Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Get Mesh-ed Up

(Ok - that was bad even for me)

(Editor's note - I'm tweaking with the site at the moment (all Sarah's fault). I *think* I like the new color scheme and layout, but that may change any moment. I'm also thinking about making a geek tip a regular item on the blog - there's quite a bit out there I've been wanting to point people at, but I don't know if I have the dedication to actually make it a weekly thing.)

If you're remotely connected to the tech industry, you can't go a week without coming across someone talking about "the cloud" or "cloud computing". The basic concept is that going forward data and applications will be available through the Internet, and PC's will be relegated to simply clients to the applications in the cloud. For sure this has been a promise for quite a while, but as broadband becomes more pervasive we're starting to see an increased drive towards this model.

Towards that end, Microsoft has announced a public beta of their entry into this space called Mesh. Going forward Microsoft will be releasing more capabilities, as well as opening it up to third parties to develop applications, but right now it offers two really cool features - synchronized folders and remote access.

Synchronized folders:

Mesh gives you an "Live Desktop", which is very similar to a standard Windows desktop. The difference is that at the moment there's only folders for storage available. You are able to create folders, like a normal desktop, as well as upload files. Right now you have access to 5 gigs, but going forward that will likely be expanded or at least give you the option to pay to expand it.

The cool part is that you can create a copy of a folder from your Live Desktop on your local PC or PC's (Mac and Mobile support "coming soon"). For someone like me with two computers and who's constantly on the road, it's nice to be able to sync with my desktop back at home. Plus, there's a copy that is stored on the Mesh, which not only is accessible from anywhere that I have Internet access and a browser, but also serves as a great backup[1] location - when you install the client (there is a piece you have to install locally) you can right click on any folder and tell it to sync with your Live Desktop.

Remote Desktop:

Quite simply, you can access your home desktop (or other connected device) from anywhere. And unlike certain solutions *cough*GoToMyPC*cough*, this is free. It's the same experience as if you were sitting there, except a little slower. You also have the ability to copy files to and from the remote system. Very cool.

If you're interested, you can check it out at You will need a Hotmail-or-Passport-or-Live account, but pretty much everyone has at least one of those.

There's your geek tip for the week.

[1] Everyone should have backups of anything they want to keep in case of computer failure or earthquake/fire/tornado/hurricane/flood/frog plague. The backup should be somewhere other than your house. Simple solution - try Mesh!


~B said...

A double post this week...I'm as happy as a pig in poop. Ok, I will admit, things have been a bit slow around here. But I do enjoy reading your posts, really I do.

jersey said...

Thank you very much. It keeps me going. And it certainly does seem that things are a bit slow. ;-)