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On-line storage alternatives

New on-line back-up tools allow sharing of files/documents

THIS EDITION of NetSpeak explores different means for storing documents on-line. Keeping files on a Net server helps access them from any computer on the Web. Many netizens use G-mail kind of web based e-mail services for this purpose.

Tools/services such as G-mail drive ( and XmailHardDrive (https://www., meant for easy upload of files on to your G-mail account, facilitate this process.

Feature packed service

Though one can use a G-mail type of service as an on-line storage, a product specifically serving this purpose is preferable. The feature-packed on-line storage service e-snips (, which provides you one GB space for free, will be quite handy in tackling your storage problems.

After registering an account with the service, download the browser-toolbar/client, created for helping you to store documents/web-pages directly from the browser/machine. Besides helping you upload documents from the local storage on to its server, e-snips features tools for storing full or part of web pages. For instance, if you want to store only a picture found on a web page, select the image and access the relevant `Snip' option. You can also save part of the screen as an image file. The screen can be captured in the shape of a triangle or ellipse or rectangle.

In addition to benefits mentioned above, the service enables sharing of folders with your friends/colleagues. Whenever you add a new document to the shared folder, your clients will be notified automatically.

Recently this author tried out the new on-line backup product, Mozy ( which is still in its testing phase. This utility allows you to encrypt/store files on its server for free. To back up data, you need to download the Windows XP based Mozy client. This author is yet to make extensive use of the service.

Another web based storage solution worth a trial is Streamload (http://www.streamload. com). It lets you store up to 10 GB for free; but the free account holders cannot download files of size above 10 MB.

Of course, you can use the good old FTP server as well for keeping your files on-line provided you have an account with an FTP server. The trouble with an FTP server is the need for an FTP client to transfer files. One solution is to employ a program like NetDrive (http://www.acs. htm) for converting your FTP account into a local drive. Once the FTP account is mapped into a local drive (say as X:) you can transfer files to/from the server using the Windows file manager or normal DOS commands (like copy, xcopy and so on).

In an earlier edition of this column, NetSpeak featured a few on-line word-processing services that let you build/store/access documents from anywhere on the Net.

On-line word-processors

The on-line word-processor market is currently agog with action and many such products are emerging (even big players like MicroSoft are planning to enter this segment —

The on-line document editor Zoho Writer ( is another Office product worth a mention. An additional feature of this service is that it provides an e-mail id to which you can send documents. A document thus sent will be stored on Zoho's server under your account and you can edit or share it with anyone.

WideWord ( is yet another web based document editor trying to get some foothold in this segment. Here, you can create a document by just providing an e-mail id. The service will store the document on its server and send you mail with a link for accessing/editing the newly created document.

Opencourseware Finder

Reputed educational institutions such as MIT ( publish course materials on a range of subjects that include engineering, biology and economics for free download. The newly launched search engine, Opencourseware Finder (, helps you locate such materials with ease.

From its interface, you can select the subject of your choice and, once the subject is chosen, the service will display the relevant links.


He can be contacted at:

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