I never really stopped to ponder how far I have come. A lot has happened, and it happened pretty quick but it was a natural progression. Last week, my Mac Book Pro started acting funny. I was experiencing lock ups and it got so bad, I couldn’t get anything done. I saw some error messages in my log files that would suggest that the drive was beginning to fail. Fast forward to last Wednesday and I am again using my MBP with a new hard drive.
But while it was in the shop, I was still productive and busy… and here’s how I did it.
For some reason, I got a bug up my butt. I needed a usb jump drive. I needed one bad. Okay, I didn’t have a really good reason when I actually bought it, but I knew in my bones I needed one. Microcenter has a house brand of memory sticks. I got a 4GB on for something like $12. I installed three things on it right away.
So I got portable versions of Firefox for both Mac and Windows. I have been using My FoxMarks to sync my bookmarks between multiple browsers amongst the multiple computers I have. It’s a great Firefox plugin so I know my latest bookmarks are with me whichever computer I am on.
Email is also available for me anywhere I go. I’ve been using IMAP forever so all I need is a configured client or even a web browser to access my email from anywhere. So, on my portable apps, I have a configured portable version of Thunderbird.
I also use Gmail for most of my emailing so between IMAP and Gmail, I’m covered.
If you have a webhosting account, most WebHosts offer IMAP as one of the services they offer, along with a webmail version to access your email.
Chatting / IM’s / Instant Messaging
Naturally, I installed the portable version of Pidgin on my thumbdrive, but lately I’ve been using Digsby on my Windows machines. By using one Digsby login, it has ALL my IM and social networking stuff:
That works for me and a Mac version is rumored to come out soon. But regardless, I am able to access all my IM contacts with ease, no matter where I’m at.
All of these portable apps are handy, sure. But you are probably wondering what I did to keep my most needed documents and files handy in the event I need them.
I started using Mozy to back up only my documents. Buried on their site, you can find the free plan that allows you to back up 2GB of files. It’s pretty handy to access my stuff online when it’s needed immediately.
Of course you can use Google Docs, but Mozy is also pretty slick.
In the end, everything worked out. My MBP was covered by my warranty and I got a new 200GB drive out of the deal, (my original drive was 160GB). And I was able to do a complete, 100% restore via Timemachine on my Mac. But having that USB drive with all those portable apps helped me make it while otherwise avoiding Mac-withdrawl.