Somebody help me with this computer S**t

So recently I got a new laptop and I don’t know anything about computers. Like wtf is Dropbox even and like what the hell is a Driver? Like why do they just expect you to know what this crap is?

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Lmao a dropbox is an app for you to neatly store your files. And I’m not sure what a driver is. Did you mean drive? Otherwise it’s a non-British thing.

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Google is the best tool to help you with this type of stuff! I’d reccomend googling any questions you have lol

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Do you mean Google Drive possibly? That’s another file sharing and storing service.

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Let’s start with Dropbox.

It’s basically a sync tool. So if you install Dropbox on your computer, there is dedicated folder for it. When you put a file into it, that means that that file will be uploaded to your Dropbox account, and it will be available from any other device that you installed Dropbox onto (such as your phone, or another computer).

IMO, you don’t need to install Dropbox onto your desktop computer - you can easily access and use it via a Web browser. It’s up to you. But for mobile devices you do need to install it (or you should, because using browser based services on mobile can be a bit painful).

So - when you delete a file from a dedicated Dropbox directory (or folder if you prefer), that file gets deleted from your Dropbox account by default. These days you can choose to just delete a file from one device or directory, but always assume that you can’t do that.

So be careful: sync tools (like iCloud, Dropbox) are not backup tools. I repeat: sync tools are not backup tools. And don’t let anyone tell you any differently. If you go into an Apple store and ask for a backup tool, they won’t recommend iCloud, they’ll recommend physical hardware, such as Time Machine, which is their own product. It is an external hard drive, basically, but with extra functionality. You don’t have to buy it to make back-ups, but it is a nice luxury if you can afford it.

The only way to backup data is to copy it onto separate, isolated storage volumes (e.g. an external hard drive). It’s even better if you put your backups off site (e.g. in someone else’s house). A USB drive can be a backup device, but a hard drive is arguably better.

This article is recommended reading, if you are interested, and is targeted at photographers:

Now, onto drivers.

Drivers are basically dedicated apps that act as an intermediary between the OS and a peripheral. For example, you can’t just plug in a graphics card onto your computer. Your computer has to know what it is and how to use it. Your computer can have the driver already installed when you buy it, but even so, it’s still necessary.

You need drivers for almost anything that’s not a storage device. USB drives don’t need drivers, and neither do external hard drives. Every system knows what those are. But printers, graphics cards, specialty cards etc. do need drivers. Sometimes your OS will detect the device and download a driver. Sometimes you have to do this yourself.

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