My theory of technology is that ‘it should just work.’ I don’t want to waste time configuring things, or learning a new piece of software only to find out that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
I shouldn’t be tied to one computer, one operating system, or one piece of software. My important data should be available to me from any computer that’s connected to the internet. Also, my data should be backed up easily and automatically. When I buy a new computer I should be able to transfer to it seamlessly, and without a lot of set-up time.
In most cases, I prefer to have my data on the web, or at least synchronized up to the web. If you use a large company that is unlikely to go out of business (e.g. Google) the odds are that they will do a better job of securing your data than you would. Also, if you use software services that are internet-based you’re free to access those services from any computer as long as it has access to the Internet. The security concerns that people usually raise are valid, but almost always over-stated. Security is always a trade-off. Perfect security entails imposing many check points, to the point that users get annoyed and either don’t use any security, or don’t get very much done.
You want things set up so that you don’t constantly run into roadblocks and configuration issues. Having your data ‘in the cloud’ and using web-based software services means upgrade headaches aren’t your problem. And same with compatibility issues. The web-based software just has to work with your browser, and you have to have access to the Internet. So, that’s why I incline towards web-based solutions in most cases.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons about how not to do things. And, more recently, I’ve learned about easy and reliable ways. Obviously, everything I do isn’t automatically applicable to you. But I figured I’d tell you what tools I use, and why I use them. Hopefully I will give you enough background information so that you can decide if any of my choices make sense for you.
Click here to download and view the PDF that lists all the technology (mostly Mac-centric) I use, and explains why I use it.