Saturday, January 30, 2010

Work with multiple devices

One big issue of working with multiple devices is synchronizing necessary information among them. For example, synchronizing the document you are writing between multiple PC (notebook, desktop, netbook, handheld), so that you can write it in any time. Synchronizing the web site you are interested between multiple PC and your phone (has web accessing). So the information need to be synchronized should include:

  • PIM information such as calendar, task and contacts etc.
  • Mails
  • Files, including the document you are writing and reading. The bookmark information about your reading progress is necessary too, this can be a reading application specific meta-data file.
  • Web bookmarks, this can be used for URL you want to read but have no time now.

One of the most convenient method to synchronize information amongst multiple devices so far is "cloud" based synchronization. One of the biggest advantages of this method is that it needs not turn on and connect two or more machines simultaneously for synchronization. The disadvantage of this method is the possibility to leak your privacy information, so should use encryption for sensitive information.

I use following cloud services:

  • Google PIM (contacts, calendar, tasks?) for PIM information. On my N78, Google PIM Moblie Sync can be setup as in Nokia Setup Instructions for Google Mobile Sync. Contacts, calendar is supported, but tasks is not supported. On Linux PC, Google PIM Sync can be setup as in How to sync Evolution with Google's PIM apps. Contacts, calendar is supported, but tasks is not supported too.
  • Google GMail for mails. Google Mobile Sync support pushing mail, but my N78 does not support it. But I don't need that too. On Linux PC, GMail can be accessed with IMAP protocol.
  • Dropbox for file synchronization. Dropbox is not opensource software, but UbuntuOne does not work under Debian so far. I may switch to UbuntuOne after it support Debian. Dropbox does not support N78. I use rsync based script to synchronize some data between N78 and my primary PC.
  • Google bookmarks for web bookmarks. N78 can access google bookmarks via web browser, but it is not convenient. Firefox GMarks addon works good with Google bookmarks on PC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I'm Spencer. I work for a company named Syncables, and after reading through this, I think you might want to check us out. We make a localized syncing software that I've found makes a great offline compliment to dropbox. Our client is cross-platform, and it lets you keep your files, contacts and email synced between your computers over your home or office network, which is great for when you can't get an internet connection but still need to transfer things between your machines. Additionally, Syncables includes a media component, which allows you to upload your media to any phone or usb drive.

Anyway, come check us out sometime at!