Lifehacker

The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster and 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 67
Access Your Most Important Files Anywhere with Dropbox (New in 3rd Edition!)

Level: Easy
Platform: All

Between workplace computers, laptops, desktops, and smartphones, you no longer live in a one-computer world. But when you jump from one computer to another, you still need access to the latest version of your most important files.

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Hack 68
Manage Your Documents in a Web-Based Office Suite

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 69
Carry Your Life on a Flash Drive

Level: Medium (with a flash 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.

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Hack 70
Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Hamachi

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.

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Hack 71
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.

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Hack 72
Run Full-Fledged Webapps from Your Home Computer

Level: Advanced
Platform: Windows/Mac

In the previous hack, you set up a home web server capable of serving files — like your MP3 collection — to any computer over the Internet. It's a handy trick for accessing files away from home, but your home web server can also run full-fledged webapps — like your own blog or online photo gallery.

Hack 73
Build Your Personal Wikipedia

Level: Advanced
Platform: Windows

The collaboratively edited Wikipedia is a vast, searchable repository of information, constantly written and re-written by its readers. Don't you wish you or your group could have your own editable encyclopedia of brain dumps and documentation like Wikipedia? You can.

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Hack 74
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.

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Hack 75
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.

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Hack 76
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.

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