You gotta love the invention of drag and drop. We drag files from one folder to another. We drag folders into other folders. It’s the nature of using a Mac. Drag and drop.
Wouldn’t it be cool to drag and drop files and have them show up on Windows PCs, or remote servers, or somewhere on your Mac, or Flickr or YouTube? But, without having to get all geeky or using a special app or digging into an FTP app? Enter the Dragster.
Not Your Father’s Drag And Drop
To be honest, for most Mac users, moving files around anywhere can be tedious, time consuming and fraught with opportunities for errors.
Moving or copying a file to another folder on your Mac isn’t so hard, right?
But even then the navigating through folder layers can be a mental exercise, not to mention the hand-eye coordination issues.
What we need is a handy, out of the way, instantly accessible Mac tool which makes it easy to drag a file, a photo, music, even a movie—and have it dropped exactly where we want it.
Oh, and without all the geeky complexities associated with set up.
Enter The Dragster
One of my favorite Mac utilities, and a perfect complement for new Mac users getting into file transfer, is the venerable Dragster.
Dragster is many things. First, it’s an icon which rests in your Mac’s Dock, waiting for you to drag and drop something. You know that if you drag a Pages document onto the Pages icon, or a photo onto the iPhoto icon in the Dock, it instantly starts up?
Dragster is like that. Second, it’s an FTP, SFTP, SCP, SMB, or AFP client for file transfer. If all those letters scare you, let me assure you that Dragster makes the process easy and seamless. Even drag and drop photos to Flickr or movies to YouTube. It doesn’t even have to be running. Dragster will wake up when you drag something to it.
Dragging In The Details
Like any Mac tools that reduces effort, saves time, and removes headaches, Dragster requires a little set up.
True, the Best Available option is handy. Drag a file to Dragster, select Best Available, and Dragster will try to figure out what to do, and prompt you accordingly. What’s even better is to set up Dragster so its shortcuts make child’s play of file transfers.
Drag a file to Dragster and a menu pops up with all kinds of shortcuts, including shortcuts to destinations in your Mac’s folder hierarchy. Drag and drop. No more wading through a bunch of folders to find the right spot. Dragster does that.
The same process works for sending files to remote servers. You’ll need to set up your destination, login ID, password and protocol. But that’s about it. You can send files to other Macs, and other servers—including Windows PCs, and remote servers—quickly, safely, securely.
Moving files to other Macs or remote servers can seem scary at first, but it’s all just drag and drop to Dragster. What if you want to move a file to a remote server or another Mac or PC on the network?
Dragster features a built-in file browser, so you can drag a file to a specific location.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
The ugly part of file transfer is knowing all those arcane terms—FTP sFTP, SMB, AFP, SCP. With Dragster, all you need to know is destination, protocol, login ID and password. It handles the rest.
The good part is obvious. One location to drag files to (Dragster in your Dock), select a destination from the pop up menu, and drop.
It doesn’t get much easier, and you don’t need a File Transfer for Dummies book.
The only bad things to come to mind when using Dragster fall into two areas, both are minor. The first is that there’s no setting to connect to Amazon’s highly touted and inexpensive S3 storage service.
The second is that simplicity, when overused, brings complexity. When you first see Dragster work, a little light bulb goes off in your head, and suddenly you feel empowered to move files everywhere.
Lots of file destinations stuffed into Dragster can make the pop up menus look crowded, and it’s easy to move a file where you don’t want it to be unless you’re careful with the drop.
Otherwise, Dragster is sweet, simple, elegant, and, in true Mac fashion, it just works.