All Things Tarun

  • 02:18:38 am on January 7, 2011 | 0
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    I’m a little late to moving to the cloud. When it comes to my e-mail, I would always copy important messages on to my Mac’s harddrive (and the Mac would place it in some mysterious place that only it knows). The problem is redundancy — there are two copies of a message at any given time. I have been meaning to move all my mail to one location, and now I have finally done so. For my calendars, I would use a complicated solution that I jury-rigged using icalx and Google Calendar. File sharing in general was done through YouSendIt when I was desperate, and I would leave importan files on Gmail.

    To begin my excursion into the cloud, I redid my calendar syncing strategy. My previous calendar syncing solution involved using icalx.com. But, that solution only allowed for a one-way sync — I could make changes on my computer and these changes would show up in my Google Calendar, but I couldn’t go the other way. To this day I couldn’t figure out how to do it the other way (though people insisted it is possible). I decided to take the premium easy route with MobileMe. I don’t regret the decision at all. It is super fast and has a great, lightweight interface that suits my needs. The MobileMe advantage is especially apparent when using my iOS devices. Now, any change I make on any device shows up on every device, be that my Macbook, iPhone or iPad. Again, I know this is old news, but my “fight the man” and “keep it free” attitude kept me from making the switch. Believe me — MobileMe is a must if you have all of these i devices like I do.

    For file storage, I began to use Dropbox, quite possibly the greatest cloud solution ever created. Dropbox is as ubiquitous as MobileMe — A folder sits on your mac that syncs directly to the web, as well as my iPhone and iPad. Dropbox integration is also moving to popular apps, like my preferred free iPad text editor, Elements. Additionally, sharing a file with someone is a matter of clicking “copy public link” when the file is in my personal public folder. Initially you get 2GB of service, but a few referrals will give you more breathing room (currently I have 3.2GB). As a shameless example, here is a link to get your own Dropbox =)

    Today, I finished migrating my mail to the cloud. I have two main email accounts: a Gmail account for personal/family related e-mail, a “Umail” account (affiliated with Gmail) that is for Indiana University affiliated business. Before, I would copy important messages from the two accounts to my mac, and keep the other copy on the server. Now, important messages are copied to folders stored on Gmail. I chose the Gmail account because I know I’ll be using that email for much longer. I’m also unsure if I get to keep the Umail account after I graduate (I’ve heard I can’t).

    Now my three main web activities, mail reading, calendar viewing, and file storing are all synced across all my devices seamlessly. The only question I have now is, “Why didn’t I do this a year ago?”

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