I’m a big fan of the Google online services. I use Gmail, Reader, Blogger, Docs and more. Guess what happened when I spotted a new application that lets me write text files to Google Docs?
When I found Nocs, and saw that it’s free open source software, I had to try it. Here’s what the web page says about it.
A Windows Notepad style application that uses Google Docs for synchronizing text files.
* all the basic functionality of the Windows Notepad
* login with a Google account
* change the Google account on-the-fly
* encrypt your documents
* auto-save after a specified timeout
* find & replace with regular expressions
I downloaded the install file for Nocs. It was a little over 1 MB in size. It’s a standard MSI (Microsoft Installer) file and it installed quickly with no fuss.
On start up, the first thing Nocs did was to prompt me for my Google Docs password. Once that was entered it tossed me into a very drab and basic looking text editor. There are no surprises here. It only has the same basic functions as Windows Notepad.
The real magic happens when you save a file. It quickly adds an entry in a spreadsheet in your Google Docs account. That’s not exactly the same as uploading a text file, but you’ll never know the difference.
How large can the text files be?
Each text file you upload is represented on Google in a two column spreadsheet. Column one contains the name of the text file and column two represents that text that you upload. When I saw the way that it worked, my first question to myself was, “How many characters can it store in each cell in the spreadsheet”. This would actually limit how large your text files can be.
I did a quick search on the net and I found that each cell in a Google Spreadsheet can hold roughly 30,000 characters. I noticed that each character in my text file was represented by about 4 characters in each cell. So, a quick guess would be that you can only send a little over 7500 characters in your text files. Only time will tell if I’m guessing right.
Is Nocs portable?
I copied the Nocs program folder to my thumb drive then uninstalled Nocs from my hard drive. I tried running Nocs from the thumb drive and it seems to work ok. As I said above, only time will tell if this will continue to work for me.
Nocs is another way to stay connected with your data no matter where you are. It’s still in beta testing so you may run into a few bugs. However, I can heartily recommend it. It does what it’s supposed to do and it doesn’t screw up anything else. Next I’m hoping they’ll figure out a way to let two or more people work on the same text file at the same time.
You should be aware that you can also use Microsoft Office with Google Docs and OpenOffice with Google Docs by installing a plugin. That’s actually a better solution, but it’s overkill if you only need to upload plain text like you find in Notepad.