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Ask How-To Geek: Setting Up File Transfer Drop Zones, XBMC on the iPad, and Enjoying Retro Gaming with Console Emulators

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Once a week we round up some of the reader questions we’ve answered and share them with everyone; this week we’re taking a look at setting up file transfer drop zones, installing XBMC on the iPad, and setting up a console emulator.

How Can I Setup Simple Drag and Drop File Zones On My Computer?

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Dear How-To Geek,

I have widescreen monitor and in the space allocated to for the widget sidebar, I’d like to have set up some of that space to serve as a file drop zone of sorts. Essentially, Id’ like to be able to drag files to a widget or the like and have those files go to designated folders on my computer and home network. Is this possible? I’m running Windows 7.

Sincerely,

Drag and Drop Hoping

Dear Drag and Drop,

We’ve previously reviewed an app called Drop Zone that does what you’re asking. You could easily make one (or several) drop zones and place them in the sidebar space without any problems. You can even specify the type of drop zones and whether or not they will automatically move or copy the files. That said, we’re very interested to see if your fellow readers have used similar apps! If you’re a reader that uses an app that fits Drag and Drop’s needs, sound off in the comments.

How Do I Install XBMC On the iPad?

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Dear How-To Geek,

I have XBMC on my computer and I saw that it’s available for the iPad. The only problem is I can find it anywhere in the App Store? What gives? How could such a popular application not show up? All I find are Wi-Fi remotes for controlling an XBMC installation. It’s frustrating!

Sincerely,

XBMC Cravin’

Dear XBMC Cravin’,

You’re not losing your mind, XBMC for iOS is not in the App Store. The application was rejected for inclusion and is only available via the XBMC iOS repository. This means you’ll need to jailbreak your iPad to gain access to XBMC for iOS—which is totally worth the effort by the way, we have XBMC installed on our iPads and love it. You’ll need to flex a little Google-Fu muscle to dig up a jailbreak guide for your specific iOS device and iOS version, but once you’re jailbroken we have a full step-by-step guide here.

How Do I Load Game ROMs?

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Dear How-To Geek,

I have a Windows 7 computer, I have some classic game ROM files, and I have… not a whole lot of gaming going on. I’m unclear on the steps necessary to get from having the ROMs to playing the ROMs. Help? :(

Sincerely,

Wanna Game Old School

Dear Wanna Game,

For the sake of clarity, a game ROM is simply a digtal copy of the contents of a game cartridge. If you have a ROM for The Legend of Super Smacky Ball IV, then the ROM file is just whatever was on the ROM chip in the game cartridge. You still need something to function as the console itself. This is where game emulators come in, they emulate the hardware of the console you wish to use. To that end, we recommend checking out our guide to console emulators here. It covers several retro consoles and handheld game systems and, at minimum, will give you a better understanding of how the whole emulation process works.


Have a pressing tech question? Email us at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer it!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/19/12

Comments (4)

  1. Lisa Wang

    Dropbox does the same. You might want to check it our. That Dropzone is interesting. I’d see someone compare these two.

  2. Layne vanWestrop

    I’ve just been “minimizing the firefox screen’ and left click on the file or icon and drag it to my ‘desktop’ where I can do whatever with the file.
    I’m using Win.7 ;64bit system. I will look at this ‘Dropzone’ however.

  3. Anonymous

    Regarding dragging and dropping files: I don’t know what’s wrong with shortcuts. So could someone please explain why anyone would want to download an app (like Drop Zone) when all that’s really necessary is to make a shortcut that navigates to the folder where you want to copy/move a file(s) to/from?

    Using the built in tools in Windows to create/use shortcuts probably would involve some right-clicking (a technique that still seems to be a foreign concept to Apple users) and probably the use of the Windows clipboard. But to do the same thing with a resource consuming app like Drop Zone does seem a little redundant for simple file maintenance/manipulation.

  4. David

    @Anonymous.. i was just about to post that, how hard to do a shortcut, last computer i work on i made a short cut to the network drive where they can drop the files on shortcut icon and it will be transfor there

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