Request Files from Non-Tech-Savvy Clients with Dropbox and AirDropper


Dropbox is an awesome web-based service for syncing and sharing files, but despite how good it is, I’ve never really found a way to get it into my workflow.

I’m an independent freelance designer / developer, and I only use one computer, so I don’t need the ability to sync files across multiple machines. I also have my own server, so sharing files with others is very easy for me. But, the one thing that does often come up is the need to collect (large) files from clients who are not necessarily too tech-savvy. That’s where AirDropper is going to be very useful.

AirDropper is separate web-service that allows you to use your Dropbox account to collect files from others, who don’t have an account with either service.

Basically, you link your AirDropper account to your Dropbox account, and then simply generate a file-request through the AirDropper website. An email is sent to your recipient with a link to an upload form. They upload files, which are uploaded into your Dropbox account, and sync back down to your local machine. It’s extremely simple and straightforward.

It should be noted that the upload form is single-use, meaning once the person you sent a request to uploads some files, the form can’t be used again. This is actually an important feature. Since the files being uploaded are being synced (downloaded) to your local computer, you wouldn’t want that form to become public, or used some time in the future when you weren’t expecting to receive files. If you need more files from the same person, simply send a new request.

There are, of course, no shortage of file sharing services out there on the internet. But, it seems like most of them either require your client to sign up for an account, or the cost is a bit too high. In contrast, both Dropbox and AirDropper have free accounts available, and don’t require your client to do anything.

AirDropper is currently in beta, so we’ll see what final pricing ends up being. For now, this is the cheapest, and most convenient way I’ve found to collect files from others.

It should go without saying that you don’t have to be a freelancer to use these services. Anyone can use them to request files from anyone else.

Thanks to The Graphic Mac for the tip!

UPDATE: I just noticed that Dropbox has a referral program. If you sign up for an account using my link, we’ll both get an extra 250MB of space added to our account for free. Yay!

Schedule Your Time Machine Backups with TimeMachineEditor

Schedule Time Machine with TimeMachineEditor

One of the most useful pieces of Mac software I’ve ever come across is, TimeMachineEditor. As the name implies, it allows you to edit the interval in which your Time Machine backups occur. It’s free, and it’s super easy to use!

Time Machine works very well for automatically backing up your Mac, but if you’re backing up to a network drive, like a Time Capsule, your Mac and your network can suffer some performance hits while the backup is in progress.

Time Machine runs every hour, and Apple didn’t include a way to edit that interval. I deal with a lot of big files that change often, so the result is Time Machine was constantly running, and I was really feeling that performance drop. With TimeMachineEditor I’m able to change that schedule so Time Machine only runs twice per day… once while I’m at lunch and once in the evening. It’s actually extremely flexible, as it will allow you to define anything from a new repeating interval, to scheduled hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly times.

If you use Time Machine to backup your Mac, I highly recommend using TimeMachineEditor.

San Francisco Typographic Map

San Francisco Typographic Map Overview

San Francisco Typographic Map Detail

Axis Maps is custom cartography company located in Hewitt, Texas. Among a variety of other services, they’ve also made some super-cool maps made entirely of type. They’ve had typographic maps for Boston and Chicago, and they just recently released one for San Francisco. It looks very cool!

The map is available through There’s four sizes to choose from, ranging from 16″ x 11″ ($14.95) to a colossal 78″ x 52″ ($195.25).

via Laughing Squid

Apple “Switch” still Relevant

My wife was in Phoenix recently visiting her parents. She sent me this email (she has a Macbook):

So I was printing out my boarding card… I plugged dad’s printer into my computer… and he said “oh, oh you will need a driver” and I replied “really???, well let me try.”

I checked my control panel, saw the printer, and printed, VOILA!… my dad looked slightly impressed and asked a few questions (wink, I think I won that round).

I absolutely loved reading this. It totally reminded me of those Apple “Switch” ads. Apple could start using those again, today, and they would still be relevant.

My Favorite Safari 5 Extensions

One of the best features to come with Safari 5 is the addition of Extensions. If you’re unfamiliar with Safari Extensions, they basically add functionality – either to Safari itself, or to specific websites.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite extensions:

  • Lucidica: Restyles and simplifies Google Reader.
  • Pure Reader: Similar to Lucidica, but it gives Reader more of a desktop-app feel.
  • Flickr Original: Right-click on Flickr thumbnails to download the original file.
  • Pure Flickr: Removes clutter from
  • YouTube5: Replaces YouTube’s Flash player with an HTML5 player
  • YouTube Video Downloader: Adds a button to download YouTube videos.
  • TinEye: Right-click on any image to search for that image using TinEye.
  • SaveTabs: Saves all open tabs in the current browser window and allows you to reopen them later.
  • Mail Open Tabs: Creates a new email message containing the addresses of all open tabs.
  • ExifExt: Right-click on any image to view it’s EXIF information.
  • BetterSource: Styles, color-codes, and numbers HTML source code.
  • Facebook Neue: Cleans up Facebook (removes ads, etc…)

There’s a wide variety of Safari Extensions out there. Two good resources for finding them are Apple’s Extensions Gallery, and a Tumblr blog aptly named, Safari Extensions.

If you know of any other resources, or extensions that you find useful, leave a link in the comments.

Add-On Numeric Keypad for Wireless Apple Keyboad


There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, but apparently LMP is coming out with a numeric keypad that attaches to the side of a standard Apple wireless keyboard.

I want this! I recently switched from Apple’s wired keyboard to their wireless version. I had to debate on it for quite a while before making the switch because I actually use the number pad, a lot. It totally bothers me that Apple doesn’t make a wireless keyboard that includes a number pad. In the end, I decided it was more important to me to have one less wire, than it was to keep the number pad. But, as soon as this is released, I can have both.

Via Macworld

Tumblr Feeds Still Not Updating

I subscribe to several hundred RSS feeds. Until yesterday I didn’t realize just how many of those feeds are from Tumblr blogs.

On December 5th, Tumblr had some “routine maintenance” go horrible wrong, resulting in countless blogs going offline.

Yesterday I read that the blogs themselves were back online, but I’m noticing today that none of my (Tumblr) feeds are updating. It appears as though their feed system is still down.

I did a quick search and didn’t find too many people talking about this, so this post is just to reassure others performing similar searches that you’re not crazy… Tumblr feeds are indeed broken. Hopefully they’ll be back soon, as I have no desire to start visiting hundreds of sites to get their latest posts.

[ UPDATE 12/08 – 9:45pm ]
Four days after the incident, some (not all) of my Tumblr feeds have started working again. In the real world four days isn’t a lot of time, but in the world of web services, it’s an eternity. Lets see how long it takes before everything is working properly again.

Design a Cover for “Project” Magazine

Project - iPad Magazine

If you’re unfamiliar with, Project, it’s a new iPad-only magazine from Richard Branson. The publishers are having a contest to design a future cover of the magazine. It could be a fun project (no pun intended), but bragging rights will be your only reward, as there are no actual prizes – other than having your design published.

TUAW has posted all the details, including a link to the design assets you can use in your cover. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, don’t delay, as the deadline is December 15th.

If you want to check out the premier issue of the magazine, you can download the Project App for free on iTunes. The actual magazine is a $2.99 in-app purchase.