I’m not sure if I’m early, late or in-between on this, but I am using the Internet differently than I did six months or a year ago. This has a lot to do with my using three or four computers on a daily basis. It’s a pain for them to not be in sync.
The breakthrough was better, faster, more universal, high speed access. Now I clone my bookmarks and email and also maintain a small VPN using Hamachi.
To handle bookmarks, I’ve switched to Weave, an Adobe Air applet which run in Firefox 3.0. Every 15 minutes or so, it looks to see if I’ve changed anything on any of my machines and then attempts to keep them all alike. I could use this for usernames and passwords too, but I’m not quite ready.
The bookmarks have become more important under Firefox’s new ‘awesome bar.’ I’ve seen many bloggers speaking out against it, but I like it. It’s especially good at finding a URL based on my typing a few descriptive words.
For email, I use Gmail. I own a bunch of domains and have many email addresses (most rarely used). They all aggregate to Gmail, which responds with the proper return address.
Gmail is the first web based email I’ve found acceptable. You never have to delete a message. Archives are searched Goggle style, since that’s who owns Gmail. It even hosts my IM client, keeping copies of all my Instant Messenger conversations (Like AOL isn’t already doing this). They come in handy when searchable.
I use a few add-ons to increase Gmail’s value. I wish those programs, like Greasemonkey and Open Notebook, would sync up as easily as my bookmarks.
I often bring things to work I’ve produced at home. I have a 2 Gb flash drive attached to my keys. Most time, it’s just easier to move things across the network. I’m set-up to tunnel into my desktop Linux machine at work and place stuff on its drive for use later in the day.
The power of networks is growing.