life in sync

sync_logo_bg One of the most frustrating aspects about computing is being able to access your data anytime, anywhere. Some people will say “That’s easy, store it in the cloud”. As promising as cloud computing may be, in reality it is still not the be all and end all solution. For starters, cloud computing requires internet connection ALL the time. A point MAY come that everyone will be connected to the internet but as of the moment we are not. With that, the cloud falls short in solving the problem. For this limitation, various tools can be used to achieve data ubiquity.

As an IT professional, it is almost mandatory that you have access to your data anywhere, anytime. Imagine doing a presentation and telling your audience that you forgot your presentation material in one of your computers. Or finding that you forgot to attached a report to an email for your boss. Having your important data always available makes your work more predictable and controlled. It certainly a good habit to practice.

Here are the tools that can help you in making your data always available to you:

  • Live Mesh – is a free file synchronization tool. It allows you to sync your files to any device and the cloud. It supports Windows, Mac and Windows Mobile. I believe this one of the best synchronization product out there. It is nicely baked into the OS that you need almost zero attention when and how to sync data. Download Live Mesh.

    Other products that you may use: DropBox, Box.net

  • FeedDemon (w/ Google Reader) – is an RSS reader for Windows (the best one!). You can manage all of your RSS subscription from here plus, with Google Reader, it synchronizes your subscriptions on all of your machines. Download FeedDemon. Sign up for a Google Reader account.

    Other products that you may use: MS Outlook, Web browsers

  • RoboForm (w/ GoodSync) – is password manager plug-in for IE and Firefox. It also stores your credentials on the cloud and can sync it to any machine that you use. I must say after using it for a few days, I can’t imagine how I lived without it. It makes browsing such a pleasure! Download Roboform here.

    Other products that you may use: Keepass

  • Windows Live Mail – is desktop email client. Synchs your email to any machine and the cloud. I use most of Windows Live products since they are a combination of software + services and nicely integrated to Windows. Get Windows Live Essentials here (Windows Live Mail included)

    Other products that you may use: Thunderbird, Zimbra

I hope these can be a good addition to your arsenal as an IT professional. If you have other tools that you use please hit the comment section and let me know.

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4 Comments

Filed under Mesh, Tech, Windows Live

4 responses to “life in sync

  1. Rom

    I am now using LastPass (www.lastpass.com) as my replacement for Roboform. It’s quite good actually and works in Firefox, Chrome and other browsers as well. Also good when I’m outside and using a different computer.

    I’m still not comfortable with a cloud-based storage for all my personal data but I think it will be safe there with all the encryption technologies they’re talking about (I hope!)

    Roboform also has a similar online password manager. It’s at online.roboform.com.

  2. jhoeforth

    Thanks, Rom. I will try LastPass and compare it with RoboForm.

    I saw this video in Channel 9 with Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research), he was talking about NUI(natural user interface) he said that nothing really replaces something, they just find their own niches.

    The same can be said about cloud and desktop computing. I think neither will replace anything. They will just find their own niches and some (or most, but not all) people will use it.

    That’s why I don’t understand some tech pundit’s obsession in predicting that cloud computing will make desktops irrelevant.

  3. Rom

    As I see it, cloud computing will make your day-to-day computer tasks easier by syncing everything on the cloud. Basic tasks like e-mail, photos, documents etc.. will be easily managed online, anywhere.

    But it will not replace desktops and OS’ anytime soon unless you can run hardware intensive applications and professional devtools (like Photoshop/3DSMax) faster online.

    A typical consumer may opt the cloud, but will most likely prefer the stability and the privacy that desktop computing offers. Working professionals would undoubtedly stick to their OS’s for years to come.

  4. jhoeforth

    Hi Rom,

    I am wrapping up an article about cloud vs desktop computing. It should be an interesting read. 🙂

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