Thursday, March 21, 2013

PCDart and Dropbox

Today was a fun filled day working on computers. I had the pleasure of swapping hard drives on laptops after my wife spilled coffee on hers and tried to retrieve her data. My twitter friend, @funwithbulls, suggested she use Dropbox for everything, and later I thought of a use for dairy farmers to take advantage of it, too.

On the farm today the DHIA man came to test our herd. Each month he measures how much milk each cow produces and takes a milk sample from everyone of them. We use a program, PCDart, to enter this data and then sort it into different reports so we can identify trends for individual cows as well as the herd.

When you close out the PCDart program it asks if you'd like to make a backup. A light bulb went off in my head today when our DHIA man was finishing up. While I've been using a usb thumb drive to backup to, a more elegant solution would be to save to your Dropbox folder and let it automatically backup your file.

Dropbox is a free service that you sign up for and download a small program to your computer. It adds a folder and everything you put in the folder is sent to their servers and stored in the cloud. You get 2gb for free which should be more than enough for just PCDart backups. After installing just choose your Dropbox folder when you exit PCDart when it asks for a backup folder destination. The saved backup will be automatically backed up in the cloud! Free and easy!

For the less computer savy farmer, or for the more lazy one's like me, this would be perfect and you would never have to worry about your thumb drive failing.Or, as my wife might add, worry about your data when that cup of coffee gets a little too close to the computer.

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