Laptop Switch Benefited from Heavy Clouds

Laptop Switch Benefited from Heavy Clouds by David Whelan A recent acquisition of a Dell Latitude – and the decision to pass our netbooks down to our two grade school Netizens – saw me migrating to a new machine this weekend. It was made exceptionally simple thanks to heavy reliance on cloud and other networking resources. In fact, it’s probably been the most straightforward new hardware switch I’ve made. Laptop Switch Benefited from Heavy Clouds

Image: Graur Codrin,

We have an internal network attached storage (NAS) device, so I had very little local content on my netbook. The small amount that I did have locally was either in my Dropbox folder or in my document folders. That content was easily dragged out onto the network.

One of the biggest hassles in the past has been transferring my Web browser settings. It usually meant significant time, after reinstalling the browser, recustomizing it so that I had the same tools and interface. Now that I am using Google Chrome – and fortunately enough, on the dev track – I was able to take advantage of the expanded synchronization. Once I installed Google Chrome 6 on my new laptop, it automatically downloaded all of my Chrome extensions, themes, and other settings.

As I mentioned, much of my other content was stored in a Dropbox account, so installation of that program caused everything to be downloaded. Another task completed. Other content I store is online in sites like Google Docs, or in Web mail applications. Although I occasionally use a local e-mail client, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, I do it with IMAP so that all of my e-mail, folders, calendar, and contacts remain in the cloud as well.

I’ve wiped and installed software on 3 PCs this weekend, and it has gone incredibly smoothly. I’ve benefited from a lot of reliance on network storage for data and settings.

Image: graur codrin /

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.