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Dropbox, Skydrive and Google Drive: a Quick Comparison

Cloud types
I've been a big fan of Dropbox for years but recently there have been some new and/or improved competitors to the Dropbox drive service:  Google Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive.  Here's a quick comparison of all three products:


  • Drive size
    • Initial drive size is 2GB, with an additional 500MB for every referral up to 18GB
  • Cost
    • 2-18GB - Free
    • 50GB - $9.99/month, $99.99/year
    • 100GB - $19.99/month, $199/year
  • Platforms:
    • PC: Windows XP and Windows 7
    • Linux
    • Mac
    • iPhone/iPad apps
    • Android for tablets and Smart Phones
    • Blackberry
  • Extras
    • Retrievable file history for 30 days:  deleted files remain on the Dropbox server for easy recovery
    • Detailed logs of file changes (additions, deletions, changes)
    • Selective syncing of individual files
    • Add-on support, including e-mail to Dropbox, auto transfer to other cloud-based drives, and web hosting


Google Drive

  • Drive Size
    • Initial size of 5GB; no incentive program
  • Cost
    • 5GB  - Free
    • 25GB - $2.50/month, $30 / year
    • 100GB - $5/month, $60/yeay
  • Platforms
    • PC: Windows XP and Windows 7 (no real standalone client used)
    • Mac
    • Android Tablets (possibly Smartphones as well)
  • Extras
    • 10GB upload limit  with web-based interface (2GB for competing products)
    • Editing of more types of documents possible (AUTO CAD, Photoshop formats)
    • Integration with Google Apps/Docs tools (collaboration, etc.)

Sky Drive

  • Drive Size
    • Initial drive size is 7GB; however new users can get 25GB for a limited time
  • Cost
    • 7/25GB - Free
    • Additional 20GB - $10/year
    • Additional 50GB - $25/year
    • Additional 100GB - $50/year
  • Platforms
    • PC: Windows 7 only (no XP support)
    • Mac
    • iPhone/iPad apps
    • Windows Phone
  • Extras
    • Several apps are available that integrate SkyDrive with MS OneNote, Outlook, and files from a smart phone.
    • MS Office documents can be edited within SkyDrive without any loss of formatting

Guest Post - easy clickin'

Guest Post by Jean Anderson

ClickersWhat are these you ask? The technical term is “clicker.” What, you don’t believe me? Okay, I give in. The real name of this gadget varies from “wireless presenter” to “presentation remote” to “wireless laser presentation remote.” If you do a quick Google search for “powerpoint remote control” you’ll find many different remotes.

They all do the same basic thing - they allow a presenter to venture away from their laptop. The remote connects wirelessly to the USB piece of the device that’s plugged into the laptop. This allows the presenter to use a couple of buttons on the remote to advance their slides, dim the screen, and use a laser pointer (if it’s included on the device).

Remotes such as the ones in the picture can be found at most any office supply store or online and range in price from $10 to $50.

Thanks to Amanda S. at Middleton for the topic suggestion!

Be a lazy incrementer with Excel

I regularly have to have a series of numbers incremented and Excel is the perfect tool for doing the heavy lifting.

Excel_iconBasically, all you have to do is type in the first two numbers in the series and Excel will do the rest.  If you take a look at columns 'A' - 'C' below, you'll see things listed in a series.  I created each series by only typing in the first two entries in each column.  Excel completed the rest of each series.  Here’s how.

Let’s use Column 'E' as a frame of reference:

  1. Type in two things in a series
  2. Highlight those two things
  3. Note the black block in the lower right hand corner
  4. Mouse over the black block in the lower right hand corner until the white plus turns into a black plus
  5. Once you see the black plus, left mouse click and drag down the column until Excel has done all the counting that you need. Voila!



Zoom, zoom, zoooooooooom

Zoom in MS Office
Did you know you can quickly zoom in or out of a document (Word), presentation (PowerPoint), or worksheet (Excel)? 


  • On the status bar in the lower right, click the Zoom slider
  • Slide to the percentage zoom setting that you want

Zoom in IE 


Want to quickly zoom in IE?
<--- There's a zoom menu on the status bar...

And if you prefer keyboard commands, don't forget

  • Ctrl +  (zoom in)
  • Ctrl -  (zoom out)
  • They work in most browsers!

    New look & name for the Digital Download Center

    Screen shot of new design for Wisconsin's Digital LibraryYesterday our WPLC OverDrive site, the Digital Download Center, got an updated look and a new name: Wisconsin's Digital Library. The main page has a much cleaner appearance, and the left sidebar has been simplified. There is also a brand-new login process: the patron starts typing in their library name and the form continually autofills until the library is listed. It's not left-anchored—all letters are fair game. The library is clearly linked with its system, and systems are still listed, but are no longer needed for the log in.

    Want to know more? Join Jean Anderson for an OverDrive Update webinar at 1:00 pm on May 1. Register here.

    Many thanks to the WPLC/OverDrive Web Site Redesign Team:

    • Evan Bend, Outagamie Waupaca Library System (and the OWLS graphic artist, Bradd)
    • Melody Clair, Arrowhead Library System
    • Jean Anderson, South Central Library System
    • Inese Christman, Wisconsin Valley Library System

    Guest Post - Turn your Nook into an Android tablet!

    Guest post by Susan Santner, director of the Oregon Public Library

    We were on vacation visiting relatives, and my sister-in-law was telling us about the fabulous chip she ordered online that turned her color Nook into a tablet. We were intrigued. When we got home my husband ordered an N2A card for me. It arrived over the weekend. We installed the chip into the back of my color Nook, and now I have an Android tablet with access to Barnes & Noble, Kindle, both of my emails, the Internet and to what is now my husband's favorite game, Angry Birds.

    Product-pic32gb-base_1[1]There is a website: www.N2Acards.com. The chip cost about $45.00 for the extra memory option. It has been fun and an inexpensive way to get a tablet. I like to think of it as recycling.


    Note from SCLS: PC Magazine has a positive review of the card with additional information and slideshow.

    Print Multiple Firefox Tabs as a Single PDF Document

    When I find useful documentation online, I like to print the web page as a PDF so that I will always have a copy available.  Sometimes I'll find useful documentation from several sources online.  Instead of MP900443159 printing each webpage separately, I'd rather print all the sources as a single PDF.  I find it easier to manage.  The Print Pages to PDF Firefox add-on allows you to print multiple open tabs in Firefox to a single PDF document. 

    After you have installed the add-on, you will notice Print Pages to PDF appears in your Firefox Tools menu.  This is where you can change defaults like margin size, headers and footers and it's where you'll click to actually print the PDF files.  I think the add-on is definitely worth a try as it beats copying pages to a Word document then printing to PDF.

    Sign up for an OverDrive Support account

    OverDrive Support Request Form previewOverDrive now offers a Support Request Form that empowers library staff to contact OverDrive's Support Services team directly. We strongly encourage staff at SCLS member libraries to sign up for an account to use the form.

    What's in it for you?

    • Advice and troubleshooting tips directly from OverDrive staff
    • Quick turnaround to assist patrons
    • Complete and accurate information

    How does the support form work?
    The form for obtaining technical support is part of Content Reserve, a staff-only website provided by OverDrive. Support requests are submitted by logging in to the Content Reserve website and filling out
    the form. OverDrive assigns a case number to each request and responds to library staff via email. Detailed information about using the support form (pdf).

    What kind of requests can you make via the support form?

    • Move holds and checkouts from an old barcode to a new barcode
    • Adjust the hold list for a patron who missed their hold due to technology issues
    • Provide steps to resolve a specific error message
    • Answer "how to" and device/format compatibility questions
    • And more!

    How can you use responses you receive via the support form?

    • Copy suggested steps into an email to the patron who needs assistance
    • Use the suggested steps as your "script" for phoning the patron

    What about the WPLC Support Request Form?
    The WPLC Support Request Form is still available for patrons and librarians. If WPLC Support doesn't know the answer to the question, they also use OverDrive's support form to get help. Bypassing the WPLC form and using OverDrive's support form yourself may eliminate that extra step.

    What about calling someone at SCLS?
    We can't beat OverDrive Support at having all the answers! (Like WPLC Support, I turn to OverDrive’s support form when I can’t solve an issue on my own.) And we can’t always be at our desks when you call. OverDrive Support has multiple people dedicated to providing timely, reliable answers to your questions.

    Sign up!
    Request an account for your library, your branch, or yourself. SCLS will coordinate getting the accounts and provide training.

    Google's augmented reality glasses

    As part of its Project Glass initiative, Google has begun testing its augmented reality glasses. See this New York Times article for more information. Pretty stylin', huh?

    Here is a video from Google which shows potential uses for Project Glass:

    Link to YouTube video: http://youtu.be/9c6W4CCU9M4

    What do you think about the idea of wearable computing? How might this impact libraries? (Did you notice the part of the video around 1:03 where he's in the book store, asks where the music section is located, and his glasses show him the way?)

    Happy Tuesday - Firefox breaks Java!

    Today was going to be a really productive day! I didn't have any meetings, my phone was pretty quiet, and I knew exactly what I wanted to get done. Guess what?  That lasted about 10 minutes. It started when Brian came into my office and told me about a problem with Java and Firefox....POOF! my day was now totally shot.

    Some/Most/All of you fired up Firefox today and saw this message:

    Java Message
    I'll get right to the point about what this message is telling you. Firefox uses Add-on software to display websites. The Adobe Flash Player and Java Add-ons are used by millions of websites. Just like all software, Add-ons need to be updated. Last night (4/2/2012) FireFox maker Mozilla decided that because there are some security issues with previous versions of Java, they would disable all versions except for the most recent version. Every Firefox user in the WORLD will get the message above if the version of Java they have is out of date.

    So that brings me back to my day today. We've been looking at and testing the new version of Java, working on a way to package it, and creating documentation about what you need to know. I can tell you that there will be a step or two that you will need to do.  We plan on sending out an email on Wednesday with much more information...stay tuned!!

    I hope your day goes better than mine!