automatically and generally you don't even see it's there.

      The onliest gripe I have is that you can't use TWO accounts, one for personal and another for business use, to link with the tool. And that all of the folders that you have a right to, are counted towards your total. So if a friend grants you access to his account and he stores 60 GB, you can still read but not upload anything else. Apart from that, it's a great utility.

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @09:45AM (#34606762)

        THe real winner for me is that it's also a tool that you install on your PC or Mac or Linux machine.

        Plus, clients for iPad/iPod, Android and Blackberry (along with basic access from anything that can download from the web).

        Its about the easiest way to get files on and off an iPad - its a crying shame that Apple don't add "export to DropBox" to the mobile iWork Apps. Its very easy to use by (e.g.) people who would run a mile from rsync.

        I've hit a few headaches when trying to use it for collaborative work - some may be addressed by the new file locking fixes, others have really been PEBKAC [wikipedia.org] which can't really be blamed on the software - e.g. person puts latest file in dropbox folder, emails everybody to say latest file is in dropbox, doesn't check that dropbox is actually connected and syncing...

        There's a related issue for Macs in that, as far the Mac is concerned, the dropbox is a folder on your hard drive, so when you drag files in and out of there the default is to move, not copy - which is not usually what you want (especially when dragging files out).

        An option to share "read only" would be nice...

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        Are you going to clarify every submission now? Cos that sounds like what you're volunteering for.

        I clicked the link to Dropbox from the article and read up about it, which was a link to the blog. I understand it's just the what's new announcement, but your description and the what's new page make them sound like completely different applications. I did enough work to try to find out more about this thing, and still came back with the wrong idea. *That* is the problem here.

        Why even post something in thi

    • Must be your first day on the internet so here you go: http://www.dropbox.com/features [dropbox.com]
    • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @09:02AM (#34606568)

      Dropbox.com is the new Zombo.com. You can drop anything at Dropbox.com.

      • Zombo! That's awesome. The first time I saw that site (probably 11 years ago by now) I nearly pissed myself laughing -- "Welcome...to Zombo com. You can do -anything-, at Zombo com...the only limit is yourself!". What's most amazing is that it's the exact same...and that anyone else on the planet knows about it.
  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:18AM (#34605492) Homepage Journal

    Gah! Would it kill you to let us know what the heck it does?

    Let's examine the announcement: Dropbox has finally released version 1.0 (but what is it?). The new version comes with hundreds of bug fixes, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, and case sensitive file systems on Mac (yeah, but what does it do?). It also adds TrueCrypt support, a Rainbow Shell that offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, a new installation wizard, and reduces resource usage (Awesome! But what does it do?)."

    Follow the link and get a great press release. Let's examine *that*:

    Huge performance enhancements (but what does it do?) Better user experience (Great! Is it something I could use?) Selective Sync (Also good. Is it useful for something?) Extended Attribute Sync (Another useful feature... or something.)

    Follow the link to the Dropbox website, and you find this useful summary:

    Our highest quality yet! (Good on you! What's it do?) Huge performance enhancements (Wonderful. Is that important?) Better user experience (Ok, this is just a copy of the press release.)

    Go to the Dropbox "about" page, and get all kinds of interesting info:

    Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007, and received seed funding from Y Combinator (Academically interesting. What does it do?). Today, Dropbox is well-funded by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Amidzad (Also good. For what?). Since launching publicly in September of 2008, we've attracted millions of users and are growing rapidly (Growing is good. Do you have a purpose?). We've been featured in the New York Times and on TechCrunch, and have won awards from places like PC Magazine and CNET (Great! Publicity is good. What's it do again?).

    Our passion is making a product that rocks and putting it in millions of people's hands (Again, good on you. Still looking for a description of the product...).

    If you're interested in joining us, we're looking for more talented people to join the Dropbox team, so be sure to check out our jobs page (Not right now. Can you give me some info on the product?).

    Going to the home page is equally enlightening. An enormous button invites me download the product, or watch a video of some sort.

    Sorry guys, but I don't download something unless I at least know what the heck it's supposed to do.

    • by FsG (648587)
      The dropbox home page has a huge, prominent video right in the middle of the page. Did you try watching that? It explains pretty well what it does.
      • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:33AM (#34605560)

        The dropbox home page has a huge, prominent video right in the middle of the page. Did you try watching that? It explains pretty well what it does.

        This is true, but a single paragraph could have done the same for those of us that resist clicky-clicky on long-winded promotional multi-media (especially when a single paragraph would have done the job...).

        • by Techman83 (949264)
          To be fair it is a pretty awesome video.
        • a single paragraph could have done the same for those of us that resist clicky-clicky on long-winded promotional multi-media (especially when a single paragraph would have done the job...)

          Ah, but how do you know it's long-winded or promotional, or redundant with a single paragraph, until you click on it?!?

          Come to think of it, how do you know it's multimedia? Maybe there's no text or sound in it! I guess if that were true, it would probably be even less clickworthy.

        • by DaFallus (805248)
          How many other articles on Slashdot assume that everyone already knows about the software/technology being dicussed? And how many posts get modded up for ripping someone a new one because they presumably work in the IT industry but have not heard about said product? Now the rubberband is on the other claw!
      • by tftp (111690)

        The dropbox home page has a huge, prominent video right in the middle of the page. Did you try watching that?

        I also tried to find a description, and failing that I stumbled upon that ginormous button. No, I haven't even considered watching the video. If a company with 30 employees and VC financing can't write one paragraph of text then I'm not interested in their videos.

        Besides, a whole lot of people on Earth can passably read English, with a dictionary perhaps. In worst case they can print it and show

      • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @07:53AM (#34606348)

        Because most of us aren't morons who need to have a full multimedia presentation with cartoons and pretty animations in order to just learn what a product and/or a service does. In this particular case a single sentence would do just nicely: dropbox is an online file repository that also provides a software program that automatically keep files in sync in multiple computers. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:21AM (#34605508) Journal
      Dropbox is a file synch program. Install dropbox, it creates a directory on your hard drive somewhere. All files stored in that directory are auto-synched to the server. If you install it on another computer (or phone, or whatever it supports) you can use it to transfer files, create persistent storage, etc.
    • by PatPending (953482) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:30AM (#34605550)

      Dropbox is the easiest way to store, sync and share your files online and between multiple computers.

      Dropbox works just like any other folder on your computer, but with a few differences.

      Here's how it works:

      • Drag and drop to move files around, just like you normally would
      • Any files or folders inside Dropbox will get synchronized to Dropbox's servers and any other computer linked to your account.
      • Green checkmarks will appear on top of your files to let you know that they're synced and up to date.

      Your files are always safe. All data is transferred over SSL and encrypted with AES-256 before storage.

      Dropbox keeps track of every change made to any of its contents. Any changes are instantly and automatically sent to any other computer linked to your Dropbox. The Dropbox clients for Windows, Mac and Linux all play nice with one another too!

    • by Mysteray (713473)
      These guys make the "corporate mission statement" style home page look downright informative.

      You know, it's almost as if they're afraid to commit to concrete definitions or something...hmm...do you suppose that perhaps even they don't have a clear idea of what the thing is?

      Perhaps they could hire the "help I've fallen and I can't get up" ad agency. They are in desperate need of an identifiable problem (e.g. a broken hip) on which to hang their solution.

    • You make me feel nothing but pity. Having to repeatedly ask a question like that shows how ill-educated and unimportant you must be. As all these exquisite descriptions tell you, the Emperor has magnificent clothes.

      Why do you have to keep asking what they precisely look like?
    • It also adds TrueCrypt support, a Rainbow Shell that offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, a new installation wizard, and reduces resource usage (Awesome! But what does it do?)."

      I don't know how you could be confused, it's all very straightforward.

      You got some seashells or snail shells that are dull and lacking color? Rainbow shell takes care of that. You click a box, and a team of painters is alerted to paint any and all shells you have in your house.

      Selective sync is a sync that is just very picky.

      The new installation wizard was trained at hogwarts to install household appliances. He doesn't use magic to do it, but he gets to your house using magic, so you don't have to wait a

      • The new installation wizard was trained at hogwarts to install household appliances...

        Thank you for that. That was the first thing on Slashdot that made me laugh out loud in... weeks, I think.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Old people and the internet. It's always good for a laugh.
    • by ardle (523599)
      Thank you for taking the time to illustrate how far from "news" that was.
      I eventually played the video and towards the end of it I began to get an idea what Dropbox is: a cross-platform shared drive (like X-drive was for Windows?) hosted by a 3rd party.
      Useful if you don't have Samba or NFS and VPN.
      They're not getting my music collection!
      • It's actually more useful than that. When you edit or create a file it updated on your hard drive first and uploads to the server in the background. When you turn on another machine it downloads the changes from their blazing fast server. Because it's then on your hard drive it's much more responsive than other network storage solutions.

        So it's godsend if you have a slow or asymmetrical Internet connection, doesn't require an always-on server, will work even without a connection and is generally much more r

    • by Jaktar (975138)

      Yeah, you actually have to click on download from the page linked in the article to find out what it does. Even on their main website, you're presented with is a big download button without any explanation. http://www.dropbox.com/ [dropbox.com] You can watch a video (I didn't) that may enlighten you. If you follow the link in the article to their download page you get...

      "Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.

      Put your files into your Dropbox folder on one computer, and th

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:19AM (#34605496) Homepage

    ...if you could run your own dropbox server instead of it all ending up on S3.

    Or sub in an NFS, SAMBA, Windows file server, etc. for the backend.

    To pass several gigs across the office, it's a massive waste to send it up to S3 and back down again.

    • Re:would be nice... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Patik (584959) <cpatik AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:24AM (#34605522) Homepage Journal
      Under the General Preferences you can check "Enable LAN sync" which should be on by default. Yes, you're still sending it all to Amazon S3, but the files are also copied directly over the LAN to your other PCs rather than uploading to S3 and then downloading from S3.
    • by Wingman 5 (551897)

      Actually dropbox is smart enough that if two computers are visible to each other on a lan they will directly sync to each other instead of going out to dropbox's server.

  • by Patik (584959) <cpatik AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:25AM (#34605532) Homepage Journal
    You're aware that Dropbox is not an actual box that you can put things in, right?
  • Impenetrable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mysteray (713473) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @03:56AM (#34605654) Homepage
    So I read this and think "Well its on Slashdot, this Dropbox thing must be really important". I wonder what it is?

    I click on the link...

    The new version comes with hundreds of bug fixes, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, and case sensitive file systems on Mac

    Oh, so are invalid file names a bug or a feature? Why would I want to lock Word and Excel files? I know what they are but I don't use them. I don't use abnormal symlinks hierarchies or a Mac either.

    So I click the first link 'Dropbox' which goes to (wait for it...) "The Dropbox blog"

    Hey everyone! We’re super excited to announce the new hotness that we’ve been cooking up for the past few months: Dropbox 1.0! In addition to hundreds (yep, hundreds) of bug fixes, vastly reduced resource usage (think of it as the Prius model of Dropbox), Dropbox 1.0 (“Rainbow Shell”) also offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, and a shiny new installation wizard. Those are just the CliffsNotes though — here’s the true story behind Dropbox 1.0:

    You get the idea. It goes on and on. How can these people talk so much and say so little?

    The first link from this page: Dropbox Home. This looks promising, it goes to https://www.dropbox.com/ [dropbox.com]

    Here is the text of the page:

    Suggestions, ideas, bug reports, and comments are always welcome. If you'd like to interact with other Dropbox users, check out our forums. Email Address (optional) There was a problem completing this request. Request completed successfully. Log in Email Password Remember me Create an account Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy. Watch a video about Dropbox. Watch a Video Sync your files online and across computers Download Dropbox Free for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Mobile Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy. Sync your files online and across computers Download Dropbox Free for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Mobile * Sync files of any size or type * Share large files and photos easily * Automatic online backup * Track and undo changes to files Take a tour of Dropbox © 2010 Dropbox * Dropbox * Home * Install * Mobile * Pricing * Features * Tour * Community * Referrals * Twitter * Facebook * Wiki * Developers * Partners * Support * Help Center * Forums * Votebox * Feedback * Contact Us * About Us * Dropbox Blog * Our Team * Press * Policies * Jobs

    Oh, ok. So from this I gather that it's some sort of file sync application which needed a major rearchitecture before it could be released at version 1.0.

    Almost all of the viewable area of the page is taken up by a giant video play button. Well, believe it or not I actually use my computer for computing and not as a television. I also like it to be halfway secure, so I don't have any Adobe products such as Flash installed. I do know how to read and it is several times faster. I'm not watching some video made by people who can't complete the sentence "Dropbox is ...".

    I still don't get it, except that it syncs files and the people who made it should probably cut back on the Red Bull and talk to someone outside the office who hasn't been making and eating their own dog food for eighty hours a week for the last year.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by juuri (7678)

      As I said earlier in this thread... if you don't know what dropbox is, you are way behind the leading curve.

      This can be good or bad depending on how you are ;).

    • by migla (1099771)

      According to Wikipedia, "Dropbox is a Web-based file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc. which uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files and folders with others across the Internet using file synchronization."

      According to Wikipedia, "Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared servers provide resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand, as with the electricity grid. Cloud computing is a natural evolution of the widespread adoption of virtu

  • An autoupdate feature would be nice. I had download the latest version, close my running Dropbox, wait a few seconds to close all its files and handles, then copy the newest version and overwrite the old one. All by myself! Then run it again. A little to much work for a Mac user, don't you think?
  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @04:08AM (#34605700)

    No clue why this was posted but not the announcement by XBMC. They finally released Dharma. Numerous improvements across the board compared to the last stable.

    http://xbmc.org/theuni/2010/12/18/xbmc-10-0/ [xbmc.org]

    I submitted it this morning, but it was rejected.

  • Basically, I am looking for something that will not only back up my photos (and track file renaming/moving), but also offers me the option to sync photos between PCs. Think my sister automagically sharing pictures of her children with my mom, etc. Finally, it should run on Linux and Windows and either be really easy to use or just work in the background.

    Also, I want a pony.

    I am constantly amazed that there isn't _something_ which offers this. After all, I can not be the only one with those problems, can I?

    • by k8to (9046)

      unison is a reasonable file synchronizer. It isn't nearly as easy to use.

    • by EpsCylonB (307640)

      rsync (plus a git repo) can give you the basic features of Dropbox

      Open source software is not know for good user friendly UI's though (there are exceptions) which is why Dropbox is so popular

      • by RichiH (749257)

        Yes, and I am using that. Yet, it's not for my mom. Joey Hess built a file tracker on top of git. I will need to look at that again, as well.

    • by tftp (111690)

      I am constantly amazed that there isn't _something_ which offers this.

      Google photos + Picasa do that, for years now.

      • by RichiH (749257)

        You are still giving away your photos to a third party. Plus, you are limited to 1 GB of space or you need to buy extra. I would rather invest that money into my own gear than hand it over to someone else. Especially since half a dozen people would need accounts, which adds up quickly.

    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Ubuntu One? There's a beta client for windows. Not sure whether it allows 'partial' synching.

      What's wrong with dropbox? It does all that. You can share files with other people as well. I used it quite heavily to have something common between my partitions and my computer.

      The pony will be a bit harder...

      • by RichiH (749257)

        Neither U1 nor Dropbox are FLOSS. You can host neither yourself. I don't want pictures of my family floating around third party sites. And I don't want to pay anyone else for what is basically a backed-up hard drive. I can do that myself. I just need something my mom can use, too.

  • by Danathar (267989) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:25AM (#34605928) Journal

    Exactly what does truecrypt support mean?

  • What DropBox does (Score:5, Informative)

    by bradley13 (1118935) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:33AM (#34605948) Homepage

    I hate sites that make you watch a video, instead of just telling your what they do. However, DropBox really is a very nice service, so here is what they should have said, in place of the video:

    DropBox is a file synchronization service. Install it on multiple computers, and synchronize your files automatically. The files are also accessible directly from the DropBox website, in case you need access from third-party computer.

    Here is what it does: You select a folder on your computer that should be automatically synchronized online. Any changes made to files in this folder are - at the next opportunity - sent to your DropBox account. If you use multiple computers, put the DropBox service on all of them, and they are kept in sync. with each other. The Linux support is excellent, you can sync cross-platform (Linux/Windows), your files are encrypted, DropBox maintains previous versions for 30 days (with a paid account, previous versions are maintained forever). Most importantly, it "just works".

    I tried a lot of different synchronization tools and services (Unison, JungleDisk, etc.). This is by far the best. Note: I have no connection with them - I am just a very happy customer.

    • by selven (1556643)

      If you go to the "tour" section of the website (really smal link at the bottom of the main page) or the "features" section, right at the top you get the text "Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers".

      I've noticed on practically all websites these days the front page is mostly useless and you need to look for a link labeled with some synonym of "about" or "FAQ" to figure out what exactly the program is.

  • OK, so Dropbox is a web enabled clone of the free MS Synctoy...
  • This tool only seems to work with files. If I examine my own computer use, I see that I don't use files directly anymore. I edit/manage my photos with Aperture, it doesn't matter to me where they are on my hard drive. I manage and play music in iTunes. I'm happy to let it manage the files, because it's a pita to manage a huge music collection by hand. At work I work with Visual Studio and TFS. Yes, I know what my local working folder is, but I don't have to. Whenever I need to edit a document, the fastest w

    • Integration of all those apps with semantic desktop technologies would solve all those problems and more ;)

  • Why is this filed under "hardware"? Is there a real blue wooden box in a datacenter to which my files are sent?
  • I have looked at their site, but could not find an answer to this question: how does Dropbox handle file conflicts? I.e. two remote users change a file at the same time. Do files get locked? Does the owner of the share get to decide manually which file to keep?
  • by mystuff (1088543) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @09:45AM (#34606766)
    SpiderOak is also a cross platform synchronization and share tool and does everything DropBox does (only a bit better) except that it allows you to sync as many folders on as many computers as you like. And for 100 dollar a year (50 if you're a student) you can get 100GB extra (up to 5 TB).

    I am in no way affiliated with SiperOak, just a satisfied user. The only thing I worry about with SpiderOak and Dropbox is what kind of lifespan they have. Will they still be around in 5 - 10 years?
  • I've used iTool/.Mac/MobileMe since its inception and used a password-protected public folder for work over the past couple of years. Although I found it extremely useful to have all my business documents in the Apple cloud, the WebDAV performance was/is rather poor. I could mount the share, but actually opening the files from the share was a glacial process.

    Despite the upgrades over the years, the cloud storage of MobileMe remains sluggish to access from anything but the fastest of connections (though th

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