I am sick and tired of doing backups, synchronizing settings, and having trouble accessing information. These are all symptoms of keeping your data locally on multiple computers. As a new year’s resolution I have decided to get rid of all these problem.
So far I’ve tried to solve these issues by maintaining my own mail and web servers and keeping my data mostly on the servers. The problem with this approach is that I’ve never had (and probably never will have) the time to set up and maintain all the network services I’d need.
Thus I’ve decided to fully embrace the famous “Network is the computer” slogan by moving to fully external network applications for most of my daily information management.
As of today my Internet toolset will consist of the following:
- Gmail for email – email@example.com
- WordPress.com for blogging – jukkaz.wordpress.com
- Flickr for images – flickr.com/photos/jlz
- del.icio.us for bookmarks – del.icio.us/jz
The main reason why I haven’t done this before is the question of data access and ownership. There is always the change of one of the service providers going down and taking the service with them. The external service interface also limits the things you can do with your data. Luckily with the recent emergence of various programmable APIs (REST, SOAP, etc.) these problems have become much less pressing. I can now write my own tools to import, export, and manipulate the externally stored data as easily (or even more easily!) as local data. This, I believe, is one of the cornerstones of the network as a computer.