Web-Based Life Forms

July 13, 2006

Every once in a while it suddenly hits me that I have too many computers in my life. This week has been one of those moments. So to speak. My über fast Dell desktop at work is my newest darling, but it's a bit heavy to lug into meetings and on a plane. I had no choice. I had to renege on our delicately haggled agreement and swipe back the Toshiba laptop I'd handed down to my husband. In exchange I set him up on The Big Monster, the custom-built PC I got last fall when I was still doing freelance work and that practically blows back your hair when you push the "on" button. Then, almost before the domestic negotiations were over, I accidentally knocked out our wireless network at home (another story) and couldn't connect to the Internet with the laptop. Wanting only to spare my loved ones stress, I waited to reinstall myself as a user on The Big Monster until my husband was soundly asleep, which I tested by whispering his name very close to his ear several times. So now, with one thing and another, I am using three computers. Three computers is two too many, and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when I win the lottery and can give them all up for a new MacBook Pro that will do everything except make me young again (and maybe even that). Until then, I've had to find a way to survive and stay somewhat organized. With three computers, I might have been scattered all over the place, with bits of me stored at the office and other pieces here and there at home. And yet, I'm not. And pray tell, why not, you ask? Because I have become [drum roll, please] the Queen of Web Apps. I am the perfect Google Labs guinea pig. The ultimate web-based life form. I check my various email accounts on the web, synchronize my browsers with Google Synch, write notes (and blog entries) on Google Notebooks, stay up-to-date with Bloglines, keep my pictures on Yahoo, chat with IM, and work from anywhere with Remote Desktop. For a woman who went through college with nothing but a No. 2 and a manual typewriter, I've come a long way, baby. I'm still looking forward to going back to just one computer, if only to cut back on the maintenance. But I'll continue to use these great web apps. They work. They're fun. And you never know when you might knock out your wireless network.