I really like Live Mesh. This is a Microsoft file synchronisation thingy where selected folders on your machine are reflected onto the Live Mesh storage out in the cloud, and also onto other machines that run the Live Mesh add-in. It runs quietly in the background and doesn’t seem to intrude much on normal life (unless you are daft enough to make changes to files on two different machine before connecting them both to the network – at which point you will have to resolve a bunch of conflicts).
I’ve got all my courseware for the current year stored on Live Mesh. You get up to 5G of space on the server behind the system and this is plenty for a year’s worth of PowerPoint slides and Word documents.
The really good news for me is that I now no longer care which machine I’m using. As long as I allow it a few minutes to “catch up” with the latest versions (if I’ve not used that particular machine for a while) then I can use any device. The net result of this is that I no longer carry the same laptop to and from work.
I guess I could have used an external drive for this, but I’m always afraid of dropping/losing/having stolen the device which holds the only copy of my stuff. Live Mesh means my data is held on multiple machines, as well as on the central server.
However, my bag is now much lighter and easier to carry, and this means that I’m missing out on some exercise and will probably gain some weight as a result.
But I reckon it is worth it.