Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Need to sync files across multiple computers? Here’s your solution

dropbox-logo.gifI just came across Dropbox, which is an online service that automatically syncs your files across multiple computers (Windows & Mac). This is EXACTLY what I and several other people that I know need! The thing that really peaks my interest is that there will be a sync client for Mac OS X and Windows that will auto-synchronize all files in the targeted folders. In addition, you can access the files via their website. To top it off, Dropbox also keeps version history so you can rollback to a previous version.

Anyways, Dropbox hasn’t launched, yet, but they do have a nice screen cast on their site so you can see it in action.

I’m pretty excited to see how well their service works because I’ve tried to synchronize files across two Macs with .Mac and it’s flaky, at best. I also wonder how much the service will cost – if anything.

Update: GigaOM has a great write-up on Dropbox…and it looks like the beta started today.


Filed under: Software, Storage, Technology

Deal: Western Digital Passport 160GB for $120

western-digital-passport.jpgIf you’re in the market for an external hard disk drive, you should take a look at the slick looking Western Digital Passport portable drives. They come in 60, 80, 120, and 160GB versions. Costco is selling the 160GB version for $120 (in-store) and $130 on their website, which is $60 cheaper than MSRP and cheaper than you can find on the web (e.g., NewEgg.com).

I just bought the 160GB version for $120 at the Everett, MA location.

It’s a very sweet portable drive that does not require a separate power adapter (it’s usb-powered)…assuming your USB ports are 1000 mAH.  Some USB ports top out at 500 mAH, which isn’t enough juice to power this drive (more on that in a future post).

Filed under: Bargains, Computers, Deals, Hard Drive, Storage, Technology

New Windows Vista Ultimate “Extras”

Microsoft has released 2 new Vista Ultimate Extras: Windows Bitlocker & Texas Hold’Em. If interested, you download them via the Ultimate Extra control panel. In fact, the Ultimate Extra control panel should automatically notify you that these new extras are available. The deets:

  • Texas Hold’em: Pretty obvious.
  • Windows BitLocker & Online Key Storage: Allows you to encrypt all data on your hard drive and to store your BitLocker recovery key/password and Encrypting File System certificate on Microsoft’s website (Windows Marketplace Digital Locker) for access to the key anytime, anyplace, and from any computer that has an Internet connection.

There’s also a third Extra but it hasn’t been released, yet: Windows DreamScene, which allows you to play videos on your desktop instead of a static image.

For those of you who don’t know, one of the marketed benefits of Vista Ultimate is the ability to download “extras” for free. All of these “extras” are exclusive to Vista Ultimate – in other words, if you don’t have Vista Ultimate, you can’t get the “extras.”

I haven’t downloaded these, yet, but am planning to download only Texas Hold’Em. When I do, I’ll let you know what I think. I’m not planning on using BitLocker since I don’t like the idea that if I lose the key, I will never be able to access my data, again. Yeah, I know, the key is stored on Microsoft’s website but I’m a bit weary of storing my keys/passwords on a server which can be compromised.

For screenshots of these Extras, checkout Engadget and WindowsUltimate.com.

Update: I just installed Texas Hold’Em and played it for about 15 minutes – it’s a great free game. The design of the game is very nicely done and there are 3 different difficulty levels. I chose the intermediate level and noticed the computer plays somewhat loosely.

Update 2: Looks like DreamScene won’t be released until mid-2007.

Filed under: Microsoft, Storage, Technology, Vista, Vista Ultimate Extras, Windows

Sandisk Ultra II (2GB) CF – $50 after rebate

Need a 2GB Compact Flash card? Best Buy (Boston-area) has a really good deal on the Sandisk Ultra II 2GB from January 21 – 27, 2007. Don’t live in the Boston-area? Check your local Best Buy flyers online. $119 (MSRP) – $50 (instant savings) – $20 (mail-in rebate) = $49.99.

I use these cards in my Canon Digital Rebel XT D-SLR and they’re awesome – very fast read/write speeds (10MB/s read, 9MB/s write).

Update: (2/12/2007) This deal was only good during that week in January but you can get this card at NewEgg.com for $62.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Memory Card, Storage