The next killer app

December 16, 2005

Here’s an idea for a killer app if you want to make your millions in Bubble 2.0. This is nothing news and pretty much everyone that has ever worked on a computer has complained about this issue but I cannot believe we don’t have a solution. The issue at hand is data: your personal data and moving it from machine to machine or having it travel with you. The promise of storing all your data on an edge server and having it backed up, indexed, secured hasn’t really materialized.

I am in the process of getting a new laptop (possibly a Tablet PC – Wish Alienware made Tablet PC’s) and a new desktop (Media center) and I looking for an easy way to move all my data from my old machine to my new machines. Moving things like documents, music, videos, pictures, etc is easy – The hard thing is moving applications, application settings and other customizations that I’ve created or applied to my machine. Why is this so hard to separate applications and user created data from the operating system? Microsoft should have solved this problem 10 years ago. And don’t tell me Apple’s solved this as there is a ton of crap hidden away in Preferences, System folder, etc. Why is this so hard? I know it’s not the easiest of problem to solve but you can’t tell me it’s not worth the effort.

Once I do get my new machines, how am I going to keep my emails, music, etc in sync? My thoughts on email are to use Gail for most things and IMAP for all my other accounts to keep the stuff in sync. For RSS, I use FeedDemon and the new version does have the ability to keep your read vs. unread and subscriptions synced up on the Newsgator servers. Haven’t tried it yet but that should work. I guess I’ll use an external NAS drive for my document, code, downloads, music, pictures but then I can’t travel with my stuff. I guess I could use Rsync to keep my machines in sync with the external NAS drive. I could also use CVS or Subversion at my ISP for some of this as well and keep things in sync but then I can’t work offline. There are workaround for all these problems but the solutions are a bunch of kludges instead of one simple solution that just works. I’ve heard rumors for a while about Apple allowing users to boot off their iPod where the OS would still reside on the MAC but the settings/preferences, caches etc would be stored on the iPod drive. Why can’t this idea become a reality? Boot off your iPod or USB Flash drive? Is this really that hard? Come on people – let’s get to it and start cranking. The venture capital money is flowing again and it sounds like you don’t even need a business plan. Let’s spend like it’s 1999 again.

Tablet PC, Media Center PC, FeedDemon, rsync, ipod, rss, imap, GMail, Alienware, vc, bubble2.0

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4 Responses to “The next killer app”

  1. RefuX said

    Agreed!
    I was really hoping that apple would open up iSync and solve this problem…..

  2. Hate to tell you this but Apple has solved the migration problem:

    Migration Assistant
    http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2005/05/17/tiger.html

    On the Mac your settings are in your home folder under ~/Library. Everything from application preferences to caches to mail accounts. As for iSync, it does a great job of keeping my 5 machines in sync for iCal, Mail, Bookmarks, Address Book, etc.

    BTW, iSync has been opened up for months. Check out the SDK:

    http://developer.apple.com/internet/dotmackit.html

    Using the iDisk on .mac you can also keep whole directories in sync though its expensive (bandwidth wise) to do that for things like movies/music/photos.

    On a Mac you can boot off an iPod if you want. The real problem is that those mini harddrives are not meant to be used continuously like that. What you can do right now — and i’ve done this — is make a user whose Home directory is on an iPod/USB device (through a symbolic link). Just plug in the storage device and do a switch user.

  3. Hi Sam and thanks. I stand corrected — I talked to a few of my ‘MAC’ friends and they are not as informed I guess.

  4. […] As I’ve blogged before, I am in the search for a new computer and have decided to get a laptop and a desktop to meet all of my need. I will probably end up using a Mirra or something similar (NAS) to get my machines in sync. On the laptop side, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a convertible Tablet PC. To me, a convertible Tablet gives you the best of both worlds – It’s a laptop that has all of the functionality of the traditional laptop and yet can covert to a slate Tablet when needed. […]

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