Friday, April 21, 2006

Gmail Online File Storage


Now, with the availability of broadband connection to the Internet, the ability to backup important files to the Internet is easier than ever. All computer users should be in the habit of making backups of vital files. There are several means to accomplish the latter. Today, I am going to talk about one method which involves Gmail. Gmail is the prodigal son of search engine Google. Presently, Gmail provides more than 2.5 GB of storage space. I have been using Gmail for close to 6 months now. As of today, I have used up 1% of available space. 2.5 GB is a lot of space. Why not use the space to store backup files? Some brilliant people have gone through the trouble of doing just that. Three popular applications include: Gspace and GMail Drive.


Gspace is a Firefox extension. The extension was developed by Rjonna. The latest stable version is version 0.3.2. There were some glitches in version 0.1 which has since been fixed. However, there are still some limitations in using Gspace.

  • Currently, one can upload only files up to 10 MB as Gmail allows a maximum file attachment of 10 MB (applies to version 0.1 only).

  • Cannot upload .exe, .dll, .zip or any other system files that are considered harmful. (Gmail employs a virus scanner which blocks executable file types.)

  • Tested only in Windows machine and Firefox 1.5. Not sure how it works on other machines.

GMail Drive developed by Viksoe creates a virtual filesystem on top of Gmail. What it does is to create a virtual hard drive on a user’s computer. Files can be drag and drop into the virtual HD like any ordinary HD. The latest stable version is GMail Drive 1.0.10. GMail Drive is not without its problems.

  • GMail Drive has difficulty with long file names (>65 characters). Note, the file name includes C:/My Documents/…For example, even if you had saved a file named “My Note,” in actuality the file name is C:/My Documents/xxxxx folder/…/My Note.

  • Cannot upload .exe, .dll, .zip or any other system files that are considered harmful.

  • Files can’t be larger than 10 MB (Gmail’s does not allow for attachments to be larger than 10 MB.






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I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our society, and I am fairly certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory drops, the possibility of uploading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.


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