Grumbling about a houseful of computers that don’t speak to one another

PROBLEM: I’m perpetually annoyed that my computers won’t file-share. McAfee “tells” me they are competing for network loyalties, but WTF — I only have one wireless network (operated by Roadrunner, no router needed). Do I need to dump McAfee? I am also mildly obsessed with back-ups, as if the world would end if all my precious files disappeared. What are my resources for storing critical files online? So I draw little schematics.

SOLUTION OF THE MOMENT: I signed up for a Box.net account (1 gb free), so I can upload (say) my writing project from my desktop “Walter,” then download it to my netbook “Traveler,” avoiding the need for a thumb-drive sneaker-net in-between. I could also use Google Docs (1 gb free) or my MobileMe account (20 gb, $106/yr, which I pay only for the Find My iPhone feature, value TBD). I could also just send myself an email attachment and download that to the other computer. But Box.net seemed more elegant (love elegant) so I’m trying that. Box.net also has iPhone and iPad apps — but, for what it’s worth, they only will let you view Word docs or PDFs and I use the free OpenOffice word processing software now. (I like free.)

OTHER DECISIONS: I’ve been using Carbonite to back up my netbook to the cloud. Good to continuously back up photos, etc while traveling. Carbonite (about $50/yr) is limitless, but won’t back up from an external drive. (All my data is kept on a 1 Tb external drive.)

I have started using Google Chrome as my browser (now that it is out of beta and accepting extensions). It is SO much faster to load than Firefox and doesn’t seem to crash as much. I’ve also enjoyed using Last Pass as my password management program — it is so cool — I only have to remember my one password now on any computer and it gives me a great “vault” that I can consult at any time from any device (premium account $12/yr).

I have a bunch of email addresses, but they all go to gmail, which is purrrr-fect for all my needs.

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One Response to Grumbling about a houseful of computers that don’t speak to one another

  1. Pat says:

    WOW!! What an interesting mess! It’s too late for me to figure out, but I will—–later! The diagram was very helpful….. .especially noting the convenience of “the kitchen” 🙂

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