Cloud computing while traveling

We’re back in CT for several days, primarily for my sister’s wedding, after moving to CA early this month, driving there with our belongings in a truck, towing a car. By the time we get back to CA in a few days we will have been on the road for almost three weeks, staying in various hotels and homes of relatives and friends.

Cloud computing has been invaluable here. This means that everything you need exists on the Net somewhere, not on your PC. Several of the homes we stayed at have wireless DSL and I’ve never been able to get DSL to work with my notebook.

But it doesn’t matter. I use one of their PCs, download FireFox, install the FoxMarks add-on, and thus have all my hundreds of bookmarks. (Foxmarks allows you to sync any FireFox browser to your bookmarks which are stored online.) When I leave their home, I deinstall everything and have never touched any of their settings.

I read 150+ blogs and websites in Google Reader, my primary email client is GMail, and I store important documents in Google Docs. Thus, I can do most anything from any computer, and don’t need my notebook.

But what about all those pesky passwords? Easy. I use the open source PasswordSafe and back it up zipped in GMail as a draft document. Unzip it in to any folder and click on the EXE and you have all your passwords. It does not require a special install and doesn’t update the Registry and thus is highly portable.

Google gets the Cloud. Microsoft does not or can’t. In part no doubt because Microsoft Office is such a cash cow for them. But computing is moving towards the Cloud. Will Microsoft be able to make the migration?

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