Not too long ago, computers had hard drives of 80Gb or less. My first computer that came with a hard drive installed had a whopping 400Mb of storage. Storage was expensive and difficult to upgrade for the average user. Lately, Cloud Storage has shifted people's thoughts from storing their data on their own PC to storing it "somewhere else." Online Storage was originally expensive, slow and small, even in Gmail. The first Gmail users had "virtually unlimited" storage within their email accounts of up to 1Gb that could be accessed anywhere. It really wasn't meant to store your data, but it could do in a pinch. Gmail slowly inched up to 7Gb and stayed there. Many users figured out ways to use this storage for files, music and more.
Today, 50 is the new 7. Box.net announced last week that any iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) users that logged in to their account or created a new account in the 50 days starting October 12 would receive a free lifetime 50Gb account! That is enough storage to hold a decent sized music library, or a heck of a lot of spreadsheets and word documents!
Dropbox also gives 2 Gb of online storage for free and has a great interface allowing you to use it just like another drive on your computer. You can gradually increase your free storage amount up to 16 Gb. I use Dropbox for all of my important "current" work. Anything that I need today or in the near future is stored there.
But what about all of your music? You have thousands upon thousands of songs. How about Google Music? It can store up to 20,000 songs which you can play form any device. It automatically syncs your "My Music" folder with the cloud! You can store your music here and your important documents in Google Docs!
I just taught my daughter how to back up her homework in Google Docs last week. There will be no excuse such as "my computer crashed" for not turning in her papers. It also helps lower her stress level because she knows that her work is safe.
Is there any better reason to kick the hard drive habit today? Do you really need to use that thumb drive that you keep misplacing?
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