Sunday, June 28, 2009

Technology is a great thing

Took a big dose of technology over the last 12 hours. I have a lot of data. Sharing it between computers and devices is complicated. I have songs on my desktop computer at home that I would like on my laptop. My desktop is 1000 miles away. It would be nice if I could simply transfer the file wirelessly. Another scenario...I just took photos of my niece Haley.  My mother in law wants to see them. Wouldn't it be great if she could simply double click on a folder on her desktop and get them....without having to do anything? Well...both are possible.

Microsoft has a service called Live Mesh. Quite simply all that is needed is to signup for the service on a compatible computer (Windows XP/Vista/7 OR MAC OS X!). Then to share a file simply copy it into a special folder. That's it. No uploading, transfering, thinking. In the background the files are uploaded to the Internet. Now if my mother in law was part of my "mesh" the photos I just took would be accessible to her within seconds. No emailing...she just has to click on a folder on her desktop. That's it.

Pretty neat. I am using mesh right now to keep a central location for files between multiple operating systems on my laptop. I have 4 different operating systems installed!

I have Mac OS X. Inside of Mac OS X I have Windows XP and Windows 7 running inside of Parallels. In addition I have Windows 7 installed via Bootcamp. There are many files/documents I share between them. I used to copy them back and forth via shared folders inside of Mac OS X...but that would leave my Bootcamped Windows 7 out in the cold. I would use email or a USB thumb drive for those documents. Bleh. Now just one folder.

My plan is to install Live Mesh on Kelli's laptop,  my sister in laws Laptop and my mother in laws computer over time to allow much easier sharing of photos in their true format. Emailing photos normally requires them to be reduced in quality. With Live Mesh the files can be unaltered.

Eventually Live Mesh will allow my Zune, mobile phone and more to all have one central location for files. Pretty neat.

What else? Well I changed our car insurance provider this morning. I was watching Motorweek when they had a segment about Progressive Insurance and MyRate. MyRate is a program where a driver can save money on insurance by sharing driving data with Progressive. A driver simply plugs a device into the car...that's it.

The device records driving data and habits. I drive slowly and very little. I should save 10-25% on my insurance. For some reason Kelli's Prius isn't compatible. Our insurance coverages are way above the state minimum. Why? Just in case. With Geico we had $300K/$100K for each accident for example. Our rate was $660 every 6 months. With Progressive we have $500K/$250K and more for $500 every 6 months. Pretty decent savings. Another Perk....Progressive takes credit cards....Geico didn't.

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