Thursday, May 14 2009 11:33 PM
Like perhaps many of you I live & work on multiple computers. It's almost a embarassing but I have
- A Mac Pro as my main development machine (and is it ever sweet!)
- A HP laptop at my 'day job' (While it certainly doesn't have the stylings of Apple it's actually quite a nice machine)
- A Macbook pro for when I'm away from home
- A Hackintosh MSI Wind that I use for fun
Crazy -- Four computers for one guy but there you have it. For the most part I can keep my work PC and Macs separate -- I usually don't need to share files back and forth and on the odd day i do need to share I usually end up emailing myself (or a USB thumbdrive) - A little awkward but it gets the job done.
My Macs are a different issue all together -- It's horrible to be working day in and day out on one computer (my 'pro) and then have to prepare a laptop for a long weekend away. I *always* forget to transfer something and when I'm away I'm always fretting that I am editing a old version of a file and then coming home is terrible -- I need to remember to transfer them back.
I've come across four solutions, however, that almost perfectly fix my problem and make multiple macs (or to a large extent PC's) sync up perfectly. They are DropBox, Evernote, & Mobile Me.
DropBox is the home run of this solution -- I had tried it about 6 months ago an uninstalled it as it seemed to be a resource hog (chewing up tons of CPU, bandwidth & memory). Since then the dropbox folks have done a lot (plus I've upgraded my hardware) so now it runs like buttah. You just store files in your dropbox on your PC and amazingly fast they get synced. Open up another computer and it syncs that. It even works on my work PC so I've begun to keep all my documents in my dropbox to have always access.
The other thing dropbox does is keep revisions -- If you modify or delete a file you can go online and restore it (I'm not sure how far back they keep them -- I suspect they keep them until you run up against your limit)
DropBox is free for 2GB accounts and $99/yr for 50GB accounts.
Evernote is a notes taking application -- They have a great iPhone, Mac & PC client and I use it to scribble things down. Like dropbox it works like magic and it's replaced my various folders of text documents, outlook items, etc. Evernote is free but there is a premium service for (I think) $49/yr that increases the size of notes as well as attach arbitrary files (so you can embed a PPT along with the note)
Finally mobile me. At this point I use it for calendar, address book and preferences syncing across macs and my iphone. It works pretty well for this but at you can get the address book and calendar syncing through google so the preference & keychain syncing is the only thing I use it for with multiple computers. I do occasionally use back to my mac which is nice but honestly I hope apple finds a way to make it more valuable otherwise they may not see my $99 come september.
Of the four DropBox and Evernote are my most favorite -- They work amazingly well and are free (but both offer paid upgrades with enhanced capacity & storage)
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