Life on the move

Over the past two weeks I have found myself “working” on a number of a different computers and moving from computer to computer has pointed out some of the tools I use to make this life easier.

The best way to make documents easily move from computer to computer is to store them on the net. Since the campus where I work has wireless everywhere and I have both a desktop and wireless at home I can work on all the computers everywhere quite easily. For word prcessing I use Writely which seems to have the best interface and can accept and export Word documents.

For notes and lists I use BackPack. It has a good interface online and can accept both notes and lists via email or from a Dashboard Widget.

For bookmarks I have an account at delicious, not because I prefer delicious over any other such as furl but because of John Vey’s brilliant AJAX hack director which provides an unbelievably useful interface to – it isn’t perfect but it’s a great first (and second) step towards a neat interface

I also use a copy of GTDTiddlyWikiwhich lives on a thumb with a copy of Portable Firefox. If I had a larger thumb I would also include a copy of Portable OpenOffice. Unfortunately neither runs on a Mac but I can open GTDTiddlyWiki on a Mac. I’ve also added a note into the wiki with my most vital half dozen URLs – including all the above, of course.

GMail is, of course, the mail system to use. I know others prefer Yahoo or some other free mail account but GMail is the hackers mail system of choice so you can get a myriad of improvements, hacks and howtos. I’ll be posting a bunch of stuff on improving Firefox for GMail with GreaseMonkey in a little while.

The other marvelous trick I’ve found is how useful it can be to create your own filtering addresses in Gmail. It turns out that if you add ‘+aaaaaaa’ to the end of your Gmail address it will still go to your inbox but you can pick up the extra piece in a filter. I have a couple of labels (prepended with ‘~’ so they are at the top of the list) that collect stuff. This is also useful if you find yourself on a computer without your delicious buttons – just email yourself a note to Then filter that straight to a label and bob’s your uncle.


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