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Share files between Windows Linux and Mac OS X

If you work on several computers, you will find several problems. One is that the files you may want to open are not on the computer you are sitting at. Of course, it is possible to carry your files with you using a USB flash memory drive, but it's not an ideal situation and the devices are easily lost or stolen. Even if you have the files you need, they may be in the wrong format. Some applications can convert from one format to another, but importing a foreign format isn't always 100% successful. It would be best if the same applications or the same format could be used on every computer you have. There is also the problem of ensuring that the files you access are actually the latest version and you haven't left them on another computer. There is actually a very simply solution to all these problems and you can keep the latest files on every computer you use and access them with ease.

One part of the solution is Dropbox. Dropbox is a utility that creates a shared folder on the computer that is synchronised with a copy in the cloud - online storage on the internet. A basic account is free and you get 2Gb of online storage space and there are Pro 50 ($9.99 a month) and Pro 100 ($19.99 a month) accounts with 50Gb and 100Gb of storage space. Dropbox isn't the only product of its type and there are several similar ones. However, it is one of the few that works on Windows, Linux, Apple Mac and the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Dropbox is basically a folder on the disk and whatever device you install Dropbox on gets an exact copy of the files on every other device. This means that all your files are available on all the computers and devices you use. You can create, edit, delete, and rename files on any computer or device, and all other Dropbox folders are updated straight away if they're online, or the next time they go online. So that solves the files problem.

File formats can be a problem and Windows, Linux and OS X handle files in different ways. For word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentations, you should use OpenOffice. This office suite is an excellent package of applications and considering that it is free, it is surprisingly powerful. It is available for Windows, Linus and OS X and the same file format is used across them all. This means that you can create and edit documents on any platform, which is just what we need.

Image editing is so much of a problem because common file formats such as GIF, PNG, BMP and JPG can be read and written by almost all software. However, you might want to consider GIMP because this program is available on Windows, Linux and OS X. It looks almost the same and works the same way on all three operating systems, which makes it easier when switching from one to the other.

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