Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Living Life On-line

The other day I was talking to a colleague who was bemoaning the fact that her computer crashed on her. It was report card time and she couldn't access her marks program, lost all her bookmarks, and needed to get/find the disks for her software. It made me think about how much of what I do is stored on-line. Bookmarks, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, e-mail; all on-line. Marks are on the district server (which I can access via the 'net.) For me that leaves my photos, videos and music which are not on-line.

How much of your computing is on-line? Are you up in the clouds, on terra firma, or somewhere in between?

head in the clouds

Photo by puja Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License


  1. I'm probably in between. I use my blog a lot for storing ideas and resources & Flickr for storing photos. But I really want to get in the habit of using google docs more and working more with colleagues with docs, so we have access all the time.

  2. Kia ora Claire!

    From a very early stage in my experiences with computers (1981?) I learnt always to save, save, save. I also learnt to do backups. A blog is a good backup for a lot of stuff, though that too can go bungggg! Then what?

    I remember how I felt one day when I left all my books and university notes on a train going north. The same train came back through the station I got off at, two and a half hours later. My books and notes were still where I left them!

    But the interim gave me time to reflect on what I might have to do if I'd lost the lot. It wasn't so bad. A few days later, I sat all my final examinations and, frankly, I really didn't use the books or the notes much in that time - nor have I used much since then.

    It is a mind set. The fear of losing something so precious and yet, perhaps not so important is probably what initiates the recurring dream that some people suffer - that of losing all their clothes. They find that no-one in the dream seems to pay any attention to the fact that they are walking around starkers. It is only really important to the person who experiences the loss, and most of that is in the mind.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  3. I work with colleagues on docs but still have word documents etc. to manage. I back them up to the district server. Grades are on the server too and a really neat program that saves often if I forget. I still have bookmarks but just learned that there is a bookmark gadget for igoogle so will be using that instead as well as diigo to manage bookmarks. What do you use for your documents?

  4. At work very little is online but we have multiple backups in place. And a very good tech support person! Most people here have the ability to remotely access their work computer (log in and get your exact same desktop, programs, settings, etc. as your work computer), but that's as far as we go.

    At home the only things on my computer are music, photos and a couple of word documents. Everything else is online. Even my taxes.

  5. @Sarah--Google Docs has been great for me. It doesn't do all the fancy formatting that MS Word does, but Google keeps adding more and more functionality all the time.

    @Ken--your train story reminds me of when I was working on my Master's thesis in the early 90s--I had copies of it on multiple floppies all over the place. My prof kept his PhD thesis in the freezer when he was working on it (early 60s)--if his house caught on fire he could either grab it on the way out the door or feel confident that it could be retrieved post fire ;-)

    @Louise--I'm a Google gal! Since last year I've done almost all of my documents, presentations, and spreadsheets on Google Docs. I also use Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader so I have them all easily displayed or accessible on my iGoogle page.

    @Alison--My workplace has a similar system to what you've described (remote access with Citrix). It works well, but can be slow at times or boot you off for no apparent reason.

  6. I'm in between like Sarah. I think I'm in transition though, due to recent coursework on technology in education. I love my account for allowing me access to my favourite websites no matter what computer I'm on.

    I use my school server for word documents, photos, video projects, etc and I back-up with flash drives. I'm also using the various Google services (Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and I'm playing with Google Reader after the Knowschools last week). This semester I teach in three seperate classroom, so I've had to rely more on online out of necessity.

    I think the next step for me is to start two seperate Flickr accounts - one for student work and one for personal photography.

  7. @Erinn--having more of my life on-line has definitely made it easier when having to use different computers, like in your situation.

    Do you use a flash drive to store your browser plugins? Apparently you can load Firefox with all the plugins you use on a flash drive and just plug it into whatever computer you're using. Then your plugins, twitter plugin etc are all there. I haven't gone down this path because I have a Mac at home and PCs at work. So far the flash drive system I described is not cross platform. Soon I hope!

    Good idea re: Flickr accounts. Nice to separate school and personal :-)

  8. Hmm, I should have left a link about that flash drive stuff. The flash drive has to have U3 technology and you can find out more about it here.

  9. Thanks for that link about the U3 Technology. I didn't know that flash drives had that capability, but it makes perfect sense! Sounds like an idea for my holiday wish list!

  10. @Errin, I'm dying to try the Flashdrive U3 technology, but because of my Mac / PC status I've been thwarted. If you try it out, please let me know how it goes!


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