Thursday, May 19, 2011

Silver Linings

This post is relevant to the name of this blog due to the fact that it started with me, today, managing to forget my laptop at home.  this is probably the second time in my career at Netflix (689 days), and feels like a pretty debilitating problem -- I live on my laptop.  Everything's on it.  I back it up, so I'm not too concerned about losing it (there's nothing that's both confidential and unencrypted on it), but being without it for a day, last time, was a pain. 

And yet I'm sitting here and looking at the cloud's impact on how I work and ... I'm loving it.  I got a loaner laptop from our desktop people.  It's a delightfully sexy Thinkpad T410s which is great and ... a completely different architecture from my actual laptop (a 15" MBP). 

In the year or so since I last left my laptop at home, I've made some changes in how I work and where I keep my information.  This included:
  1. I use 1password to keep track of all of my passwords; 
  2. I use Dropbox to sync a small set of data to the cloud.  Dropbox hasn't been hugely integrated into how I work, but 1password integrates with it natively to back up its password cache to/from the cloud; 
  3. When I left the PC platform behind to go to the Mac, one of the big pain points I had was in abandoning Microsoft OneNote for note-taking -- but I replaced it with Evernote, which is 
    1. Free; and
    2. Auto-syncs to the cloud; and 
    3. Allows me to sync notes with various people (e.g. my previous boss)
  4. And of course, my mail/contacts/calendar have never been primarily stored on my laptop, since I work in a corporate environment (whether you're using Exchange or Google Apps, that point remains)
  5. My IM client (Trillian) stores most of its information (and all of the contact info) in the cloud
That means that, today, I spent about ten minutes installing 1password, dropbox,  Evernote, and Trillian.  And once that was done ... I'm basically functional.  Life is good.

I'm digging the cloud right now, for reasons entirely unrelated to Netflix's use of it.


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