tyler butler

DropBoxxer

I am a mobile guy. I use my laptop on the road a lot, and at home I have three different computers (desktop, server, media box). On top of all that I use Omega to host some files and such for easy mobile access. I have everything networked together using windows file sharing, and for most part, everything wors flawlessly. The problem is, I often need to copy or move files from one remote location to another. Simple, right? Just drag and drop! Unfortunately, often times the windows I need to drag to aren’t readily visible, and it is relatively time consuming to drag down to the taskbar, wait for the window to become active, then drag back up to the window to drop the file.

If Windows would let me drop items on the taskbar, it’d be all good, but since it won’t, I decided to make my own application that would allow me faster access to common “drop” locations.

I did this in C# using a copy of Visual Studio .NET that I got through Illinois Tech’s Academic Alliance program through Microsoft. I’d never used C# or .NET before, so I learned as I went.

DropBoxxer sits in your system tray, and doesn’t take up any screen real estate at all until needed. When you select a file and drag it over the left corner (right above the system time) DropBoxxer fade up and in from off screen. There are different “drop boxes” for various locations, with three types of icons – one for local locations, one for remote locations, and one for the Recycle Bin (note that the recycle bin icon doesn’t currently work in version 0.1). Simply drop the file over one of these drop boxes, and the program copies or moves the file to the drop location. By default, everything is copied rather than moved, but simply hold down the Shift key as your drag the file(s) onto the drop box, and the files will be moved rather than copied. As you drag something over a drop box, the location bar will display where the current drop box points, in case you forget or need to double check.

After the job is complete, DropBoxxer fades back down off screen so you don’t have to worry about it any more. Next time you need it, simply drag a file back over and it’ll automatically reappear. To exit the program, simply right-click on its task bar icon and select “Exit DropBoxxer.”

Notes About Version 0.1

Everything is currently hardcoded, so it’s not a whole lot of use to anyone other than me unless you want to get into the source code (included in the download) to make modifications. I plan to add functionality that will allow you to drag folders onto the drop area to add drop locations, or at the very least provide a menu option to that effect when you right click in the system tray. I’d also like to provide some better progress indicators when copying large files. As it stands right now, you don’t have any indication of what’s going on or how long the process is going to take.

Finally, I want to trim the file size down a bit. It’s almost an entire meg executable, which seems ridiculously large for something as simple as it is. Probably has something to do with the image files I store in there…

You can snag a copy of DropBoxxer Version 0.1 here. The zip contains an executable and the source code files/resources. The source code is crappy right now, but I will clean it up when I add the other functionality. If you make modifications to the code, please write me and let me know. DropBoxxer requires Windows XP (because of the fading and transparency effects), and requires the .NET framework (I know, I know, but seriously, there is no other way to do an application that operates in a snazzy way and integrates so closely with Windows. Java? I think not…)

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