Mac’s, PC’s & The Cloud: Can we all get along?

gold computer virtual meetingCase Study: Teamwork In The Cloud

Using the Cloud for collaboration in today’s digital world seems to be the answer to the age-old dilemma of choosing between Mac or PC. Businesses with virtual office workers across the globe can share resources instantly, regardless of time zone or operating system (OS).

The cloud-based storage and apps have brought together and almost obliterated the disparity among computer users who have, for years, looked down their noses at others who were using “the other guy’s” version of a computer. Whether it was Apple users talking about the Windows folks or vice versa, comments could be heard everywhere: “That’s what you get when you eat an Apple.” Or, “You can thank your buddy, Bill Gates.”

Today, we have an environment that has many more players: Android, Apple and Microsoft smartphones and tablets, Kindle’s devices, Smart TVs, gaming consoles and, on and on. Here’s where folks say that Cloud computing has saved the day. Sharing documents, digital files and knowledge among team members working on the same project simplified. No more sending attachments via email and losing track of who has the current version (or who’s got which edits!!). Making sure information is accessible on multiple devices is no longer a worry. Just store everything in the Cloud, and you can get to everything. There are some caveats and here’s one story to illustrate.


I was working with a new startup company who was busy setting up their website. One of the excited owners was busy on his Macbook loading photos to be used for their website inventory page.

In order to make the photos available to the web designers and other folks within the company, he was adding the photos to his Dropbox folder, making sure that the names of the photos matched the items depicted in each photo. When someone opened the folder containing the photos, he wanted the list to show related-items grouped together so, one group of photos he used a “#” (pound) sign to start each filename. Another group of names started with a “*” (asterik), and so on.

The Problem

I received a call one day in the middle of his project. “I don’t know what happened! I can’t see any of my files now! I’ve done so much work and now they’re gone!” He was the only one that could see these files. He further explained, he couldn’t even see them when he logged into his Dropbox account from a web browser on ANY machine. After some prodding, I discovered:

1) He was using an Apple computer to rename his files,
2) He used symbols in his filenames, and
3) The other team members (who couldn’t see the files) were on Windows PCs.

Know The Rules

We advised him that file naming rules for both Windows and Dropbox restrict use of special characters. Certain special characters such as  ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ‘ ” are not allowed. We advised him to use either numbers or keywords at the start of the filenames to keep them grouped together. We also recommended that he keep the length of the names to a minimum since operating systems have length limitations based on the combination of folder name(s)+file name.

Problems with PDFs

Adobe_Reader_PDFHaving problems opening PDF links in your browser? Try one of these solutions before you go changing settings, checking add-ons or plugins and the plethora of other solutions that Adobe suggests.

If you are a Windows user: right-click the link and choose either Open in A New Tab or Open in A New Window. If that still doesn’t work, right-click and choose Save Target As to download the file directly to your computer’s documents folder
and open the file from there. Obviously, this solution isn’t the best but at least you get what you’re after.

If you’re a Mac user, you may not have a right-clicking mouse. Hold the Control key when you click, you’ll have the same options.

I POURED through endless webpages and documents about changing settings in browsers, editing Windows registry entries, uninstalling and reinstalling, switching browsers, & version issues. I stumbled on this solution one day when I was relegated to once again download a PDF to my harddrive. I right-clicked to get my SaveAs/Download menu item and clicked the Open In A New Tab button instead – just to see what it would do, VOILA! It opened. I tried it again and again, gave the advice to a friend with the same problem and it worked for her, too!

If any of these options works for you, PLEASE add a comment to this post. We’re trying to track how well this simple fix I’ve discovered solves the world’s problems!

Reprinted with permission from

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