Short: College in a digital Life.


The year is 2011 (well… the school year started in 2010).

At home, I have a 1U rackmount, and a 5U freestanding server. I have in my dorm, a current array of 5 displays, spread across a 26″ LCD TV, 19″ 16:10 Monitor, a 17″ 5:4 LCD monitor, a 15″ Dell Insprion 1501 laptop, and a 10.1″ netbook. (All set up in a personal network to work as one massive display). I have 2 Palm devices on my desk, 3 WinMo based devices, 2 Tracphones, and a PS2 with a modcard so I can keep my games at home. I grew up with technology, so I had better be keeping it under control.

So, the question is: what do I do to keep my life organized and simple when it comes to this modern era and college? What do I use, and how do I use it? I’ll tell you.

First: I don’t use a flash drive except for one class where I’m forced to use Mac OSX Snow Leopard. Everything else is automagically synced between different machines (Desktop, laptop, netbook, and server) wirelessly via Windows Live Mesh. (I used to use DropBox, and I may go back, but I like the remote desktop feature. I might however install dropbox on the server so I can access my files from my phone via DroppedBoxx)

With Windows Live Mesh, I can start writing a paper on my desktop, save it and go to dinner, open my netbook in the library and continue where I left off. When I’m done, I can go to a commons area here on campus where there is a public computer and free printer, and run off a copy of whatever paper I just typed, by pointing my portable copy of FireFox (Saved on the school’s student public file server) to Devices.live.com . It’s a simple and elegant solution, but there’s more.

What about notes? My Netbook has a microphone, so why not record every class? Now this seems like it would take up alot of space, and LiveMesh doesn’t offer more than 5gb of storage. So I use another one of Microsoft’s products: OneNote. With OneNote, I can sync my notebook to Skydrive and edit it either in a browser, or on one of my systems. I can even have notebooks shared between people in my class so that we all can collaborate together and share notes if need be. This also works well with writing papers, because it’s an instant sync, and I can even see previous versions if I want to.

So… Notes, Files… What about email?

Well… I use Hotmail and GMail for my emails. MS Outlook is my client of choice, showing me both email accounts at one. The only problem is that I also have tasks and a calendar. MS Exchange handles the calendar via Hotmail, but for some reason it won’t sync Tasks (I can use my phone to sync them, but I”ve found a more elegant solution): Chromatic Dragon’s Toodledo sync manager. It’s a strange way to go about it, but it’s all in the background and you can then access your tasks online via the ToodleDo website. (I’ll just link to that later).

Finally: Games?

Minecraft.

-me

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About Author
Someone who feels the need to help others using the information that I have discovered. If someone else finds it useful, I'm more than happy to have helped.

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