Upgrade Your Life

The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better


Chapter 8

Get Your Data To Go

To get things done today, you need the right information at your fingertips no matter where you are. You will travel, relocate, switch jobs, use more computers, and generate larger quantities of data in your lifetime than any previous generation has. The capability (or inability) to access that information on the go can make the difference between success and failure in work and life.

Hack 69
Manage Your Documents in a Web-Based Office Suite (New in 2nd Edition!)

Level: Easy
Platform: Web

"A profound shift in modern computing is afoot: a move from desktop software to the web. Mature web browsers, always-on broadband Internet connections, and an increase in mobile users has spurred a new breed of web sites that aren't just static pages they're hosted software applications (web applications, or webapps) that you access from your browser."

Hack 70
Replace Your Laptop with a Portable Drive (New in 2nd Edition!)

Level: Medium (with a USB drive, iPod or external hard drive)
Platform: Windows

"You're headed to your in-laws for the holiday week and you don't want to drag your laptop with you. Instead, take along a small hard drive that you can plug into their PC and get your own custom Windows desktop, applications, and files. Free software MojoPac creates a "PC on a stick" that borrows a host PC's hardware and runs Windows directly from a flash drive or iPod."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 71
Carry Your Life on a Flash Drive

Level: Medium (with a USB drive, iPod or external hard drive)
Platform: Windows

"Instead of lugging around your laptop, or emailing yourself files, store your favorite software applications and important data on a thumb (flash) drive about the size of a car key."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 72
Access Web Apps and Search via Text Message

Level: Easy
Platform: Mobile phone with text messaging

"You're out and about town and you need to call a local cab, find out movie times at theaters nearby, or check the weather forecast. You don't need a laptop or even a tricked-out PDA to search the Web: you can do it directly from any phone that can send text messages."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 73
Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Hamachi (New in 2nd Edition!)

Level: Advanced
Platform: All

"You can do things between computers on your local network that you can't from out on the Internet, such as listen to a shared iTunes library or access files in shared folders. But using the free, virtual private network application Hamachi, you can access your computer from anywhere on the Internet as if you were home on your local network."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 74
Run a Home Web Server

Level: Advanced
Platform: Windows

"Web servers are usually loud, scary, headless machines in cold windowless rooms, but you can run one under your desk at home."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 75
Remotely Control Your Home Computer

Level: Advanced
Platform: Windows/Mac

"Ever been at a friend's house and wanted to show off a photo you left saved on your home computer? Want to check from the office that your daughter's doing homework and not instant messaging with friends at home? Need to grab a file on your home hard drive when you're miles away? With a relatively old protocol called VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and some free software, you can remotely control your home computer from anywhere."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 76
Give Your Home Computer a Web Address

Level: Advanced
Platform: All platforms

"Accessing your home computer from the Internet is a lot easier if a memorable, permanent web address such as yourname.com points to it."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 77
Optimize Your Laptop

Level: Easy
Platform: All platforms

"More folks than ever are hitting the pavement with a notebook computer under one arm, but any road warrior can tell you that life with a lappie isn't always easy. This hack provides some hints and tips for extending the life of your laptop and easing the pain of the never-ending outlet and hotspot hunt."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 78
Back Up Data to Your iPod

Level: Easy
Platform: Windows/Mac with an iPod (any model)

"Your iPod isn't just a music player—it's a giant external hard drive that can store any kind of digital data in addition to music."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 79
Turn Your Cell Phone into a Modem

Level: Easy
Platform: Windows/Mac with data-enabled cell phone

"You're stuck with the laptop in the land of no internet, but you have unlimited minutes or a great data plan on your cell phone. What to do? Plug that phone into your laptop, of course, and get surfing!"

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:

Hack 80
Use GMail as an Internet Hard Drive

Level: Easy
Platform: Windows/Mac with Gmail

"An easy way to make files available from any internet-connected computer is to simply email them to yourself (at GMail or any other web-based email service.) But a free software application makes keeping your files up in the GMail 'cloud' and accessible from any web browser even easier."

Related posts at Lifehacker.com:




Back to the Upgrade Your Life Homepage→