Instructables

Working with Multiple Computers (For Students)

Working with multiple computers can be very difficult. You never know what files are on which computer, you might run into problems with multiple version of the same file, and as a result, you could lose your files all together or at least have your life turned into a nightmare by multiple computer confusion. And if these computers are running different operating systems, you might think to just throw one of them out the window so you don't have to deal with the confusion.

But in this day and age, I've found that a multiple computer lifestyle can work very easily using only free software.

The first two steps of this instructable tell you how to set up Dropbox, a great utility for synchronizing files. Step 2 has a bonus tip on a cheap but good looking netbook stand. Steps 3-6 cover additional tools and methods you can use to make your polycomputational lifestyle even better: OpenOffice.org, Google Notebook, the "sharing" feature of Dropbox, and Synergy, for sharing your keyboard and mouse wirelessly between the computers.

Enjoy!
 
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Step 1: Grab Dropbox

Picture of Grab Dropbox
First, get yourself to the Dropbox website and register yourself an account. You can easily and instantly get a no-nonsense 2 GB account. The internet is great.

You'll then want to download the Dropbox client. Downloads for Mac OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu can be found on the Dropbox homepage. My Eee runs Debian, but a quick trip to Google showed that, with the magic of free software, that was no problem at all. This site has instructions on how to get the client for Debian.

Now that you've got the client, let's make some folders.
The cloud is just a new name for the same old same old computer timesharing.
The question is will all you business or school be on one site If so you can have your own mini internet. There are lots of options. Too many to discuss here.
The phone company has plans to get rid of land lines, so ip phones will almost be a requirement. My understanding is that you can get a version of dropbox that ill run on your own server. There are free equivalents to the google notebook. The first think to consider is to think about having your own web server whether hosted or local. At work and home we have our own web servers and it is a snap to deal with collaborative documents. Web based eyeOS is one way not need google docs.
loli have a dell laptop and desktop but never knew what to do with the laptop. that technological gap is filled thanx Debian for life
good to see people using synergy, as well as open source projects like openoffice.org. google has shut googlenotebook down, except for people that have used it before:( i really like your mac, i myself use a PowerMac G4 dual booting 10.2(Jaguar) and 10.4(Tiger). MAC FOREVER!!!
the eee looks so tiny in that picture
yeah it does, but the screen also looks HUGE too :D
instructors6 years ago
Nice Instructable, I like the ideas.:)

THE CLOUD IS TAKING OVER
What?
Cloud-Computing is storing files online so you can access them from whereever you have an internet connection.
teknoman5 years ago
Hey instead of using Dropbox which only has 2GB of free storage, try using Microsoft Mesh, it works great and gives you 5GB free.http://www.mesh.com/
lightshayde5 years ago
I think this instructable is great. Seriously.
gewthen5 years ago
I would like to hear about solutions that don't involve the internet. Residential (and even business class to some extent) Internet connections are not considered essential utilities such as phone, and power. So relying so much on the internet connection may cause a situation where you need your notes, but your internet connection is down for the night for whatever reason... and so you don't have access to all of your notes (assuming you are relying 100% on the Google notebook). I'd always keep a local copy and local backup (and perhaps a remote backup for critical files). And just use syncing mechanism (or a manual process) between computers. Also note whenever you involve your data (personal or not) with any online service you are enabling anyone at the company to potentially view your files. We assume that they are ethical and reliable, but you can never know if some employee is misbehaving.