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Summary:

Yesterday, the Windows Experience Blog put together a checklist of considerations when buying a netbook. There are some good basics points in there, but there’s a wee bit of Windows-nudging as well. Hey, it’s a Microsoft blog, so that’s to be expected. The first bit asks […]

benq-joybook-lite-u101-netbook-4Yesterday, the Windows Experience Blog put together a checklist of considerations when buying a netbook. There are some good basics points in there, but there’s a wee bit of Windows-nudging as well. Hey, it’s a Microsoft blog, so that’s to be expected. The first bit asks “Is it easy to use?” and this particular tidbit caught my eye:

“Are you using this as a companion to your primary desktop or laptop PC? If so, then you’ll want it to have the same interface and experience as your primary machine so you can seamlessly move back and forth without any confusion or hassle and easily transfer and share files between your computers.”

That’s definitely a valid question, although having the same interface and experience isn’t a requirement in my book. For many consumers it does make things seem easier. To me the bigger question is: Will your netbook be a true companion to another computer or is it your primary device? This gave me pause and it really got me thinking about how people are using netbooks with their other computers. More specifically: How are folks managing the data between multiple computers? Put your netbook on the same network as your other computers and you can easily transfer files and data. But are folks really doing that?

The obvious alternative is to use some type of online cloud storage or synchronization tool for data access. That’s what I do, although it’s not an ideal solution for everyone. It requires web connectivity on an as-needed basis and also some heavy faith in third-party services. I have both, so I’m good. But what about you?

I’ve set up a poll to see how you’re using a netbook with data on other computers, but don’t hesitate to elaborate in the comments, too.

  1. I don’t need to sync my data, because I’m using my Eee Pc 1000he as my primary machine.

    I have a desktop, for the higher power needs, but those are few and far between. So, almost all of my data is sitting on my netbook.

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  2. I’m using windows home server and exchange to keep data synched between computers

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    1. ditto.

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  3. I use sugarsync to keep my desktop, laptop, and notebook in sync and it works flawlessly. Great service.

    Jim

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  4. I synchronise both my main laptop and my netbook to my Server using Vice Versa. Then Xmarks for Firefox bookmarks and the combo of RoboForm and GoodSync for my logins.

    I have been looking at SugarSync as well. They did well in a recent PC Pro Magazine comparative review and seem to have added a 2gb free account more recently.

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  5. Live Mesh for necessary files, Xmarks for bookmarks, pretty much good to go :)

    Currently uploading my picture library to Windows Live also…

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  6. I am using DropBox for the files I need to keep in sync. I really appreciate the cross-platform support (OSX, Windows, Linux).

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  7. We use JungleDisk to back up everything on our systems (funny…I just really thought about it and realized we only have portable systems in the house…) except for OneNote. OneNote folders/files/cache are shared between all the computers and they keep themselves in sync.

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  8. I’m using hosted Exchange for my mail, calendar and contacts. For bookmarks I’m using Xmarks BYOS, for passwords I’m using ewallet together with my own server and for the rest I’m using the great and secure Spideroak.

    Spideroak is great. I can backup both my desktop and my netbook and even my webserver. It’s really secure, not even Spideroak can look at my stuff. Sugarsync and others doen’t encrypt the data. That’s the one thing that prevented me from using similar services before. Only $10 per 100GB.

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    1. Oh, and Newsgator for feeds! And I just installed Evernote.

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    2. Christian Karlsson Thursday, June 18, 2009

      Oh… and subversion of course. :D And I use Google Docs alot. Haven’t found a good way to sync Microsoft Office yet thou. It works somewhat with subversion but it isn’t perfect. Any solution?

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  9. I just connect to my home network and copy over files manually, though for video files I need to connect by ethernet since my now obsolete wireless g is too slow lol.

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    1. I should also mention my various “low bandwidth” files like documents and and my calendar etc are on the various google services

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  10. Exchange for exchange-stuff. For files a mash of things. For now normal files on a network drive provided by work, media files manually copied between.

    Just looking at the poll list, you can see that nothing is really ideal at present. Except cloud methods but they would have trouble with very large files and seem tricky to set up.

    I am waiting to consolidate onto a single laptop which will avoid some of these problems.

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