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How Do You Manage Two Computers?

Do you use two computers? One at work, and another one at home? Or maybe you use two different computers at home for some reason.

How do you manage your data and programs? How do you keep everything synchronized? Or do you not even bother?

For years I’ve only had a single computer – a trusty laptop. But now that I’m a full time employee, I have to use the work-issued desktop for my job. I’ll continue to use my beloved Inspiron e1405 for blogging and personal matters.

But I want both machines as similar as possible. Data isn’t a problem – since I won’t really need work files at home or vice versa. But programs, contacts, preferences, shortcuts, etc are problematic!

So, I thought I’d poll you awesome readers. Then I’ll do some further research and create a post for everyone!

How do you manage two computers?

[tags]computers, synchronize[/tags]

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10 Responses to “How Do You Manage Two Computers?”

  1. InvestorBlogger
    August 8th, 2007

    I would think that a good compromise is PortableApps, there’s quite a selection of Apps now. including firefox, openoffice, media tools, etc.. all available on a portable usb Key.
    Neat, Andrew!

  2. Stew
    August 8th, 2007

    I keep everything on my thumb drive. My documents are divided into either business or personal. I use Windows Briefcase to sync each respective folder with work or home, which I do twice a week. Otherwise, I work from the thumb drive.
    I second the PortableApps.com comment. I work almost exclusively off the thumb drive since I work in several locations.

  3. Juggling Frogs
    August 8th, 2007

    I use a Palm and Outlook with a desktop and a laptop. I try to keep things simple, keeping the Palm synced with both computers. This keeps the contacts, calendar, tasks and notes the same on all 3 platforms. Not only is it helpful in making everything available, but it eliminates out of sync data in the duplicates.

    Syncing the three (laptop, desktop, Palm) together is part of my “weekly” review.)

    Online bookmarks (like del.icio.us) help, although I don’t bookmark as much, since realizing that I rarely looked at what I’d saved, and when I did look, it was hard to find the site I cared about in my haystack of bookmarks.

    A thumb drive helps with short term data sharing.

  4. Matthew Blancarte
    August 9th, 2007

    I run two computers at my workstation. One of them is my windows xp machine which is a tower, and I run a macbook pro. The macbook is hooked up to a 28 inch screen ^_^. If I need to transfer files between the two, I use aim or a portable HD.

  5. Andrew Flusche
    August 10th, 2007

    You guys all have great systems. Thanks for the thoughts! I’m working on perfecting mine, and I’ll be posting the results soon.

  6. L.J.T.
    August 28th, 2007

    Easy. Sandisk sells thumb drives with what is called U3 technology. It syncs your contacts, bookmarks, whatever document or other folders you select, etc. Imagine carrying your software on the same flash drive that carries your files. That’s what you can do with a U3 smart drive. You can plug it into any PC and work, play a game, message friends, send email, edit photos and more. A U3 smart drive makes any PC your own PC. And when you unplug it, it leaves no personal data behind.

  7. Andrew Flusche
    August 28th, 2007

    Hi Lise!

    The U3 drive sounds pretty smooth. It sounds a lot like PortableApps (http://portableapps.com). My problem is that I’m too lazy to carry a thumb drive around. I inevitably forget it. And I don’t like having one sticking out of my laptop, especially since I usually work on the couch or my comfy chair. I’m afraid I’ll break off the thumb drive. That wouldn’t be happy.

    I’m glad the thumb drive works for you, though. Your plug is very convincing. I might steal my wife’s micro thumbdrive (or whatever it’s called) and see how I like it. 😉


  8. Benet Brandreth
    October 25th, 2007

    You could try using the synctoy powertoy. Its ideal for keeping a desktop and a laptop in synch.


  9. nick
    May 18th, 2009

    with Mobile Me, the calendars and contacts on my iphone, pc desktop at work, and my mac laptop at home, and my work-issued pc laptop, all sync wirelessly, no matter what device i use to input new information.

  10. thomas vesely
    September 9th, 2009

    found myself with 2 laptops.both at home as i’m retired.one has become my media center.the other now can shed 50Gbs of music files.the media centre doesnt need internet/security.there fore i feel quite comfortable to have my private data on it.blue tooth disabled.wi fi disabled.

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